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Jesse "The Body" Ventura (born James Janos in 1951) was a UDT Operator once, contrary to his claims of being a SEAL. He was also a professional wrestler for the World Wrestling Federation, Arnold Schwarzenegger's co-star in the 1987 B-movie The Running Man, an XFL commentator, Mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota and, from 1999 to 2003, the first of the two crazy governors of Minnesota (the other one having an irrational hatred of the poor and middle class). However, unlike Pawlenty, Ventura balanced his crazy with flashes of what seemed to be intelligence, taking stances against torture, for the legalization of soft drugs, and against neoconservative policies. Ventura has also been a critic of the American healthcare system and strongly advocates the adoption of universal healthcare and advocates overturning Citizens United v. FEC. He and his wife, Terry, also came out during the 2012 election against an attempt to amend the Minnesota constitution to outlaw gay marriage.
As governor of Minnesota
Running as a Reform Party candidate, Jesse inched out a win against both the DFL and Republican opponents in an upset. In the beginning, he was well-liked because of his brash, up-front style. However, this brashness would make for great fodder for the press when he started saying things that could be used against him such as "organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers," "Congratulations, you have a sense of humor. And to those who didn't: Go stick your head in the mud," and "And I'll just tell you this: Until you've hunted man, you haven't hunted yet." The result was Ventura announcing he would not seek a second term.
Since being governor, he has gone on to promote conspiracy theories of all types (especially joining the 9/11 truthers). He has co-authored several books on conspiracy theories with Dick Russell and had his own TV show, Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura from 2009 to 2012, which was dedicated to "investigating" conspiracy theories, but usually only if you want to believe that the conspiracy theory is true; the show, and presumably mister Ventura, have no problems whatsoever cutting and splicing the footage in such a way that climatologist Ben Santer appears to be confessing to manipulating or cutting inconvenient data, when in fact he says no such thing. Ventura, however, has stated that he accepts global warming as a fact and is critical of politicians who reject it.
Chris Kyle controversy
In American Sniper, a best-selling book, Chris Kyle claimed to have decked Ventura during a bar brawl in Coronado in 2006. He wrote that Ventura had said he hated America, thought the U.S. military was killing innocent civilians in Iraq and that the SEALs "deserve to lose a few."
Ventura sued. Before Chris Kyle's death at a Texas gun range in 2013, Ventura claims that both met and offered to drop the lawsuit if Kyle came clean during a press conference, Kyle declined. Ventura allowed the lawsuit to go forward after Kyle's death, and in June 2014 — in a split 8-2 decision — was awarded $1,845,000. Kyle's widow, though not responsible for the remuneration of damages (the publisher's insurance company ultimately being liable) took further legal action and was ultimately successful in getting the verdict vacated by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeal on 13 June 2016. Ventura appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court but his appeal was denied. On 10 January 2017 the Court, without comment, confirmed the prior verdict.
During an interview with George Noory on the woo-woo radio in August 2014, Ventura again addressed the issue of his interest in the Presidency. He said he would only run if he was guaranteed participation in the Presidential Debates, and was assured of pressure groups in all 50 states who would raise holy hell if he was excluded. Under current rules, a presidential candidate is eligible for inclusion in the debates if 15% or more of opinion poll respondents vote for him or her.
“”I am working for the enemy of mainstream media now.
- Wrestling stats
- The Running Man (1987) - IMDb, the film with the highest concentration of future state governors.
- Real Minnesotans Voting No
- Jesse "The Body" Ventura Wins Minnesota Governorship, UPenn
- "Organized religion is a sham and a crutch" quote
- Jesse Ventura Hunting Remarks Draw Fire, ABC News
- Ventura Won't Seek Re-election, ABC News
- Just crazy enough to not get on the History Channel.
- The show's site
- TV tricks of the trade — Quotes and cutaways, Potholer54
- He seems to be less irrational, condescending and paranoid than him, but then again, we're comparing conspiracy theorists.
- American Sniper. Harper. 2013. pp. 448. ISBN 978-0062238863.
- Jesse Ventura awarded $1.8 million in suit against ‘American Sniper’ Chris Kyle — NY Daily News 29 July 2014
- Instrumental to a Jesse Venture '16 bid: Howard Stern for VP, Politico
- Jesse Ventura's new Russian state TV show: 'I am working for the enemy of mainstream media now' by Katie Mettler (June 8, 2017 at 6:22 AM) The Washington Post.