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8 a.m.: Get up. I try to do some sort of exercise, meaning I lie in bed and think about exercising. That counts as trying.
9-11 a.m.: Work on book (Drift, due in March from Crown].
Noon: Arrive at MSNBC office at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Read “The Note,” internal staff memo of aggregated news stories prepared by producer Tricia McKinney. [It’s] “here’s what’s going on in the news. Here’s the most interesting takes about what’s going on. Here’s stuff that could possibly make our show because of our special interest [in it]. Here’s characters in the news that have become favorites on the show.” If there’s something interesting about Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder [a foe of labor unions], it will probably make our note if it’s not otherwise making national news because we like talking about Rick Snyder because he’s astonishing.
1:30 p.m.: Editorial meeting. It’s supposed to happen at 1:30 but usually never happens until 2. It’s a little self-indulgent. We like talking about what’s going on in the world. We talk about a lot of stuff that really has no hope of getting on the show. But I think that’s really useful. I think it’s helpful to not control it too much. I like that it’s a little freewheeling. And we’re frantic all day long because of it.
3 p.m.: Reading. Researching.
3:30 p.m.: Intensive one-on-one meetings with segment producers. Actually, it would be nice if they started at 3:30. But often they do not start until after 3:30, which is trouble when you have six segments to produce. If I’m meeting with the first person starting at 4 o’clock and meeting with the last person starting at 7, what’s the poor 7 o’clock segment producer supposed to do? These poor kids. I’m going to kill them all. They’re all going to die of bleeding ulcers by the time they’re 28.
Whenever: Lunch: I eat three meals a day at my desk, if I eat three meals a day. If I eat two meals a day, they’re both at my desk. All of my meals are at my desk.
8:40 p.m.: Makeup with Alisa Gurnari. I’m supposed to get up from my desk at 8:40. And it’s sometimes 8:45, which is not a kindness to Alisa given that I’m supposed to be on set at 8:55. On Wednesday night, I sat down at 24 seconds before 9 o’clock. I’m not proud of that. What if I had been 25 seconds later or if there was a problem with the microphone? How can this possibly be the way that I live? Every single day I am shocked that the show is live at 9 p.m.
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