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.