Book Review: Richard Belzer’s “Dead Wrong”

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Note: Today is actor/author Richard Belzer’s birthday, and I thought I’d reprint this review I wrote of his 2012 book Dead Wrong: Straight Facts on the Country’s Most Controversial Cover-Ups. His latest book is Corporate Conspiracies: How Wall Street Took Over Washington.

There are those in positions of power who malign the pursuit of justice by intentionally associating the word “conspiracy” with the delirious hallucinations of unbalanced minds. They’re wrong. The real-world definition of conspiracy is simply; two or more persons agreeing to commit a crime. In short, they are everywhere, a constant component of daily events throughout our history, and are by no means the restless imaginings of an over-attentive audience.
–Richard Belzer, “Dead Wrong”

Richard Belzer, the co-author of the book Dead Wrong (2012, Skyhorse Publishing) is a synchromystic “nexus” in his own right; his conspiracy-theorist role John Munch appearing on more different TV shows than any other character. Outside of his main “beats” on Homicide and Law & Order SVU, Munch has “crossed over” in The X-Files, Arrested Development, The Wire, Luther, and a number of others. These “crossovers” are significant in that they not only have transcended the barriers of individual television programs, but even whole networks.

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The One Where Richard Belzer Got Knocked Unconscious By Hulk Hogan

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I just showed him the simplest hold I knew.
—Hulk Hogan

Here’s a story that was always on the periphery of my childhood memories, but which I have apparently confused with that of 20/20 reporter John Stossel’s own unfortunate run-in with a pro wrestler in the same year.

In 1985, a pre-Munch Richard Belzer hosted a show called Hot Properties, and two of his guests were Hulk Hogan and Mr. T. Hogan is asked to demonstrate a wrestling move on Belzer, puts Belzer in a sleeper hold, and apparently renders Belzer unconscious. The comedian then slips onto the floor and literally cracks his head open.

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