By Judy Kurtz - 02/07/12 12:51 AM EST
He has been dubbed “cable TV’s angriest anchorman,” but Dylan Ratigan says that was then, and this is now.
At a fete held by The Week and MSNBC last week for his new book, Greedy Bastards: Corporate Communists, Banksters and the Other Vampires Who Suck America Dry, Ratigan was introduced as the “angriest man in America.” Yet Ratigan claims he has changed.
The MSNBC personality, 39, who once cut off Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) during an on-air interview, calling it a “waste of time,” contends he has since traded in losing his cool for a little bit of calm.
“I was the angriest man in cable up to about a year ago. I’ve long since moved to a much happier lifestyle. As a result of my happiness, I feel much more constructive, I feel much more engaged, I feel much more optimistic,” Ratigan says.
The at-times-hotheaded host of his eponymous show may have built up a reputation for bombastic blowups, but he says decided to change after becoming frustrated with the “ineffectiveness of being angry.”
Now, Ratigan says, with the help of spiritual guide Deepak Chopra, he’s turning over a new leaf (and perhaps sounding more like a yoga instructor than the angriest man in cable): “Deepak has been tremendous for me in helping to really understand the need to diminish my own ego. A lot of that rage and anger is your own ego. So as I’ve been able to enhance that awareness and create that awareness, it’s really opened up and made it much easier for me to engage with other people.”
Despite attempts to kick his anger to the curb, Ratigan admits he hasn’t done away with all his vices. When asked what he does to unwind, he tells ITK, “Right now I work to relax … I sleep, I’ve been smoking cigarettes, and I do some exercise. It would be better if I did more exercise and less cigarettes, but you want the truth, and that’s the truth.”