Alex Trebek speaks out on 'Jeopardy' Kids Week controversy

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Alex Trebek speaks out on 'Jeopardy' Kids Week controversy

Postby Newsbot » Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:52 pm

What is a “scapegoat”?

“Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek has clarified a controversial decision on the long-running game show that sparked angry responses last week.

Trebek became the unlikely target of scorn after a controversial decision regarding a final Jeopardy answer from Thomas Hurley, a Newtown, Conn., eighth-grader who was participating in the show’s Kids Week competition.

Hurley and his fellow contestants were asked to name the 1863 document Abraham Lincoln said was a "fit and necessary war measure.'' The answer – or question, rather – was the Emancipation Proclamation.

Unfortunately, Hurley bungled the spelling of the first word in his response, “emanciptation,” in such a way that it was deemed invalid.

Hurley, who finished in second and took home a $2,000 prize, hung his head in shame. Viewers flooded the show’s Facebook page with negative comments. The controversy blew up even further after the 12-year-old told the Danbury News-Times he felt he’d been “cheated” by the show, with news outlets across the country picking up on the allegation.

As the face of “Jeopardy” for 28 years, Trebek has been a target for much of the criticism. And, he says, the situation was not helped by a statement from producers to the Huffington Post.

“If 'Jeopardy!' were to give credit for an incorrect response (however minor), the show would effectively penalize the other players. We love presenting young people as contestants on our show, and make every effort to be fair and consistent in their treatment,” it read.

The problem, according to Trebek, is that the statement failed to explain the judging process and his role in it.

“It wasn’t my decision; it was the judges’,” said Trebek via telephone Friday. “I don’t mind being accountable if it’s something I have done, but it kind of bothers me to take a lot of flak for something I haven’t done. I must be getting thin-skinned in my old age.”

When reached for comment, producers of “Jeopardy!” reiterated their previous statement and did not elaborate further.

Trebek added, “I want to be liked and I try my darndest with the kids, because they are so sensitive.”

Making the situation more uncomfortable for Trebek was that he didn’t entirely agree with the ruling.

“After the show I said [to the judges], 'I can understand it, but it’s a little rough.' I thought they may have ruled a little harshly, but they ruled according to the rules of the game. They made a valid point, and I can understand that.”

According to Trebek, contestants are thoroughly briefed before taping about the rules.

“The rules are very simple. Normally we don’t penalize anybody for misspelling. I mean if he had spelled emancipation, p-a-y-s-h-u-n, we probably would have accepted it. But if you add a syllable through your spelling mistake, or delete a syllable, then the judges will rule against you.”

But the statement from the producers failed to adequately explain the rationale behind the decision, Trebek said.

In other words, fuck off.
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Re: Alex Trebek speaks out on 'Jeopardy' Kids Week controver

Postby anarky » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:22 pm

I fail to see how anyone could think that 't' added another syllable.
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Re: Alex Trebek speaks out on 'Jeopardy' Kids Week controver

Postby Tom Foolery » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:32 pm

I'm with the Jeopardy guys. The little twat is illiterate. Then he compounds his dumbassery by being a whiny little bitch about it. Good luck with the real world, you little asshole. Life doesn't reward losers.

Imagine if heaven forbid he tries to go to school to become a doctor or an engineer building jetliners.
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Re: Alex Trebek speaks out on 'Jeopardy' Kids Week controver

Postby anarky » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:52 pm

They're inconsistent, though. For instance, articles don't count, even in titles--they gave a dude credit for "A Perfect Storm" once, which ain't the movie's title. And they give credit for horribly butchered spellings all the time. One letter off that doesn't change pronunciation no matter what the fuck they say, especially for a kid, shouldn't be wrong.

And they would've accepted "Emanicapayshun Proclamayshun." They said so.

And, mind you, I'm the asshole whose wife won't let him grade papers because I'm way too harsh on spelling and grammar and everyone fails.
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Re: Alex Trebek speaks out on 'Jeopardy' Kids Week controver

Postby Alex Trebek » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:47 am

You are all missing the point of the article. It ruling was not my decision but people are blaming me.

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Re: Alex Trebek speaks out on 'Jeopardy' Kids Week controver

Postby anarky » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:53 am

I think "Thanks, Alex Trebek!" should replace the "Thanks, Obama!" meme.
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Re: Alex Trebek speaks out on 'Jeopardy' Kids Week controver

Postby vynsane » Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:56 pm

anarky wrote:And they would've accepted "Emanicapayshun Proclamayshun." They said so.


however, it's 'Jeopardy', not 'Alex Trebek's Spelling Bee Show'. the spelling isn't as important as the phonetics in this case (unless it was final jeopardy).

phonetically, there is practically no difference between "Emanicapayshun Proclamayshun" and "Emancipation Proclamation". adding a letter changes the phonetics and makes it technically incorrect.

