Mika Brzezinski has co-hosted MSNBC’s well-rated “Morning Joe” since its inception in 2007, but she still wonders why she got fired from CBS News in 2006.
“I still wake up going, ‘Why did that happen?’” she explained in a new podcast interview for the Daily Beast over the weekend. “Like, I was so shocked.”
In conversation with the Beast’s editor at large Molly Jong-Fast, she recalled how then-president of the network Sean McManus told her that her role as a correspondent wasn’t “working out” when she went to his office. She thought she was heading there to pitch a story or maybe even get promoted.
“I was like, ‘Oh my God. It’s not working out. Like, I’m getting fired?’” she recalled. “I remember the blood running out of every body part I could feel and I asked him why.”
Brzezinski, who married her “Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough in 2018, noted that McManus didn’t have an answer for her. A representative for CBS News did not immediately return a request for comment on her firing or podcast appearance.
The “New Abnormal” podcast chat wasn’t the first time Brzezinski has discussed her firing. In her 2009 book “All Things at Once,” Brzezinski mused on how the event was “semipublic” and left her with a reputation as “damaged goods.” She expanded on that in an interview with Marie Claire two years later, comparing the parting to “a divorce.”
Through the years of publicly writing and speaking about the firing, Brzezinski has remained consistent. She confirmed to Jong-Fast that it turned out to be a good thing for her, after all, because it helped her refine her commitment to recognizing her value, even though she said she was “such an idiot” when she immediately signed her MSNBC contract.
“Guys, they negotiate the moon for themselves and women, we come into it, like, ‘I’m hoping you’ll like me, but maybe you won’t,’” she said, urging women to negotiate and stand up for themselves in the workplace.