MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan not only decided it was a good idea to have on far-left cartoonist Ted Rall to discuss his new book The Anti-American Manifesto, which calls for the left to consider violent revolution if its aims aren’t met, but Ratigan overtly endorsed revolution and implicitly endorsed considering violence.
If this were on Fox News, the media would be blowing a fuse. It better get working on this one. If it’s suspension-worthy for an obiously left-wing host to give campaign donations to politicians, what is it when one quasi-endorses considering overthrowing the government via the gun?
Here’s Ratigan introducing his segment (via NewsBusters’ transcript):
RATIGAN: Welcome back. We are here with a very disconcerting question. Are things in our country so bad that it might be time for a revolution? The answer obviously is yes, the only question is how to do it. From the wrongful wars to the corrupt economy to the special interests and the six industries that control every politician in this country, the political system itself, gerrymandering, 75% of all districts weren’t even up for grabs last week. You call that a competitive market?
To clear our dire problems may require even more drastic solutions. And our next guest, cartoonist and author Ted Rall, targets the day-to-day absurdities in Washington through political cartoons printed in newspapers across the country, but now he’s tackling something bigger. The need for real change and real action, perhaps even through violence, or at least the threat thereof. It’s the subject of his new book, the “Anti American Manifesto”. Ted, nice to see you. What do you mean with that title?
Yeah, good to see you, Ted. Here are some softballs for you.
Fox News’s insane Glenn Bleck, while he’s gone way, way overboard with violent imagery and rhetoric, at least hasn’t gotten quite that explicit.
Leaving aside the dubious wisdom of even inviting on your program somebody advocating considering violence, if you’re going to do so, you at least need to go adversarial with them (I’m thinking old-school Phil Donahue show-how-they’re-nuts style). But this is as friendly as interviews get (emphasis mine):
RATIGAN: If you were to look at the way government changes, political process being the most preferable, although sometimes totally ineffective or destructive, the bond and financial markets, certainly an opportunity for those to intervene in this country, and force meaningful reformation, passive resistance and the end game being violence, why do you go to your book to the category 4, if you will, government change, which is violence?
RALL: In the “Anti-American Manifesto”, I argue that violence is the last case scenario. It’s the worst case, nobody wants it. It’s easier to go other routes. Obviously going through the political system is best. But we’ve seen for the last 2 years, since the economy melted down, that neither the Democrats nor Republicans nor any possible third party is poised to step in. We know that the financial markets are getting increasingly monopolized, and they’re in bed with the duopoly. As you showed at the opening of the hour, with the 1% of the country owning 24% of the income and it’s just getting worse. That process is going to accelerate. In terms of passive resistance, the american left has been very peaceful since the early ’70s, since the Kent State shootings, And where has it gotten us? Millions of people marched against the war in Iraq. What did it do?
See, there’s a fundamental problem with advocating violent revolution in the United States of America. I can’t believe I have to spell this out to newsmen affiliated with the National Broadcasting Corporation.
Where once Americans were subjugated by their countrymen across the pond and not given the right to freely choose their own government—we have that right now and have had it for more than two centuries. You can talk about the pernicious influence that corporations have on elections and on elected politicians, but ultimately Americans—if they want to—can rise up and throw these people out of office. 50.01 percent wins elections. If you lose, suck it up, hone your arguments, and fight (metaphorically, of course) harder. It is not acceptable to have a journalist on a major network talking to nutjobs talking about violence, even qualifying it as a “last resort,” as if this is a legitimate option.