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December 2, 2009

Q&A with Jesse Ventura

In a phone interview I conducted with Jesse Ventura earlier this week, the fomer governor of Minnesota and WWE Hall of Famer discussed his new show “Conspiracy Theory,” his relationship with Vince McMahon, his stint as Raw guest host and more.

jesse.jpg

What attracted you to “Conspiracy Theory?”

First of all, during my heyday of wrestling when we started flying all over the country, you spend a lot of hours in airports and on planes. You can call me an expert on the murder of John Kennedy. I read everything I could on his assassination. I found it very intriguing reading, much better than reading a novel by Tom Clancy or Vince Flynn because they’re simply making things up. In any type of conspiracy there’s always that element that this could be real and the people we are talking about were actually living and breathing at one time, and I find that very fascinating.

Will you get into the Kennedy assassination on the show?

No, we don’t at all. We kept all the conspiracies within the last decade. We don’t go back to Dr. King or Robert and John Kennedy, nothing like that.

What are some of the conspiracies you look into?

HAARP [High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program], which is a military installation up in Alaska that’s shrouded with conspiracy. We of course do the untouchable subject of 9/11, because in our country today you’re not allowed to ask any questions about 9/11, and you certainly aren’t allowed to ask the government any questions about 9/11, which I find very interesting. We also cover Big Brother. We do a thing on our Manchurian candidates, global warming, secret societies. We cover the gambit. Actually the problem arose that we had to limit it to seven, so really our battle was what seven do we want to do.

How extensive is your involvement with the investigations?

Oh, it’s very extensive. That’s the great thing. I’m not just hosting it, I’m out in the field. I went up to Alaska to look at HAARP. Now do I interview everyone? No. I have a team that does that. We have a war room and there’s five investigators that I work with. We all go out and get interviews and then we come back and we find out what we’ve learned.

Since you’re delving into sensitive subjects, did you get any pressure from people involved who said that you shouldn’t be poking your nose into this stuff?

No they didn’t really do that. Our U.S. government wouldn’t cooperate in any way, shape or form at all. Nothing. And I found that to be the most disturbing thing, the fact that apparently in our country today you’re not allowed to ask a question of your government and expect to get an answer from them. Apparently they feel they don’t have to give answers.

When you wrapped up your investigations, were you able to come to any conclusions?

They’re all left open. First of all, we don’t have enough [power] to get the answers. We have no subpoena power. We can’t put anyone under oath with the threat of perjury or anything like that, so we really have to rely on cooperation, and of course the government doesn’t cooperate. But you’ll find most of the conspiracy people love to cooperate because they simply want to be heard and tell their story, so naturally we levitate more toward them. Initially when we did the show, we were going to show both sides and allow you to pick which one you wanted to believe. But when one side won’t cooperate, it evolved into simply telling the conspiracy side. Can we find the truth and the answers. Not necessarily, but we do ask great questions that’ll make people think. And we do show enough evidence to back up what we’re saying.

So when all is said and done, do you voice an opinion as to which side you lean toward?

Yeah, most definitely. I do at the end of every show. I won’t tell to you now because I want you to watch.

Let’s switch gears for a bit. Was serving as governor of Minnesota overall a positive experience for you? Would you do it all over again if you had the chance?

Absolutely. There’s no negatives to it. It was a life experience beyond belief. I mean, the people I got to meet, the things I got to do. I met with Fidel Castro. I think to my knowledge that I’m the only elected official, while elected, that actually sat down with Castro. How else would I have gotten to meet Fidel Castro? How else would I have met the Dalai Lama? It was a remarkable experience, but I am not a career politician. I believe that’s what’s wrong with our country today. We have people making careers out of getting elected. I do one term and then I go back to what I used to do or I go on to a new job. Imagine that novel concept.

Is there anything that you wanted to accomplish as governor that you didn’t?

