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Mika Brzezinski

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mika Brzezinski
Mika Brzezinski.jpg
Brzezinski in 2011
Mika Emilie Leonia Brzezinski

(1967-05-02) May 2, 1967 (age 51)
Alma materWilliams College
OccupationNews presenter, author
TelevisionMorning Joe (co-host)
Political partyDemocratic[1]
Parent(s)Zbigniew Brzezinski (father)
Emilie Benešová (mother)
RelativesIan Brzezinski (brother)
Mark Brzezinski (brother)
Matthew Brzezinski (cousin)

Mika Emilie Leonia Brzezinski Scarborough (/ˈmkəbərˈzɪnskiˈskɑːrbɒr/;[3] born May 2, 1967)[4] is an American newscaster and author who currently co-hosts MSNBC's weekday morning broadcast show Morning Joe. She was formerly a CBS News correspondent, and was their principal "Ground Zero" reporter during the morning of the September 11 attacks. In 2007 she joined MSNBC as an occasional anchor, and was subsequently chosen as co-host of Morning Joe, alongside Joe Scarborough. She and Scarborough were married on November 24, 2018.[5]

Mika Brzezinski is a visiting fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics.[6] Her main political interest is in wage equality for women. She is also the author of three books; two on her career as a journalist and one on food addiction.

Brzezinski is the daughter of the late diplomat and political scientist Zbigniew Brzezinski, who served as adviser to both Lyndon B. Johnson and Jimmy Carter.

Early life

Brzezinski was born in New York City, the daughter of Polish-born foreign policy expert and former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski[7] and Swiss-born sculptor Emilie Anna Benešová. Her mother, of Czech descent, is a grandniece of Czechoslovakia's former president Edvard Beneš. Her father was teaching at Columbia University when she was born; the family moved to McLean, Virginia, near Washington, D.C., in late 1976, when Zbigniew was named National Security Advisor by newly elected President Jimmy Carter. Her brother, Mark Brzezinski, is an American diplomat and was the United States Ambassador to Sweden from 2011 to 2015. Her second brother is military expert Ian Brzezinski. She is a first cousin of the author Matthew Brzezinski.

Brzezinski attended the Madeira School and then enrolled at Georgetown University. During her junior year, she transferred to Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts,[7] and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1989.[citation needed]


Brzezinski at the Miami Book Fair International 2013

Brzezinski began her career in journalism as an assistant at ABC's World News This Morning in 1990. A year later, she moved to Tribune-owned Fox affiliate WTIC-TV/WTIC-DT in Hartford, Connecticut. There, she progressed from assignment and features editor to general assignments reporter. In 1992, she joined CBS affiliate WFSB-TV/WFSB-DT in Hartford and quickly progressed through the ranks to become its weekday morning anchor in 1995. In 1997, she left that role to join the CBS News, where she served as a correspondent and as anchor for the overnight Up to the Minute news program. In 2001, Brzezinski began a short hiatus from CBS News, during which she worked for rival MSNBC on the weekday afternoon show, HomePage, with co-anchors Gina Gaston and Ashleigh Banfield.[8] Entertainment Weekly described the trio as "the Powerpuff Girls of journalism".[8]

9/11 correspondent

She returned to CBS News as an under desk correspondent in September 2001, a move that thrust her into the limelight as a principal "Ground Zero" reporter for the September 11, 2001 attacks. Brzezinski was broadcasting live from the scene when the South Tower collapsed. In her last position at CBS News, Brzezinski served as a CBS News correspondent, substitute anchor, and segment anchor for breaking news segments and routine updates. During this period she became an occasional contributor to CBS Sunday Morning and "60 Minutes." She was subsequently fired by CBS.


Brzezinski returned to MSNBC on January 26, 2007, doing the evening "Up to the Minute" news updates. Then she worked primetime newsbreaks during the week. She also filed occasional reports for NBC Nightly News and appeared as an occasional anchor on Weekend Today. Brzezinski resigned from both shows on the eve of a renewal option, said Brzezinski, when Scarborough selected her to co-host on Morning Joe. Brzezinski said, "I struggled to keep up with the live interaction broadcasting format at 6-9 am. I became more comfortable when I found myself having a primary function of reading the prompt for lead-ins and breaks. Mika, the 'hot anchor' was born. The producers slowly encouraged my participation in news reader segments that I was more at ease with. Geist and Joe slowly found me a capable news reader and the expansion of my role was a process. I was not pleased with the reference to being the 'hot anchor'."[9]

Since the program's inception, Brzezinski appeared as co-host and news reader on MSNBC's morning program Morning Joe,[9] alongside Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist.

