In the interview Ratigan talks current events, his temper, and growing up on Long Island. He also talks about his now-legendary interview with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Ratigan says it was the fact that she stuck to her talking points that pushed him over the age, telling Grove “Racists and talking points piss me off. And I will flip out.”
“Nothing pisses me off more than somebody who has the audacity to come into the theater, if you will-which is what I consider that box to be-and be either intellectually dishonest or effectively just try to do talking points,” Ratigan tells me. “I apologized to Debbie not because of the talking points…I apologized to Debbie because I felt that my behavior was so abnormal for the medium, and was so upsetting to people, because people were like, ‘That guy just completely lost his temper on that congressperson!’ -which is true.
He also discussed his rationale for leaving CNBC.
Ratigan made headlines last March when he left the financial news channel. The New York Post cited an angry exchange the anchor had with his producer, Susan Krakower.
He admits he yelled at Krakower, but says that as not why he left the network.
Refreshingly, Ratigan owns up to the incident. “All that’s true,” he tells me. “None of it has anything to do on whether I stayed at CNBC or not-whether I yell at Susan Krakower? Yes, I did! I don’t even care. I also lost my temper at Debbie Wasserman on TV. Okay?”
Ratigan says he decided to leave CNBC for more substantive reasons. “I was a huge presence on CNBC at that time. I left because I felt that the opportunity to deal with the crux of the problem, which was a dysfunctional government, was at MSNBC. Because CNBC was predicated more on the ‘how we navigate the money, short-term,’ okay? I was like: ‘The money isn’t the problem right now! The problem is a dysfunctional government that’s manipulating the entire system to the detriment of the entire country!’”