A pair of afternoon cable news anchors are the subjects of features, as New Orleans Living profiles Fox News Channel’s Shepard Smith and AlterNet profiles Dylan Ratigan.
The Smith article, titled “Man of the People,” unsurprisingly focuses on his coverage of Hurricane Katrina five years ago, but Smith also gets asked whether people try to tie him to a particular ideology.
Of course! People are most comfortable with labels. “Fox, they’re the conservative ones; MSNBC, they’re the liberal ones.” But I think everyone has a right to an opinion, and it doesn’t bother me one iota if a liberal or a conservative gets an opinion show and they scream at the top of their lungs on it. What’s important to me is that people get the facts so they can form their opinions and that’s my job. Lately it’s been a challenge to separate fact from fiction. And during important events like Katrina and the oil crises, our politics need to be out of the way and we need to focus on the facts are so we can identity problems and solve them.
Meanwhile, AlterNet calls Ratigan “That Guy on MSNBC Who Can Talk a Mean Streak About the Scam Artists on Wall St.”
On MSNBC, Ratigan is a boisterous and aggressive anchor. He berates politicians and business lobbyists, barks questions at reporters, shouts, sputters, pounds his fists and makes no effort to hide his policy preferences from his audience. For all its vitriol, however, The Dylan Ratigan Show is also one of the best sources of sophisticated and incisive economic policy discussions anywhere-a program that takes complicated financial issues that most cable news networks run screaming from and presents them in a format accessible to neophytes and wonks alike.