Oh, yeah. My biggest failure was not getting a vote on unicameral – one house state legislature. We don’t need two houses. Nebraska is the only state that has unicameral, and in their 70- or 80-year existence of it, they’ve never had a special session due to the fact that they couldn’t find a conclusion to their budget. At the state level, we do not need two houses. In fact it violates the Constitution because it’s supposed to be one person, one vote, but because you have two houses you have one person, two votes, because you have an elected representative and a senator. So that was my biggest failure, and that’s because these guys – do you think for one minute they’re going to vote on eliminating 67 of their cushy jobs? So you know what I was up against on that deal. You see downsizing all the time in the private sector but amazingly you don’t see it in the public sector. I’ll use Minnesota as an example. Do you know that in Minnesota we have 201 elected state legislators? That’s more than California, and yet they’re population is what, 30 million more than ours?

What accomplishment as governor are you most proud of?

I would say I’m most proud of the fact that I revamped the entire property tax system of Minnesota, and I also put in the first light rail system that now they can’t get enough of. They’re going to build them left to right of mass transit and it never would have happened had I not did it. You know what, I don’t need a thank you because I already got it. It runs right through my old neighborhood that I grew up in, and at my 40th class reunion I had three or four of my classmates who still lived in the old neighborhood who came up and shook my hand and said, “Governor, thank you for the light rail.” That’s all I needed to hear.

A few wrestling questions for you. I know you’ve spoken out in the past about the issue of wrestlers being labeled as independent contractors. Can you explain your take on the subject?

It’s a violation of law. How can [Vince] McMahon get away with calling wrestlers independent contractors when they can only work for him, he has them under an exclusive contract, he tells them when they’ll wrestle, where they’ll wrestle and whether they’ll win or lose. That’s not employment? The government don’t care because they get their money either way, whether the wrestler’s paying it or whether Vince has to pay into Social Security. They probably just figure, “Oh well, it’s just wrestling. Who gives a damn?”

What was it like hosting Raw last week?

It was phenomenal. It was fun, and as much as I speak against Vince for some of his business practices, I will say this: He treated me with tremendous respect. I had a great time and it was almost like getting in a time capsule. I was able to become who I was 20 years ago and have fun doing it.

As you said, you have been an outspoken critic of McMahon’s. I can’t imagine the two of you in a room together, much less working together. Was there any tension at all?
Not a bit. When it comes time to perform, we’re both performers. It’s much like professional athletes say: In the summer it’s a baseball game; in the winter it’s business. It’s the same thing. When we’re performing, it’s performing. Now when we’re negotiating, that’s business. But when we get on the camera, business is left aside. It’s called being professional.

Was there anyone at Raw who really impressed you?

I love Randy Orton. I think he’s a hell of a performer. He’s a terrific professional and I enjoyed working with him. If you want to use the old term, he’s a chip off the old block from his dad and his grandfather

Do you think you’ll have any future dealings with WWE, maybe even coming back on a semi-regular basis?

I don’t think so at all, because I live in Mexico half the year, and in fact I’d be there right now if it wasn’t for the debut and the publicity of this show. I will leave here next week. I live 800 miles into Mexico, where I surf, I live where there’s no electricity and I won’t be back until May or June. I’ve done that for five years now.

"Conspiracy Theory” with Jesse Ventura airs on truTV on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. beginning tonight. It is replayed at 2 a.m.

Posted by Kevin Eck at 9:14 PM | | Comments (24)
Categories: Q&As
        

Comments

THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE BEEN ON THE USA NETWORK! BUT NCIS MARATHON WAS SHOWN INSTEAD! NICE....

Gov, fear is the most powerful weapon
that you can use......Is the media control
by the CIA?

Is HAARP going to turn out like the base in Nevada did where the people wanted to know what was the Government hiding or is this something the people should be worried about.

GOV,You know that most people rely on
the media.will you please explain Media Manipulation in 6 steps

