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MSNBC host Brzezinski mugged in D.C.

- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 18, 2008

UPDATED:

Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty was confronted face-to-face Thursday with some of the district's crime problems, when it turned out the host of the morning talk show he appeared on had been mugged in the city an hour earlier.

MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski was mugged outside the Ritz Carlton in Georgetown at about 5 a.m. while waiting for a car to pick her up for the 6 a.m. broadcast of the show she co-hosts with Joe Scarborough, "Morning Joe."

The anchors did not disclose on air the location or name of the hotel, and did not respond to a question via email, but Mrs. Brzezinski later told the Washington Post it was the Ritz.

Mrs. Brzezinski said she was embarrassed and didn't want Mr. Scarborough to tell viewers about the experience, but he detailed the mugging and complained the bell desk should have been paying attention.

"A guy walks across the street straight for her," Mr. Scarborough said, adding the hotel should "at least police five feet outside their own doors." Mrs. Brzezinski said she gave the mugger the $6 in cash she had with her, adding that he asked her for $20 and said something along the lines of "Give me money and nothing will happen."

The anchors did not disclose on air the location or name of the hotel, and did not respond to a question via email.

Mr. Fenty, brought on the show to talk about education and plans for the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama, told the hosts the matter would be investigated.

"This is what mayors do," he said. "We are going to look at it and work with the hotel and the police department."

"Mayor it was six dollars, it's OK," Mrs. Brzezinski told Mr. Fenty. "I love that hotel. I'll need six dollars before I leave the bureau is all."

During a brief discussion of education, Mr. Fenty talked about teacher accountability.

"They should be paid more, but they should be held more accountable. That's going to improve things in the inner city," he said.

Mr. Fenty joked about the logistics of the expected big crowds for the Jan. 20 inauguration, asking the hosts if they knew a good place to park fleets of buses.

He also praised the Secret Service: "These guys know what they are doing."

"Morning Joe" is normally based in New York, though Mr. Scarborough often appears from D.C. via satellite.