Great (and massive) Sunday New York Times feature on Morning Joe, starring Mika Brzezinski ’89.

My favorite (of many choice) anecdote:

The creation story behind this journalistic gallimaufry is worthy of an episode of “30 Rock.” In March 2007, Joe was in Florida, broadcasting his MSNBC program “Scarborough Country” when MSNBC assigned a freelancer to deliver the news segment from New Jersey. That person was Mika, who had worked in the news media for 20 years, and had been abruptly fired from CBS on May 2, her birthday, the previous year. Joe, who had never met her, was struck by Mika’s jesting tone when she signed off, “And now, back to Scarborough Country.”

On a boat the next day, his friends told him, “Dude she’s making fun of your show!” The thought intrigued him. A few weeks later, when MSNBC canceled the “Imus in the Morning” program (after its host, Don Imus, made insensitive remarks about the Rutgers women’s basketball team), Joe traveled to Secaucus, N.J., with his producer, Chris Licht, to pitch a program to MSNBC’s president, Phil Griffin, to fill the Imus slot. The concept, Mr. Licht explained last month, was, “Hard news for three hours, not formulaic, not focus-grouped, just intelligent people having intelligent discussions about major topics.” Joe wanted to find a fellow host who could stand her ground against him, not a glorified “prompter-reader.”

Sitting on the mini-sofa in Joe’s office at Rockefeller Center, they remembered their first encounter, in Secaucus, three years ago. “I go up to Mika and say, ’Nice to meet you,’ and I said, ‘By the way, I know you make fun of my show.’ ” Mika interjected, “And I said, ‘How can I make fun of a show that I’ve never even seen?’ ” Grinning, Joe continued, “Two seconds later I’m calling Phil and saying I found my co-host.”

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