REASON TO WATCH: Jesse storms the beaches of Plum Island. (Well, not quite . . . )
WHEN/WHERE: Friday night at 10 on truTV
In the second-season premiere, Jesse Ventura discovers the federally run (by the Department of Homeland Security) Plum Island Animal Disease Center, the controversial facility in Gardiners Bay, off the northeast coast of Suffolk County. Ventura insists there's a cover-up going on there.
What would that be? A little unclear, but Ventura and his team decide there must be a biowarfare lab on the island. He tracks down the usual suspects - some who've claimed the Montauk Monster or Lyme disease were spawned here, although Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) insists the only diseases studied there are animal ones.
"I guess that's the difference between him and me," Jesse says darkly. "I don't accept what I've been told." What of the beach landing? Ventura gets close - or as close as the New London ferry - before being turned back. "I find it very very interesting I'm a former governor, yet I can't go on Plum Island."
"Conspiracy Theory" is just now discovering Plum Island? What took Ventura so long? Plum Island is hallowed ground for conspiracy theorists, although Ventura - as his wont - is acting like he's discovering its "shocking" secrets for the first time. That's OK, because, as journalism, tonight's edition is gloriously unmitigated hooey. But even balderdash can be fun, and "Conspiracy Theory" is highly enjoyable political theater. A natural-born libertarian showman, Ventura uses the show to rail against big government, and even dispense pet care tips: "Combine fear, greed and our tax dollars, and you've got a biowarfare industry that's out of control. . . . Meanwhile, if you have a pet, be sure and check it for ticks."
BOTTOM LINE: Fun, interesting, goofy, watchable and occasionally - though, one suspects, unintentionally - informative.