Stand-Up Conspiracist

UFOS, JFK, and Richard Belzer

That said, though, discerning readers might wonder if Belzer, in his zeal to inspire political vigilance, has let his ardor trump his intellect. According to a veteran conspiracy researcher and fan of Belzer's, by relying on the work of Jim Marrs— who, among other things, asserts that the moon moves not in an ellipse but in an almost precise circular orbit, and thus was placed off earth by aliens— Belzer does his intellectual reputation a disservice. "He's so much smarter than that!" says the researcher. But Belzer's not fazed. "Friends of mine say, 'You're crazy' or 'You're making that up,' and I just say I'm a messenger. That's why I include a bibiliography. I just want people to look deeper."

Take Rudy Giuliani's New York, he says. "It seems like all the homeless people are literally disappearing. I had a cabbie tell me last year, 'It's great, but where are they?' Curious how the undesirable people disappear as things start gentrifying, isn't it?" It may be a phenomenon Detective Munch can investigate this fall; despite Homicide's cancellation, it looks like Belzer will return as the conspiracy-spouting investigator on the new Law & Order spinoff. Though it's hard to picture a cop who sounds like Richard Belzer lasting long on Howard Safir's NYPD if he voices anything like what Belzer believes: "I think you can have a clean, civil city without being so heavy-handed and mean-spirited."

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