Dylan Ratigan Out at MSNBC
Yesterday Dylan Ratigan announced he was leaving MSNBC after three years at the network. The news comes as Ratigan's $1 million a year contract was set to expire this month anyway. Ratigan told the NY Times that he made the decision himself three months ago, letting MSNBC know then that he was not interested in negotiating a new contract.
Ratigan joined MSNBC in 2009 after leaving a stock-picking show on CNBC. His favorite issue was the influence of money on politics. In the clip below he goes on a rant about this which lasts about four minutes, shouting over his own guests to make his point:
Ratigan had a number of controversial moments during his show's run. In 2010 he invited cartoonist Ted Rall on his show to discuss his book The Anti-American Manifesto. Rall suggests in the book that progressives need to take up arms against Tea Partiers and Christians. Ratigan barely challenged him and then gave him time to make his case for violent revolution as a solution to the country's problems.
Last year, Ratigan (and most of MSNBC) became an outspoken proponent of the Occupy movement. Big Journalism revealed that Ratigan had been privately emailing with some of the event's organizers even as he covered the movement on his show.
But as we've seen this year, MSNBC doesn't seem to have a problem with obvious conflicts of interest. They allowed Ed Schultz to cover the Wisconsin recall even as he took several hundred thousand dollars from unions. Schultz claimed he donated all the money to charity. MSNBC also allowed host Al Sharpton to cover the Trayvon Martin story even as he was hosting rallies with Martin's parents.
Ratigan's explanation for leaving doesn't explain what he intends to do next. The suggestion is that he's going to move "Beyond Talk" to actually doing something about the problem of money in politics. Meanwhile, Martin Bashir will move his show to 4pm and Ratigan's former producers will be responsible for creating a new show for the 3pm time slot.