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Barbara Lombardo of Saratoga Springs, NY, is a journalism adjunct at University at Albany and retired executive editor of The Saratogian, The Record and the Community News. Follow her on Twitter @Barb_Lombardo.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Mika Brzezinksi and My Dad -- a perfect afternoon

Saturday afternoon was a win-win for me.

I was among the 300-plus people lucky enough to be charmed in person by Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” at the Soroptimist Cabin Fever luncheon at the Saratoga Springs Holiday Inn. She was entertaining and impressive. And nice! Even before being introduced, as the event was just getting under way, she unexpectedly and spontaneously stood on a chair and auctioned off a signed poster of herself and a signed book, which went for $500 and $200 respectively, all going to the day’s fundraiser. By the way, she took a run through Saratoga Springs Saturday morning, and announced to the audience that she plans to come back with her family.

Someone who was at the event e-mailed me unhappy that the caption with the photo from the event that The Saratogian published Sunday made mention of her spilling caviar on the crotch of a world leader as a kid. That was my caption, in which I also tried to capture the more serious gist of her talk. But a lot of it consisted of entertaining stories growing up as the daughter of a national security adviser and a sculptor. (Hey, I didn’t mention her mom’s road kill meal in the caption.)

One of the especially interesting aspects of “Morning Joe” is the way news is discussed intelligently but not “objectively” in the traditional news sense. You know who’s a Democrat, a Republican, a Conservative, and it’s OK. In fact, it’s good. They aren’t pretending to be objective. And they are civil in their give and take.

The other reason this was a “win” for me was that my dad, Jerry Shrager, a big Mika fan, was able to attend the luncheon. He got a book (addressed, at his request, to “Barbara’s Dad”) and a hug. If I can figure out how to do this, I will attach the picture to this blog entry!

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