Conspiracy theorist and former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura is taking a new gig as the anchor for Russian state television program, according to an article from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
This month, Ventura is joining RT America as the host of The World According to Jesse, hosting the program from his home state of Minnesota.
“I am working for the enemy of mainstream media now,” Ventura said.
RT America is part of a media outlet funded by the Russian government. It has often been criticized as the fake news propaganda arm of President Vladimir Putin.
Ventura claims that RT America will not censor his content. He said, “I have total artistic control and I can talk about anything I want,” adding, “We’re more interested in talking about our country. I didn’t join RT to report on Russia.”
When confronted about the fact that a basic search of RT's content reveals no criticism of Putin, Ventura replied that no one at RT America is interested in reporting on the Russian leader.
Though RT claims to have hundreds of millions of viewers, the network can only be streamed from its website, making it difficult for viewers to find his program. Ventura is scheduled to do 16 episodes this year and 16 more in 2018.
Ventura was, at one time, a hot commodity for the left. He had been hosting a program on Ora TV, but left over a pay dispute.
According to FoxNews, he blames his downfall on his failed attempt to sue deceased Navy SEAL hero and American Sniper Chris Kyle’s widow for defamation. Though he originally won the suit, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the decision, saying the ruling was a reversal of an "unjust-enrichment" award. Because of the negative publicity, Ventura complains, he cannot find any work.
"I can't get a job in the U.S. No one will touch me," Ventura told AP in a Thursday interview. "My United States union throws me in the dirt and who comes to the rescue? Russia." He added, "I want to do it. But, in some ways I was forced to do it."
The Screen Actors Guild withdrew Ventura’s health insurance following a lack of paying jobs. “I was in a panic,” he said about losing his health care. RT is now covering him. He asserted, “Russian Television saved my wife and I.”
Ventura traveled to Moscow to visit RT’s headquarters for their 10th Anniversary event. He spoke with other American employees and said that they enjoy working there. The keynote speaker at the event was Putin.
Ventura blames the media for his case being overturned on appeal. He pointed to the interviewer and said, “You’re the ones that caused us to have a second trial.” He continued with a grin, “I am avoiding our national media. I am going international.”