1.Omission and suppression
Manipulation often lurks in the things left unmentioned. The most common form of media misrepresentation is omission. Sometimes the omission includes not just vital details of a story but the entire story itself.
2.Lies, bald and repetitive
When omission proves to be an insufficient form of suppression, the media resort to outright lies.
3.Labeling
Like all propagandists, media people seek to prefigure our perception of a subject with a positive or negative label. Some positive ones are: "stability," "the president's firm leadership," "a strong defense," and "a healthy economy." Indeed, who would want instability, weak presidential leader ship, a vulnerable defense, and a sick economy? The label defines the subject, and does it without having to deal with actual particulars that might lead us to a different conclusion.
Some common negative labels are: "leftist guerrillas," "Islamic terrorists", "conspiracy theories," "inner-city gangs," and "civil disturbances." These, too, are seldom treated within a larger context of social relations and issues. The press itself is facilely and falsely labeled "the liberal media" by the hundreds of conservative columnists, commentators, and talk-show hosts who crowd the communication universe while claiming to be shut out from it.
4.Face value transmission
One way to lie is to accept at face value what are known to be official lies, uncritically passing them on to the public without adequate confirmation.
5.In accordance with the canons of good journalism, the press is supposed to tap competing sources to get both sides of an issue. In fact, both sides are seldom accorded equal prominence. spokespeople are often interviewed alone.
6.Framing
The most effective propaganda is that which relies on framing rather than on falsehood. By bending the truth rather than breaking it, using emphasis and other auxiliary embellishments, communicators can create a desired impression without resorting to explicit advocacy and without departing too far from the appearance of objectivity.

"so naturally we levitate more toward them."

I once heard of a government program where they taught soldiers to gravitate objects with their minds. I wonder if Jesse will cover that on his show?

That was a cool interview. I watched the first ep. of his show tonight. It was really good. Maybe he can uncover the truth about the Montreal Screwjob.

Interesting read, only wish it had been longer.

You are my hero. You and Dr. Begich. The truth is screaming to be told.

Kev , I know this is about Jesse Ventura , but .... it's a sad day . Former Raven Jamal Lewis appears to be done .
Now he "played like a Raven ".
Okay , back to wrestling .

jesse's great, loved how he always said chico marella!!!

I have no opinion on levitation or CIA Mind Control, but

A.) Jesse Ventura was probably the best Guest Host so far, and

B.) Spending half the year in a mexican town with no electricity, surfing, sounds like a damn good idea.

@ JARPINK- This show was never advertised for USA network, it is on TruTv. Wednesday nights at 9:00 pm central time. I watched the episode on HAARP last night and thought it was great. Can't wait for next weeks show. Great interview Kevin, I find Mr. Ventura to be a very interesting man. He is a very smart guy and isn't afraid to speak his mind. It's also a plus that he speaks of Randy Orton so highly. Ventura knows talent when he sees it.

Jesse Ventura is the real man.
I will fully support Jesse Ventura if he ever decides to run for presidency in 2012.
He is straightforward, down-to-earth, honest, sincere, compassionate and above all, has lots and lots of common sense.
He is never afraid of asking questions.
He cuts through all the BS that is so prevalent among today's so-called politicians.
We need Jesse Ventura more than ever today.
Run, Jesse, run in 2012.

Hey Kev you should check out this intense interview Jesse had on the Opie and Anthony show. I'm suprised He didn't punch this guy in the face.
http://www.tmz.com/2009/12/02/jesse-ventura-in-heated-stand-off-with-comic/

Did anyone else hope to see Jesse Ventura punch out Jim Norton (or whatever that armchair comedian's name was from the Opie & Andy show)? Gotta love how the media is spinning that as a win for Norton. I kinda saw it the other way.

It's really too bad Jesse won't be a semi-regular on Raw. It really was like being in a time capsule and watching the old days, if even for a brief moment.

In my opinion, however, Jesse's Raw apperance was actually a negative in some ways...because it showed the difference between the charismatic, hilarious and shoot-from-the-hip performers from the 80s and the bland, scripted bores of today.

Jesse Ventura is mildly amusing as a wrestling commentator but I don't put much stock into his politics. He talked a good game and got elected to office. But governing was another matter entirely.

I'm sure there were instances when the Minnesota media was unfair to Ventura. But it comes with the territory. Ventura could dish it out but he couldn't take it. I suspect the real reason he did not seek re-election is because the voters would have booted him out of office. Tim Pawlenty has done a good job of cleaning up the mess left by Ventura.

I don't put much stock into conspiracy theories either. It's a poor substitute for serious, sober thinking.

There is exactly zero chance that Jesse Ventura will run for political office again, Norio. You'd have better luck hoping for the 2012 presidential ticket to feature Scott Hall and Sid Vicious.

