Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Ranting Is Over

Dylan Ratigan - whom I call "Dylan Rantigan" for his perpetual tirades against banks, corporations, and everything else that is a symptom of our atrocious capitalist system – has left MSNBC, and it’s not because that ratings of his show (which aired in the 4 PM Eastern hour) sucked.  In fact, he was doing quite well.  Ratigan decided to leave when his MSNBC contract was up because, after spending three years ranting and raving about the suckfest that is the American corporate-political complex, the former financial reporter concluded that it was time to actually do something about it.  He doesn't know what that something is yet.  But he's aware that hosting a daytime political talk show is not the way to combat the problem, despite his own best efforts (like his "Get the Money out of Politics" campaign).  But Ratigan has ended his show convinced that he's at least succeeded in at least getting his message out.  It’s just that, after three years, he has nothing left to say that he hasn't already said.         
Martin Bashir, whose own MSNBC show occupied in the 3 PM Eastern slot, now moves to the time slot Ratigan just vacated, and the 3 PM Eastern slot will be filed by a new show, “The Cycle,” in which four young pundits – conservative commentator S.E. Cupp,  the singularly named writer and hip-hop critic TourĂ©,’s Steve Kornacki, and the hilariously named young Democrat Krystal Ball – take turns as hosts of a discussion of the nation’s affairs – in the style of Fox News’s "The Five," which is in the style of ABC’s "The View."  So, "The Cycle" is actually two steps away from an original idea from the start, like a Billy Joel song.
You know, maybe MSNBC would do better to reserve at least one block of time for actual news reporting rather than punditry.  But, if they're going to have a new commentary show to fill the void left by Ratigan, why not give Karen Hunter her own show?  She's bright and she’s articulate, and my opinion of her has nothing to do with the fact that we both attended Drew University in New Jersey in the eighties . . .  okay, maybe it has a little to do with that.  But hey, I see it this way; I wanted to get into broadcasting when I was in college  –  Karen and I both had shows on Drew's radio station  –  but the Muses apparently dictated that only one Drew graduate from the 1980s could get the big broadcasting career, so if there’s only room for one, it might as well be Karen.  Besides, my dream career in broadcasting was to be a rock radio DJ, a job now almost as obsolete as blacksmithing, so it obviously wasn’t meant to be.

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