News & Scoops

2010 September 12

The Domino Effect

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Deborah Needleman Deborah Needleman
Giorgio Niro
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Back to fashion. Who’s your favorite designer?
Kind of having a love affair right now with Céline, but so are lots of girls. Loving what Prada and Vuitton are doing this season. I’m also kind of obsessed with Reed Krakoff. He’s a businessman and he’s an amazing photographer and decorator, and this line he’s doing is spot-on. I think he’s a fascinating character.

Who’s your favorite Fox News character?
You’re so bad! Um, Roger Ailes, of course.

He’s not on camera.
See? I wouldn’t even know that because I don’t watch a lot of TV.

Who would you rather have dinner with: Fox News’ Laura Ingraham or the Post’s Andrea Peyser?
I think I’m really busy that night.

Do you have a nickname?
If I do, no one’s told me.

So, no Debbie?
Only very close friends are allowed to call me Debbie. I was Debbie in New Jersey, and then I got to the Washington Post after college and there were four other Debbies. I thought, Now’s my chance!

Did you ever flirt with a middle initial?
No way! I don’t like to work with writers with middle initials. I hate middle initials, unless you have a really common name. I find it really disturbing! Oh no! Just think about all the middle-initial people I’ve just offended.

Can we call you Debbie?
You can, but don’t tell anyone else.

What are your hobbies?
These are ridiculous questions. I wish I had a dog so I could say, “Playing with my dog.”

Don’t you have kids?
I do, but are kids hobbies? Aren’t they a vocation? They’re a responsibility.

What about crafts?
I don’t do crafts. I don’t understand crafts. Crafts are like a byline with a middle initial. There’s something weird about hobbies and hobbyists. 

Didn’t you edit a magazine for people obsessed with crafts?
It was about an obsession with style. I feel like a hobbyist is someone doing bad things on the internet.

What about all that gardening?
Is that a hobby?

Tell us a secret.
I already told you I was from New Jersey! I mean, I literally grew up in a shopping mall. Maybe that’s why I like to edit stuff. There was a little too much of it everywhere. I was so inspired, I ran away screaming!

If you weren’t at the Journal, what would you be doing?
I was actually quite happy hanging around begging an allowance off my husband and working on my book. But I think what drew me in is that there’s all this creative energy and possibility and support for newspaper- and magazine-making here. It’s crazy! I got so spoiled at Domino—getting to make the magazine we wanted and having the resources we needed to make it—I almost didn’t want to take another job. And it was a great time to be broke!

Why do you think Domino had such a loyal following?
Because we were actually talking to the reader. I feel like some publications, who shall remain nameless, talk to each other and pay lip service to the reader.

Did you see it coming?
Oh, I was so clueless! There were all these rumors and I was like, What are they talking about? On the positive side, we didn’t get to grow old and boring. Wait, I feel like I need to say something funny now!

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