Mika Emilie Leonia Brzezinski
(born May 2
) is a television news journalist
. Brzezinski is co-host of MSNBC
's weekday morning program, Morning Joe
. In addition to providing regular commentary, she also reads the news headlines for the program. Additionally she reports for NBC Nightly News
, and serves as alternating news anchor on Weekend Today
. Previously, she was a CBS News
anchor and correspondent.
Brzezinski was born in New York City
, the daughter of foreign policy
expert and former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski
and sculptor Emilie Anna Benes
. Her father was then teaching at Columbia University
, but 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
Brzezinski attended The Madeira School during her high-school years. She graduated in 1989 from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, where she majored in English, after transferring in from Georgetown University as a junior. Since 1993, Brzezinski has been married to TV news reporter James Hoffer, now of WABC-TV/WABC-DT. They have two children.
Television news career
Brzezinski began her journalism career as an assistant at ABC
's World News This Morning
in 1990. A year later, she moved to Tribune
/WTIC-DT in Hartford, Connecticut
. There, she progressed from assignment and features editor to general assignments reporter. In 1992, she joined CBS
-TV/WFSB-DT (also 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 network news
, where she served as a correspondent and as anchor for the overnight Up to the Minute
In 2000, Brzezinski began a short hiatus from CBS, during which she worked for rival MSNBC on the weekday afternoon show, Home Page, with co-anchors Gina Gaston and Ashleigh Banfield. She returned to CBS as a correspondent in September 2001, which 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. (Coincidentally, her former MSNBC co-anchor, Ashleigh Banfield, was also reporting from Ground Zero for MSNBC.)
In her last position at CBS, Brzezinski served as a CBS News correspondent, substitute anchor, and segment anchor for breaking news segments and routine updates. During this period she was also a frequent contributor to CBS Sunday Morning.
Brzezinski returned to MSNBC on January 26, 2007, doing the evening "Up To The Minute" news updates. Since then she has anchored primetime newsbreaks during the week, filling in on MSNBC Live weekdays and on the weekends. Currently Mika Brzezinski appears daily as a co-host and news reader on MSNBC's morning program, Morning Joe and anchor of MSNBC Live at 9am.
On September 16, 2008 on MSNBC's morning program, Morning Joe, John McCain referred to Brzezinski as being "a supporter for Obama" and ribbed her for never visiting McCain's website to research his side of the issues. Reviewing the episode, Brzezinski said: "I think he was kidding, to an extent. But I think that was bad joke in some ways because it's a little bit hard for a journalist to be made fun of in that way. ... No one has been more defensive about Sarah Palin as a working mother than me and I've taken on my own peers.".
Paris Hilton story
On June 26
, 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 Republican Senator Richard Lugar
's break with President Bush
on the Iraq war
, which Brzezinski considered more important. After several sarcastic remarks from host Joe Scarborough
, she attempted to light the story's script on fire on the air, but in safety of the newsroom, she was physically prevented from doing so by co-host Willie 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. 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.'