MSNBC’s Ratigan Apologizes For Yelling At Congresswoman In Friday Interview

Dylan Ratigan, MSNBC As NewsBusters’ Noel Sheppard reported on Saturday, on Friday’s Morning Meeting program on MSNBC, host Dylan Ratigan got into a shouting match with Democratic Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz over health care legislation. On Monday, he apologized for the outburst: “...the way I went about that on Friday was a disservice to our viewers....I have some work to do.”

Ratigan’s heated exchange with Schultz stemmed from his anger over the Senate health care bill not being liberal enough. On Friday, he declared: “It basically allows the taxpayer to take the hit to pay for the uninsured, but it does not deal with the underlying symptom as to why there are so many uninsured...[P]art of the problem in this country is that our politicians do not understand that they make laws that create total imbalances.”

Schultz attempted to address the issue, but Ratigan repeatedly cut her off. On Monday he described one viewer’s reaction: “The way I conducted the interview has been called many things, but I’ll sum it up with a tweet from a woman known only as DianeG12, and I quote, ‘Dylan was very rude!’” He then admitted: “yes, DianeG12, I was and I want to apologize to the Congresswoman and to our viewers for that.”

Ratigan concluded his statement by promising: “...as we go into the new year and our new 4pm time slot, we will continue to hold our nation’s leaders accountable and I will do everything I can do to do that in an informative, factual, understandable, and enlightening way.” As he handed news coverage over to host Contessa Brewer for the next hour, Brewer remarked: “Sounds like a New Year’s resolution to me, Dylan.” Ratigan replied: “And that it is.”

Here is a full transcript of Ratigan’s apology:
9:53AM

DYLAN RATIGAN: Alright, welcome back. By now many of you either have seen or heard our interview on Friday with Congressman Deborah Wasserman Schultz. Both of us, of course, myself and the Congresswoman, lament that currently it appears that any bill that gets to the President’s desk on health care will not have real choice or real reform for the American people.

But what came out in the interview is my incredible frustration over what Democrat Howard Dean calls a bigger bailout for insurance companies than the one given to AIG. A bill that forces 44 million people to buy health insurance under penalty of law but does nothing to break up the insurance monopoly that would create choice and consumers and introduce real reform in America.

The way I conducted the interview has been called many things, but I’ll sum it up with a tweet from a woman known only as DianeG12, and I quote, ‘Dylan was very rude!’ and, yes, DianeG12, I was and I want to apologize to the Congresswoman and to our viewers for that. Our mission and my mission on this show is to shine the light on what is really happening, whether it’s health care, the banks, or a war in the Middle East. And the way I went about that on Friday was a disservice to our viewers because it got in the way of doing just that.

I have some work to do, and as we go into the new year and our new 4pm time slot, we will continue to hold our nation’s leaders accountable and I will do everything I can do to do that in an informative, factual, understandable, and enlightening way. That is it for us for today. Contessa Brewer is up next. Contessa, what do you have cooking?

CONTESSA BREWER: Sounds like a New Year’s resolution to me, Dylan.
                
RATIGAN: And that it is.
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC