Jesse Ventura has been everywhere lately promoting his new TruTV show, "Conspiracy Theory." The weekly gig, which launches Dec. 2, gives him a platform to delve into all manner of nefarious doings, not the least of which, he asserts, is the government's effort to hide the truth behind the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Now, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, he suggests a conspiracy of another sort: An effort at the cable channel MSNBC to shut him up over his opposition to the war in Iraq.
Q: This is not your first venture into TV hosting since leaving the governorship. What happened to "Jesse Ventura's America," which ran briefly on MSNBC in 2003?You can read the full interview here.
A: It was awful. I was basically silenced. When I came out of office, I was the hottest commodity out there. There was a bidding war between CNN, Fox and MSNBC to get my services. MSNBC ultimately won. I was being groomed for a five day-a-week TV show by them. Then, all of a sudden, weird phone calls started happening: "Is it true Jesse doesn't support the war in Iraq?"
My contract said I couldn't do any other cable TV or any news shows, and they honored and paid it for the duration of it. So in essence I had my silence purchased. Why do you think you didn't hear from me for three years? I was under contract. They wouldn't even use me as a consultant!
When you live in Mexico, your houses all have names. I almost named my house Casa MSNBC because they bought it. I was paid like a professional athlete, and I got very wealthy. For doing nothing.