Campaign against trivial journalism

On June 26, 2007, near the beginning of Morning Joe, Brzezinski refused to read a report about Paris Hilton's release from jail. One hour later during another news break segment, her producer Andy Jones again pushed the story as the lead, ranking it over Indiana's Republican Senator Richard Lugar's break with President Bush on the Iraq War, which Brzezinski considered more important. After several sarcastic remarks from host Scarborough, she attempted to set the story's script on fire on the air, but was physically prevented from doing so by co-host Geist. She then tore up the script, and one hour later, got up and ran another copy of the script through a paper shredder retrieved from Dan Abrams's office.[10] The incident was quickly popularized on the Internet, and in the days that followed, Brzezinski received large quantities of fan mail supporting her on-air protest as a commentary on the tension between "hard news" and "entertainment news".[11][12] Similarly, on July 7, 2010, she objected on-air to pressure to report on Lindsay Lohan and Levi Johnston. Eventually, Geist and Pat Buchanan reported the stories with the caption, then popularized, "News You Can't Use".

Democratic National Committee email leak

The 2016 Democratic National Committee email leak revealed that Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairperson of the Democratic National Committee, had emailed Chuck Todd, the Political Director of NBC News and host of Meet the Press, to demand that he "stop" Brzezinski from criticizing the DNC's treatment of Bernie Sanders.[13] In December 2016, after Clinton had lost, Brzezinski suggested the Clinton campaign had tried to silence her by calling executives at NBC and telling them she "needed to be pulled off the air".[14]

Refusal of Kellyanne Conway interviews

On February 15, 2017, Brzezinski banned Trump spokesperson Kellyanne Conway from future appearances on her show. Brzezinski said, "We know for a fact that [Conway] tries to book herself on this show. I won't do it. Because I don't believe in fake news, or information that is not true... every time I've ever seen her on television, something's askew, off or incorrect".[15] Her co-host Joe Scarborough said the decision to ban Conway from future appearances was based on her being "out of the loop" and "in none of the key meetings". "She's not briefed. She's just saying things just to get in front of the TV to prove her relevance".[15]

On February 15, 2017, Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin agreed that Conway should be banned from future television appearances. "In recent days, George Stephanopoulos and Matt Lauer blasted her directly, essentially calling her a fabulist. Given all that, it would be irresponsible for any news show to put her out there, suggesting she really does not know what is going on at any given moment", Rubin wrote.[16] According to both Scarborough and Brzezinski, Conway is privately "disgusted" by her job and Donald Trump, and her words do not reflect her actual beliefs—though Conway disputed the claim.[17][18][19]

Trump tweets

Brzezinski being interviewed at BookExpo America in 2018
Brzezinski being interviewed at BookExpo America in 2018

During the 2016 presidential campaign, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump tweeted several times criticizing both Brzezinski and Scarborough.[20] In March 2017, Brzezinski called Trump's presidency "fake and failed", and soon thereafter Trump unfollowed Brzezinski and Scarborough on Twitter.[21]

In late June 2017, Brzezinski was again the target of Trump's tweets in which he called her "low I.Q. Crazy Mika" and asserted that she was "bleeding badly from a face-lift".[22][23][24] Brzezinski and Scarborough then accused the White House of threatening to blackmail them with an exposé in a tabloid magazine unless the pair apologized publicly to the President.[25]

Personal life

On October 23, 1993, Brzezinski married TV news reporter James Patrick Hoffer, now of WABC-TV.[26] They met when both worked at WTIC-TV. They have two daughters, Emilie and Carlie Hoffer. Hoffer and Brzezinski divorced in 2016 amidst allegations of an affair between Brzezinski and Scarborough.[27]

In early 2017, Brzezinski became engaged to her co-host Joe Scarborough.[28] They were married on November 24, 2018 in Washington D.C.[29]


Brzezinski has written three books. Her first book was a memoir, All Things at Once, published by Weinstein Books in January 2010.[30]

Knowing Your Value: Women, Money and Getting What You're Worth, published in 2011 by Weinstein Books, discusses women and financial negotiations. It includes tips for negotiating salaries and compensation packages.[31] In 2018 this was revised, updated, and was released as Know Your Value.[32] Her third book Obsessed: America's Food Addiction and My Own was published in 2012 also by Weinstein Books.[33]

