Karen Finney: The Trekkie who dreamed of becoming an astronaut

Courtesy Karen Finney

As a kid, Karen Finney wanted to be two different things: an astronaut and a constitutional lawyer.

Finney never made it to space or the Supreme Court, but she is quite successful. She is now the host of
MSNBC’s “Disrupt” show, which airs 4 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

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We wanted to know more about Finney, a former columnist for The Hill, so we asked her some questions.

Grew up in: Born in New York City, grew up in the Bay Area of California and NYC; also went to Alice Deal JHS in D.C. for two years.

College attended: UCLA, B.A. in anthropology.

What did you want to be when you were a kid? An astronaut, and a constitutional lawyer.

Favorite hobby/activity: Long hikes with my dog, Mabel, or pilates.

How you unwind after a long day: Taking my dog for a walk, which can be a very “grounding” experience :)

What you’re reading: A little bit of everything from newspapers to magazines to blogs. Right now I’m reading Black Woman Redefined by Sophia A. Nelson.

Best political movie: “Lincoln.”

Favorite band: Hard to name just one, having seen Bruce Springsteen live he’s definitely the top of the list. Although Aretha Franklin truly is the queen.

What you like and dislike about D.C.: It’s a beautiful city, very livable, lots of smart, interesting people, you can always learn from. Dislike that there aren’t more women in charge, but glad to see progress women have made over last 20 years.

A household chore that you can’t stand: Doing laundry!

Favorite saying/life philosophy: “I beg you ... to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer. ...” (Rainer Maria Rilke)

A turning point in your career: The two most dramatic ones: Having the opportunity to work for then-first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton as deputy press secretary and having the opportunity to have my own show on MSNBC — both have been amazingly positive tectonic shifts.

Something that few know about you: I’m kind of a sci-fi geek — big fan of “Star Trek” and “The Walking Dead.”