Ana Marie Cox

Writer and editor Ana Marie Cox on her new life covering D.C. gossip, the steam-punk culture of National Geographic, and who she’d pick for a steamy weekend in the country: Leon Wieseltier or the first daughters.

Era of Birth, URLs: Late, Late, Running-to-Catch-the-Bus Capitalism; and

Occupation title(s), both real and desired-in-another-lifetime: Editor of, Giver of Homes to Rescued Animals, Person with the Tidiest Sock Drawer

We know you better by your past than your present. Suck, FEED, being ‘one of the greatest satirsts of our age.’ So was the path to bloggerdom a natural one, and you fell lockstep, or were there diversions on the way? I got really into knitting for awhile. I also worked at National Geographic for about four months, which—as an organization, in outlook, and in mindset—is positively Victorian. Casual-dress day was no corsets. No, seriously: It’s more steam-punk than old-fashioned, and probably the friendliest place I’ve worked in my life. But it was kind of like working for an encyclopedia, not a magazine. They run articles that are meant to sit on a shelf for years. The shelf-life of a blog item is, what, a minute? Can it even be measured in positive values?

Like most people born in the 70s, we are waiting for the Suck DVD—any special features in the works? Of course, the alternate ending: Carl and Joey finally get married and the Wired IPO makes us all filthy rich.

Favorite books: In the library: The Corrections, Geek Love, Slouching Toward Bethlehem, Remembering Satan, Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder, Nixon Agonistes, Everything That Is Solid Melts Into Air, Ghost World, A Bold from the Blue and Other Essays.

On the bedside table: The Woman in White, The Barbarous Coat, The Shining, Forty Words for Sorrow, Ask For Me Tomorrow.

Your pick to accompany you for a long weekend in the Catskills: the first daughters or Leon Wieseltier? The Bush Girls, totally. They can get the best Ecstasy, whereas Leon’s better at assigning hit pieces and scoring mescaline.

Heroes: My husband (Chris Lehmann), who is both hysterically funny and impossibly brave. He also has this knack for saying the most painfully critical things in such an even, logical, and witty way. That’s in book reviews. He just yells at me.

The usual lady-writer types (Didion, McCarthy), also Ross Macdonald, who didn’t start writing mysteries until latish in life (big fan of the late bloomers in general). Also fellow fly-over escapees who made good: Harold Ross, Willie Nelson, Ashton Kutcher.

Give us a long view on what you’re hoping to accomplish with Wonkette. Are you already lunching with Karl Rove? Oh, ha. I would settle for a stale donut with Dennis Hastert. More seriously: Getting the Post to drop Tina Brown’s column, lowering the number of typos (in Wonkette) to an acceptable 10 to 12 a day, a post in the Kucinich administration.

What makes you laugh: Any one of the several lame running jokes my husband and I share (‘Why do you hate me?’), the Daily Show, Get Fuzzy, The Office, Christopher Guest movies (Eugene Levy was robbed of an Oscar nomination this year! Robbed!), Mr. Show and all its alumni, the usual bloggy suspects (TMFTML, Radosh, Abbie the Cat, Dong Resin, Soundbitten [when he updates, dammit], that bitch Gawker, and Fleshbot, the mostest hilarious porn blog ever. Though I also find porn itself pretty hilarious). Also I like movies in which real animals are made to seem to talk.

Let’s get this over with: who’s going to win the Democratic nomination, and are they going to beat the President? I’m hoping for a Gephart-Braun ticket in a brokered convention. And of course they’ll win. Americans like underdogs, right?

Charity worth giving to: Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation and The Red Cross—blood donation is the cheapest charity you can give and it all goes directly to those in need.

Five words that sound great: Cellar door, cinnamon, alacrity, dream.


Rosecrans Baldwin co-founded TMN with publisher Andrew Womack in 1999. His latest book is Everything Now: Lessons From the City-State of Los Angeles. More information can be found at More by Rosecrans Baldwin