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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A much nobler profession than TV punditry

Raw Story:

Former MSNBC host and author of the book Greedy Bastards Dylan Ratigan has announced that after leaving his show in June of 2012, he has re-launched his life as an organic, hydroponic farmer. In an open letter on his website, Ratigan proclaimed that his life changed direction when he found himself burnt out by “hollow political debates” and “in search of meaning and purpose in my work and life.”

Ratigan said that it was meeting a Marine combat veteran war protester and his wife who appeared on “The Dylan Ratigan Show” in June that inspired him. The couple explained to him a technique for hydroponic farming that reportedly  uses 90 percent less water than a conventional farm, but produces three times as much food.

“It was a business that promised to cure food deserts – areas where access to fresh and healthy food is limited – while having the potential to create jobs for thousands of combat veterans, each of whom was the beneficiary of $1 million in military training while on active duty,” wrote Ratigan Wednesday.

“Since I left MSNBC and last June, I first started working with these inspiring visionary veterans on the phone, and then in person to expand their dream and help turn it into a reality,” he continued. “The process alone has restored meaning and purpose in my life, my health and spirit have taken on a renewed vitality and, because of my time with you, I have had the opportunity and privilege to literally put my money where my mouth is.”

And Sherlock Holmes retired to Sussex Downs to keep bees. That was the first place my mind went, anyway.

But the second was the retirement of conservative pundit Bay Buchanan. You might remember that Buchanan likewise quit the talking head biz, in her case to take an online course in real estate and became an associate at a realty firm after Mitt Romney’s defeat in November,

There are differences, of course. Bay was a top aide to Romney and involved in his campaign. Ratigan’s only campaign was against Wall Street banksters. But the reasons they quit are mostly similar. “It’s so negative and TV is more difficult than ever in the sense that it’s really not an honest debate anymore,” she said at the time. “I can’t just live my life going on TV and being angry all the time.”

Our poisonous political discourse takes it’s toll. Of course, since these two were very passionate former-pundits, they share some responsibility for that poisonous discourse (Bay more than Dylan, to be fair). Still, good luck to both of them.

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