In The Know

CNN congressional correspondent talks about her early love of trolls and family

For Sunlen Serfaty, launching a career in journalism started with trolls, but not the online gremlin type.

As a youngster growing up in Virginia, CNN’s congressional correspondent found herself writing about the collectible neon hair troll dolls, so popular in the ’90s.

“In middle school I was the publisher of the very esteemed ‘Troll Times Dispatch,’ ” Serfaty says. The publication — which had a circulation of two families — was produced by Serfaty and her best friend, Kelly. The pair both “collected troll dolls and somehow designed, wrote and printed a whole newspaper around their narratives.”

After telling the tales of the smiling, belly button-baring collectible toys, Serfaty has since moved on to weightier subjects.

This week, the 37-year-old new mom, who gave birth last year to her daughter with husband Alexis Serfaty, debuted a piece for CNN focused on paid family leave. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian all sat down with Serfaty to talk about the hot-button issue on Capitol Hill.

We wanted to know more about the troll expert-turned-reporting pro — who covered the ins and outs of the 2016 White House race and Congress while pregnant — so we asked her to answer these questions.

Grew up in: Born in Belchertown, Mass., and grew up in Midlothian, Va.

College attended: George Washington University

Favorite hobby/activity: Traveling and picnicking. Preferably together.

Most embarrassing moment: It was an A/V mishap in middle school which led to the entire school hearing a recording of me singing an original composition, a song about my kitten, of all things. My ballad was only supposed to play on the speaker for an event in the cafeteria, but after a mix-up, played to the entire school.

Most memorable moment: Nothing compares to the birth of our daughter, Roosevelt, in May 2017. Such bliss, so much beauty.

Favorite band: The soundtrack of my Virginia youth – Dave Matthews Band.

What you like about D.C.: How connected everyone really is to each other – D.C. is such a small town at heart. (And on the sappy side: I met my husband here, a native Washingtonian — so, this city holds so much meaning for us.)

What you dislike about D.C.: The traffic! There’s nothing worse than having a rare chance at making it home after work to see my daughter before bedtime, only to be sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic missing being able to read her a story before bedtime.

I have a fear of: As a new mom I have a lot of quirky new fears — not properly chopped food, corners on tables, germs, the white-noise machine breaking, sleepless nights — the usual #momlife things.

Favorite movie: I love the whimsical worlds that Wes Anderson’s movies create — my favorite being “Moonrise Kingdom.”

Something that few know about you: I have never tried meat. My parents are pescatarians and raised my sister and me that way. I grudgingly missed out on McDonald’s Happy Meals growing up.

Tags Marco Rubio Martin Heinrich

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