Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.


On the move

I want to confirm what many of you have already noticed:  I will no longer be appearing on MSNBC.

I served as a contributing anchor to the network for the past 2 years, and in 2014, I’ve appeared on the network practically every week, predominantly anchoring the weekend afternoon newscasts.  Many viewers naturally assumed my continuing affiliation with the network.

I have relationships with the NBC/MSNBC family that go back over a decade, and I will forever value those.  I can’t thank MSNBC enough for the opportunity to be a part of their team.

T. J.

Survive the Moment

This is what I do whenever I see flashing lights in my rearview mirror:  put on my hazard lights and pull over as soon as safely possible.  Then, I put the car in park, roll down both front windows fully, turn off the engine, take the keys out of the ignition and dangle them high in the air out the driver’s side window before placing them on the roof of the car.  Next, I cross my arms at the wrist, spread my fingers, and display my empty hands out of the window and wait for the officer to come to the door to give me instructions.  When the officer asks for my license and registration, I explain that they are in my pocket and my glove compartment, and I ask if it’s alright to move my hands in order to retrieve them.  I don’t make any movement without first getting the officer’s blessing to do so.  READ MORE

Teen dead days before college

He was supposed to start college tomorrow.

As I write this, I’m sitting in the MSNBC newsroom, prepping for the afternoon newscast, and I’m waiting for a press conference from the St. Louis County Police Department.  They are expected to give an update about the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, an unarmed black kid shot by police Saturday night in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis.

He was supposed to start college tomorrow.

We don’t know a lot at this point about why police opened fire.  Here’s what we do know:  Brown was unarmed, he was blocks from his grandmother’s house when he was shot, and it was a Ferguson police officer who shot him.

And, he was supposed to start college tomorrow.

After a heated protest in the neighborhood last night, police are asking for calm.  The outrage is understandable as this story reopens wounds not quite healed after recent high-profile cases of young, unarmed black men being gunned down.

We don’t know all the circumstances surrounding Brown’s death yet.  I will wait to hear all the facts.  But no matter what the facts turn out to be, the way I’m feeling won’t change because of one detail in particular that we already know:  he was supposed to start college tomorrow.

We talk so often about the plight of young black men in this country.  We emphasize the importance of education and urge them to stay away from violence.  There are people out there putting extraordinary effort into putting and keeping young black men on the right path.  That path often includes getting them into college.  I don’t know Brown’s journey, but somewhere along the line, someone did a good job with him and had him on the right track.

He was supposed to start college tomorrow.  That’s a cruel cosmic irony.



My First Same-Sex Wedding. (Not Really)

I LOVE weddings.  And one of the best weddings I’ve ever attended took place last week in Brooklyn.  The whole evening was a perfect blend of elegance and casualness.  Rose petals strewn about a wooden deck and a Julliard-trained musician bowing her violin as 100 well-dressed guests sat underneath the setting sun, sipping wine and cocktails while the couple exchanged vows.  This was a fun, intimate affair punctuated by the couple’s unmistakable bond.  I was happy and proud to be a part of something this special.

Oh, and one more detail about the wedding:  there was no bride. READ MORE

Robin Thicke: Relationship Therapist

Pay attention to what Robin Thicke has been saying, not singing.  Forget about the lyrics, the new album, and his recent antics.  Instead, listen to what he’s been saying about his marriage, and what you’ll hear is a man putting on a master class in what not to do if you want to hold on to the person you love.

Here are 4 things he said in recent interviews that are revealing, instructive, and timely for anyone in a relationship: READ MORE

Why The Trip from Central America is Worth the Risk

20,805 unaccompanied minors from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras were caught entering the United States illegally in 2013.  1,169 were repatriated.

57,000 unaccompanied children from those same 3 countries have been caught coming across the border so far this year.  1500, at most, have been deported.  Given those odds, it might be worth the trip.

President Obama’s public message that kids won’t be allowed to stay in the U.S. has to this point fallen on deaf Central American ears, and the kids keep arriving daily.  He’s now asking Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency funds to deal with the surge of unaccompanied children crossing the border.  But only a tiny fraction of that money would go where it’s desperately needed, the place with the best chance of ending the crisis:  immigration courts. READ MORE

8 Things Happiest People Do Everyday

1) They devote a great amount of time to their family and friends, nurturing and enjoying those relationships.

2) They are comfortable expressing gratitude for all they have.

3) They are often the first to offer helping hands to coworkers and passersby.

4) They practice optimism when imagining their futures.

5) They savor life’s pleasures and try to live in the present moment.

6) They make physical exercise a weekly and even daily habit.

7) They are deeply committed to lifelong goals and ambitions.

8) Their secret weapon they have is the poise and strength they show in coping in the face of challenge.

List via The How of Happiness written by University of California professor Sonja Lyubomirsky.