Great interview, Kevin. Thanks, as always. You make sure the promo questions are interesting instead of mere fluff, and you veer off topic (with equally thoughtful questions) just enough to make it a great read for wrestling fans.

Gov. Ventura is dumb.

If Mr. Ventura's Television effort gets more people thinking about government felony, along with the assorted accessory and coverup efforts on the part of their closely allied media, corporate and academic (especially academic) interests, it will be well worth it!

Calling for co-operation from the government, or the associated interests described above, is absurd. The government lies about absolutely everything, and when their lies are discovered, they don't retract or tell the truth, they merely tell more lies! They also demean and insult anyone's efforts to get at the truth in every way possible, from doubters (or "deniers") of Warren Commission conclusions to "Holocaust" accounts--which is actually AGAINST THE LAW in many so-called democratic countries more than sixty years after the events took place!

Ventura is investigating a phenomenon (government) which has all the truthfulness of Oz in the Emerald city. Maybe it is past time to show the ordinary man behind the curtain pretending to be the all-powerful 'wizard'.

PEACE AND FREEDOM!!
David K.Meller

Nothing against Jesse Ventura but can anyone explain why professional wrestling, which is by definition not a sport, is covered in the sports pages but the University of Maryland's nationally ranked wrestling program does not get mentioned once?

RESPONSE FROM KE: Wrestling is not a sport but it does have elements of a sport, which is why it's called sports entertainment. As to why pro wrestling is covered while college wrestling is not, it's really just a matter of the interest level. It's not even close.

Most of us who have been into conspiracy theories have been hearing about the HAARP Project since around the early 1990s.

I hope the public-at-large will become aware of this rather secretive, somewhat strange project.

I remember CNN reporting around early 1993 that the U.S. military may have used some type of Psychological Operations (PSYOPS) experiments during the initial phases of the Iraq War.

Part of the alleged military PSYOPS program may have involved some use of concentrated radio frequency waves to alter the minds of some Iraqi soldiers.

The reason I brought this up was because CNN was said to have acquired some information on this matter in March or early April of 1993 after allegedly receiving a tip from an FBI official who was said to have divulged that FBI was planning to seek assistance from a Dr. Igor Smirnov of Moscow Academy of Medicine who was a specialist in the use of a new efficient device that would emit certain radio frequency waves and would possibly help in ending a US cultic group seige at Waco, Texas. However, the seige ended on April 19, 1993.

(Reference: http://www.apfn.org/apfn/smirnov.htm)

What is interesting here is that the DOD, through a clandestine group within the military may already have experimented earlier with its own similar device in the initial phases of the Gulf War.

Some also even speculate that the military have have experimented on some limited holographic projections devices for PSYOPS at that time.

In addition to the weather modification strategies over the battlefield, HAARP's future applications seem to include a much larger-scale PSYOPS strategy of projecting certain images (such as religious figures) by converting part of the ionosphere into a virtual screen for such projections.

In this regards, some aspects of HAARP project seem to relate very much to the alleged Project Blue Beam plan of NASA, although evidence is hard to come by.

I remember talking personally about all this with Dr. Nick Begich, author of ANGELS DON'T PLAY THIS HAARP when I interviewed him around 1996 or 1997.


Nice Interview, Jesse Ventura is a true American Especially the way he lives in another country, Complains about the government Checking his Citizenship, which he claims is a violation of his rights when really he should be angry at the Illegals for the laws having to be made stricter. He Believes the government would kill 2800 of its own citizens for what? To create a war. Its nice to see a forty year old, balding individual , who is madly obsessed with grown men playing dress up, and pretending to fight. There's not enough of you in the world. God Love ya. Have fun with your wrasslin' I wonder what happens next week, does John Cena get hit while the ref is "knocked out." How come the refs never get concussions. When will Owen Hart make his triumphant return to the squared circle. WHO WILL ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS!!!!!???

RESPONSE FROM KE: Balding?! OK, now you've gone too far!

Does mind control make you groggy?

RESPONSE FROM KE: Now that's funny.

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About Kevin Eck
The Baltimore Sun's Kevin Eck blogs about professional wrestling.
E-mail Kevin.
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