How Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski kept their relationship secret for so long

In one such case in November 2013, shortly after Scarborough’s divorce from his second wife was finalized (and three years before Brzezinski’s official split from her own spouse), The New York Post’s Richard Johnson was preparing to declare them an item.

According to sources familiar with the situation, a distraught Brzezinski reached out to then-Fox News CEO Roger Ailes —like Johnson, a vassal in the Murdoch media empire—and tearfully asked Ailes, with whom she was friendly, to intervene with the gossip columnist, arguing that their respective children would be hurt by such publicity.

Ailes made his pitch to Johnson on Brzezinski’s behalf, and the columnist obligingly stood down.

The next day, the sources said, Johnson was rewarded when Scarborough phoned him and gave him the juicy scoop that Alec Baldwin was about to be fired from his short-lived MSNBC program.