Born in New York City, Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” graces the cover of the upcoming spring issue of Capitol File. Today we were given an exclusive preview of the magazine. During a candid interview, the host talks about influential dinner guests at her childhood home, how Washington has changed her and what makes her feel most proud professionally.
Mika’s father , Zbigniew Brzezinski, was a former National Security Adviser and her mother is a grandniece of Czechoslovakia’s former president. When Mika was a child, the family moved near Washington D.C. Mika discusses having Pope John Paul II over to her family’s home for dinner:
“The day started with my brother refusing to go because he wanted to go the high school football game. He walked in with big untied Timberland boots on and a hole in his jeans. I thought my dad was going to keel over. Then, cut to my mom challenging the Pope on birth control. It was quite a night!”
Shortly after China officially opened relations with the United States, Deng Xiaping visited her family home and Mika talked about how it went awry:
“The night started out with my mother lighting the fire without opening the flue, and the house getting full of smoke. Then, the three of us kids were serving appetizers and cocktails; I tripped, and I spilled caviar on Deng Xiaoping’s crotch. I was so nervous that I immediately started wiping it off. And it was the most awkward moment that I can think of to this day!”
Mika also mentioned the difference between the Washingon of her father’s day and how it is today:
“I think the joy is lost in it all. The edges are sharper, and the divisions are deeper. [No one relishes] the friction of debate, the intellectual challenge, the joy to really try to exchange ideas and work something out—or agree to disagree, and still be friends. I don’t think that ability exists, and I wonder if there’s an influx over the past couple of years of people who don’t have that quality—or maybe don’t have enough quality. Because in order to really be able to do that, you have to be a quality person. You have to focus on the right things; you have to want the right thing. I’m not sure as many of those people exist. I’m not sure the media environment helps—or hurts— and maybe even feeds into those divisions. It’s kind of sad.”
Then Mika mentioned what has made her most proud in her professional life:
“One thing that always makes me so happy is to be able to be a woman in television who is really happy with the job she has and wants to go nowhere else. I think women are always trying to manage up and navigate to the next thing, and they’re always on this hyperventilating roller coaster trying to get to the next thing. I don’t want to go anywhere; I love what I have. It’s a great feeling. That is a ‘finest hour’ kind of feeling.”
To find out more about Mika Brzezinski, grab the upcoming spring edition of Capitol File or visit their website.