PS i just re-read the article and must have missed the part about it being the 'final jeopardy' question. that makes it a completely different set of circumstances. most likely, he began to write it wrong and couldn't figure out how to erase it with the damn sci-fi pen that writes in white on blue :D
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Re: Alex Trebek speaks out on 'Jeopardy' Kids Week controver

Postby jjreason » Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:07 pm

In my opinion the judges were wrong. Chux's point about them allowing spelling errors is the kicker. The kid knew the answer. God damn, this makes Canada look bad. :frus:
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Re: Alex Trebek speaks out on 'Jeopardy' Kids Week controver

Postby anarky » Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:00 pm

I'm just saying, it's the consistency issue. They'll take titles with wrong articles (thus making them technically wrong), and sometimes will take completely butchered spelling. One letter off should count, based on how they've done things in the past.
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Re: Alex Trebek speaks out on 'Jeopardy' Kids Week controver

Postby Jargo » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:01 pm

We have a show over here called University Challenge which as you'd imagine pits teams from Uni's across the nation against each other in a tournament scenario. The questions are tough. You've got stuff like applied physics and quantum mathematics. 11th century literature and what have you. The kids taking part are older, ranging from 18 to 25 but the quizmaster is brutal. He totally humiliates them for wrong answers, sneers at teams he doesn't like, he's rude and blunt and unforgiving of the tiniest imperfection in answers. You can see the kids going red with shame and getting more and more wary of answering. It's one the longest running shows on tv. Every year they do a celebrity version with celebs representing the Uni they graduated from. And when I say celeb I mean proper ones not fluff like reality tv stars. These are luminaries of the entertainment industry, top authors and scientists. They get exactly the same treatment. It's harsh.

There are other shows like Mastermind, Eggheads, Countdown and we used to have one called Fifteen To One which are also really tough, but that's the nature of competition. No-one ever whines and bitches about it. They just take losing on the chin and toddle off back to obscurity. Interestingly, none of these tough shows have big prizes. Usually just a small cut glass trophy or something. Once you introduce big prizes it ceases being honest competition and just becomes something fuelled by avarice.

That's immediately apparent on other quiz shows that are softer on contestants and have that whole getting to know you section at the start. It's les about intelligent quiz than it is about the host guiding the contestants through it to the final minutes when one of them wins either a holiday or a car or a pot of cash for pretty much fuck all interaction. Unless it's who wants to be a millionaire where it's all about suspense and laughing at the saps going home empty handed.

I'd far rather watch the intelligent, no prize quizzes. Sure the hosts are harsh and the rules are harsh but at least it nourishes your brain. And fuck, the world needs more of that in truckloads. So fuck the dumb audiences and fuck the whingers and sore losers. Quizzes should be tough and make contestants cry. But it should be about the honour playing fair and participating, of winning by outclassing everyone else. Not the wad of notes that could be fluttering into your bank account. Especially not where kids are concerned.
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Re: Alex Trebek speaks out on 'Jeopardy' Kids Week controver

Postby vynsane » Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:12 am

"Win Ben Stein's Money" is still the best quiz show ever.
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Re: Alex Trebek speaks out on 'Jeopardy' Kids Week controver

Postby Tom Foolery » Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:28 am

Speaking of insipid Quiz Shows, I tuned in to Million Second Quiz a few times this past week. And I'm considering downloading the App so I can get invited to be on the show so I can take ALL THEIR MONEY. Because the questions are about the easiest fucking things I've ever seen in my life. They make the questions on 'Who wants to be a Millionaire?" look like tests for a University Final in Advance Physics with a side of obscure European History.

It makes me sad people are stupid.
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Re: Alex Trebek speaks out on 'Jeopardy' Kids Week controver

Postby Slicker » Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:02 pm

Tom Foolery wrote:Speaking of insipid Quiz Shows, I tuned in to Million Second Quiz a few times this past week. And I'm considering downloading the App so I can get invited to be on the show so I can take ALL THEIR MONEY. Because the questions are about the easiest fucking things I've ever seen in my life. They make the questions on 'Who wants to be a Millionaire?" look like tests for a University Final in Advance Physics with a side of obscure European History.

It makes me sad people are stupid.
I downloaded the app for the EXACT same reason. I got enough points to get "front of the line" privilege, or whatever it is, in about 45 minutes. Being the ass I am I submitted a picture of me in uniform to try and get a sympathy pass to the show.
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Re: Alex Trebek speaks out on 'Jeopardy' Kids Week controver

Postby anarky » Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:51 am

I just heard they were doing a million-second quiz show in real time.

So less than two weeks, right?
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Re: Alex Trebek speaks out on 'Jeopardy' Kids Week controver

Postby Tom Foolery » Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:22 am

Yep. It's about half over. You can watch online. It never stops. Well, until it stops. You know what I mean.


But go watch for a few minutes to see what passes for "trivia" in 2013.
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