See also


  1. ^ Nelson, Louis (August 10, 2018). "'Morning Joe' co-hosts Brzezinski and Scarborough tiff: 'Mika, you're a Democrat'". Politico. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  2. ^ Firozi, Paulina (May 4, 2017). "'Morning Joe' co-hosts Scarborough and Brzezinski are engaged". TheHill. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  3. ^ "Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski And His Life On The World Stage". Morning Joe. MSNBC. May 30, 2017. Event occurs at 1:00.
  4. ^ "Brzezinski, Mika". Current Biography Yearbook 2010. Ipswich, MA: H. W. Wilson. 2010. pp. 84–88. ISBN 9780824211134.
  5. ^ Joe Scarborough And Mika Brzezinski Secretly Got Married This Weekend
  6. ^ Gavel, Doug. "MSNBC'S Morning Joe Hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski Join Harvard Kennedy School's Institute of Politics as Fellows". Harvard Kennedy School. The President and Fellows of Harvard College. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Mika Brzezinski". MSNBC. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  8. ^ a b Tucker, Ken (February 16, 2001). "The Spin Room, Hardball". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
  9. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  10. ^ Video of the MSNBC incident (dubbed by MSNBC "the journalistic shot heard round the world")
  11. ^ "Paris Hilton script screwed up, burnt and shredded", The Telegraph
  12. ^ "Newscaster's on-air Paris protest", BBC News
  13. ^ Reisman, Sam (July 22, 2016). "Leaked Emails Show DNC Chair Told Chuck Todd Negative Coverage 'Must Stop'". Mediaite. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  14. ^ Hayden, Erik (December 9, 2016). "Mika Brzezinski Claims Clinton Camp Contacted NBC to Say She "Needed to Be Pulled Off the Air"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  15. ^ a b "'Morning Joe' bans Trump aide Kellyanne Conway: She's not credible anymore", New York Daily News, February 15, 2017, retrieved February 19, 2017.
  16. ^ "Can we start ignoring whatever Conway and Spicer say?" by Jennifer Rubin, The Washington Post, February 15, 2017, retrieved February 21, 2017.
  17. ^ Bowden, John (2017-05-15). "'Morning Joe' hosts: Conway secretly hates Trump". TheHill. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  18. ^ Price, Greg (May 15, 2017). "Does Kellyanne Conway Hate Donald Trump? President's Adviser Called Out By 'morning Joe' Hosts". Newsweek. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  19. ^ Lange, Jeva (May 15, 2017). "Morning Joe hosts claim Kellyanne Conway detests working for Trump and is only in it for the money". The Week. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  20. ^ Borchers, Callum. "Trump was right about the romance between Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. But also wrong", The Washington Post (May 4, 2017).
  21. ^ Jagannathan, Meers. "President Trump unfollows ‘Morning Joe’ co-hosts on Twitter", New York Daily News (March 13, 2017).
  22. ^ Dale, Daniel (June 29, 2017). "'Bleeding badly from a face-lift': Donald Trump just tweeted sexist insults at a female TV host". Toronto Star.
  23. ^ Donald J. Trump [@realDonaldTrump] (June 29, 2017). "I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don't watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came." (Tweet). Archived from the original on June 29, 2017 – via Twitter.
  24. ^ Donald J. Trump [@realDonaldTrump] (June 29, 2017). " Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year's Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!" (Tweet). Archived from the original on June 29, 2017 – via Twitter.
  25. ^ Jacobs, Ben (30 June 2017). "Morning Joe co-hosts accuse White House of blackmail over tabloid story". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  26. ^ "WEDDINGS; Mika Brzezinski and Jim Hoffer". The New York Times. October 24, 1993.
  27. ^ Corinthios, Aurelie (June 30, 2016). "Mika Brzezinski: MSNBC Co-Host Divorces Husband of 22 Years Jim Hoffer". People Magazine. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  28. ^ Firozi, Paulina (2017-05-04). "'Morning Joe' co-hosts Scarborough and Brzezinski are engaged". TheHill. Retrieved 2017-05-04.
  29. ^ Heil, Emily (November 25, 2018). "'Morning Joe' co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski marry in secret ceremony". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  30. ^ "Books". Weinstein Books. Archived from the original on 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  31. ^ "Weinstein Books Press Release". Archived from the original on 2010-09-25.
  32. ^ Brzezinski, Mika (September 2018). Know Your Value. Hachette Books. ISBN 978-1-60286-594-5. Originally published in hardcover and ebook by Weinstein Books in April 2011. First revised and updated hardcover edition published by Hachette Books September 2018. (from copyright page)
  33. ^ Brzezinski, Mika (7 May 2013). "Obsessed: America's Food Addiction -- and My Own". Huffington Post.

External links

Media offices
Preceded by
Nanette Hansen
Anchor of Up to the Minute
Succeeded by
Melissa McDermott
New title Co-host of Morning Joe
Served alongside: John Ridley, Willie Geist, Joe Scarborough
This page was last edited on 4 December 2018, at 00:48
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