Former MSNBC Anchor Dylan Ratigan Launches ‘Serious’ Bid for Congress

February 21st, 2018 7:35 PM

What do people do after being a host on programs aired by the liberal MSNBC cable television channel for years? While some easily make the transition to CNN, one anchor is moving in a different direction.

If there’s one thing you can tell about Dylan Ratigan, who hosted an eponymous program that was the highest-rated non-prime time show on the liberal cable channel, it’s that he’s “serious” about his campaign for the Democratic nomination of New York’s 21st congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives, a seat currently held by GOP incumbent Elise Stefanik.

“Straight Talk: Progress for the People” is the tagline on Ratigan’s website, which stated:

Let's face it: The political class has built a corrupt system that rewards themselves. They do just enough to get re-elected and reward their donors.

And instead of finding common ground, they hide behind partisanship and stalemate. No real plan for jobs. No solution for the opioid epidemic. No honest solutions for health care.

People in that congressional district are “fiercely independent,” the liberal candidate continued. “They call it how they see it. And they want a representative who will do the same, to bring honesty to our government and progress for our people.”

In a series of tweets Ratigan -- who is also the author of the best-selling book Greedy Bastards -- posted to confirm his candidacy for Congress, the liberal activist stated: “I’ve been thinking about this for years, as I’ve been watching the past few years become less and less serious.”

“I’m running to make the leadership in our district and in America more serious,” he noted.

“We just passed the least serious piece of tax legislation in American history,” the Democratic candidate asserted. “The government’s not serious, our politicians aren't serious, and that needs to change now.”

“My positions have been consistent throughout my entire career, which is let’s be serious, have a serious conversation, and create real solutions,” Ratigan continued.

According to an article by Deadline's Erik Pedersen, the liberal candidate is a native of Saranac, N.Y., and was the host of The Dylan Ratigan Show on MSNBC from 2009 to 2012, when “he focused on politics and the economy.”

In addition, Ratigan “honed his economic chops as global managing editor for corporate finance at Bloomberg L.P. and later on the business-focused CNBC shows Fast Money and Closing Bell.

The candidate also noted that “I chose to resign from well-paying, high-profile jobs in 2009 and in 2012 because I objected to corruption -- both financial and political. I made a hard choice that I believe in. It’s that integrity and willingness to stand up for what I believe in that I’ll take to Washington.”

After claiming that he is “running a different kind of campaign,” Ratigan nevertheless stated: “Here’s how a congressional campaign works: Conduct a poll and find out what the people are most afraid of, what they love. Raise money, hire producers and make content to play on the emotions of voters to make your opponent look worse than you.”

“I don’t have this privilege,” he continued, because he has been in the public eye for many years, including his new stint as a political commentator for The Young Turks.



On Wednesday, Ratigan also noted:

I’m running for Congress, but I’ve never voted in my life. I always thought the choices available didn't reflect the potential leadership for this country.

I worked for truth via journalism. … I thought that was enough. I was wrong.

“People are disgusted,” he added, “but the indulgence of our disgust and the lack of leadership and seriousness in government, is something we can no longer allow.”

“The risks to our country are the greatest they’ve ever been,” Ratigan continued. "But when the risks are high, the opportunity is equally high.”

As NewsBusters previously reported, the liberal host often took great delight in slamming conservatives and Republicans while at MSNBC.

In July of 2010, Ratigan claimed that members of the Tea Party were “actually full of crap” and went so far as to compare those conservatives to people in a terrorist organization.

That November, the liberal anchor continued his attacks on the Tea Party by claiming its members are “pyromaniacal lunatics hell-bent on destroying America.”

Then, during an appearance on HBO’s Real Time program in May of 2011, Ratigan presented himself as a far-left commentator telling the audience of devout liberals: "This entire rhetoric machine from the Republican Party is predicated on an abandonment of arithmetic and fact.

Nevertheless, Ratigan’s attempt at intense seriousness might become an obstacle to his ambitions since political campaigns often run for a long time, and displaying a sense of humor can make a difference to voters in any district.