On Tuesday afternoon, MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan got so upset with one of his guests, "Tea Party" leader Mark Williams, that he cut off his mic mid-interview, dispatching him off the air prematurely. Williams was on MSNBC talking about his upcoming Tea Party Express nationwide bus tour culminating in Washington, DC on tax day, and the conversation heated up almost as soon as the segment began.
Ratigan began the segment by asking Williams how he draws the line between the "admirable and understandable" principles advocated by many in the Tea Party, and the radical and racist views of some "hiding" under the Tea Party umbrella.
Williams: "Well that's real simple. There's wingnuts and there's normal people."
Ratigan was not satisfied with this assessment, and pressed the point: "What confuses me about the Tea Party is the Tea Party's willingness to accept the wingnuts, as you put it, without shaming them or defining more crisply what the Tea Party's agenda is relative to those who just want to kill black people for instance."
What followed was a back and forth in which Ratigan attempted to get Williams to answer the following: Does he "accept racists and Nazis in the Tea Party?" The conversation reached its climax and conclusion when Ratigan declared "I don't want to continue with this, you're wasting valuable oxygen. Can we please cut off this man's microphone, he has no interest in answering my questions. Mark, a pleasure. Actually, not really a pleasure. It was offensive, you're offensive, your treatment of my show as a vehicle to spread your propaganda and ignore my question, offensive."
Williams' last notable appearance was on CNN, where he had a meltdown and declared that Obama was an "Indonesian Muslim and a welfare thug."