MediaLog MediaBrief: "Jeopardy" Champ Wigs Out

A follow-up post to this article, in which I address some problems in the AP article upon which it is based, can be found here.

"Not Just Looking, but Kicking, a Gift Horse in the Mouth" Dept.--The Associated Press reports that legendary $2.5 million-dollar winner "Jeopardy" contestant Ken Jennings has issued a statement totally trashing the show and host Alex Trebek.

Regarding Trebek, Jennings writes, "Nobody knows he died in that fiery truck crash a few years back and was immediately replaced with the Trebektron 4000 (I see your engineers still can't get the mustache right, by the way)." The AP further reports that Jennings has criticized the program's "effete, left-coast" categories and "same-old" format. "You're like the Dorian Gray of syndication," Jennings says. "You seem to think 'change' means replacing a blue polyethylene backdrop with a slightly different shade of blue polyethylene backdrop every presidential election or so."

Where do I begin to take this guy to task? This is the program that made him a millionaire! Those "effete" categories are the same ones (OK, not exactly the same ones, but you know what I mean) that allowed him to be handed that two-and-a-half million. Trebek, despite what Jennings or anyone else may think of him, is the moderator who egged Jennings on and played a very large role in Jennings making it to that 2.5 mil. Without "Jeopardy," Ken Jennings would still be a nerdy, unknown software engineer; come to think of it, he still is a mostly unknown, definitely nerdy software engineer, just a rich one--thanks to "Jeopardy"!

If there's been a more ridiculous recent case of public ingratitude, I for one am unaware of it. The "Jeopardy" producers--maybe even Trebek himself--ought to travel to Jennings' home town of Salt Lake City and rip the remainder of that couple million out of his hands faster than he could say "I'll take 'I'm a Complete Ass and Have Proven It to the Whole World' for $200, Alex."

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