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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 02:41PM

Mike Richards, the recently selected new host of Jeopardy (to replace the previous long-time host Alex Trebek, who passed away last year) has announced he is quitting after all. Taping of the new season was supposed to start today (I believe). Richards was forced into resigning, it seems, by negative fan reaction to the announcement that he, the Jeopardy producer, was chosen to become the permanent replacement for Alex. He had been the first temporary host in the guest stints we've seen recently. He did a good job, I thought, but I really liked Aaron Rodgers the football guy. He was funny and relaxed and has a nice voice.

In the past Richards has been the subject of discrimination suits (brought by models in another show he was involved with). Now it has come out that in a recent podcast he made offensive comments about women and Jews. He explains they were "jokes".

You'd think people would know better by now? (at least, those in the public eye).

Sometimes things come back to bite you. Deservedly so in many cases.

Fans are quite invested in the choice. That can be good news or bad news for the show depending on which way they choose to proceed with their next choice. For now, they're back to guest hosts.

I'm interested in this because I have watched Jeopardy for a long time and enjoy it. Too, though, I see parallels in the wider world, both with those who suffer consequences for their words and/or behaviour and those who get to keep on keeping on seemingly without having to pay the piper.

There are many parallels but this morning I'm thinking of Franklin Graham, Evangelist (son of Billy Graham) who has expressed the opinion that "liberals can't be Christians". It's the definition of 'liberal' that becomes crucial. Franklin has a lot of influence to impact people's thoughts and actions. It gets scary when it becomes evident that in some quarters the more extreme views are loudly expressed and are being heard by countless people who are easily swayed.

So far, though, what consequences do these people face, those who are leading people down the wrong path? And how much could be done anyway in a society that upholds the ideal of "free speech"?

As for Mike Richards, Producer and now-cancelled new Jeopardy host, it may take a while but ill-advised words, when you're a public figure, especially one aspiring to be the face of a revered institution (like the long-running Jeopardy show), may hop up and bite you right at the most inconvenient time.

He explains his words as being meant as jokes (oh, yes, that old stand-by) but in 2021 the attitudes words reveal matter. Make misogynistic or anti-Semitic "jokes" and you may find that out in the real world they aren't considered humourous nor acceptable any more. Finally. Thank goodness.

Yet the battle isn't over.

Here's an article about Richards stepping down from his new gig before it even started:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/entertainment/mike-richards-jeopardy-1.6147463


All too often people don't end up having to face consequences for their bad behaviour, misleading claims and criminal acts. Joseph Smith did at the jailhouse. Warren Jeffs is, also in jail. Jim Jones did, but not before murdering his followers and other innocent people. Too, often the little guy pays the price but the biggest fish get away. There are abundant examples of dishonest, unjust or unfit politicians who manage to prosper greatly, which is beyond unfair (but we can't discuss them here).

I'd like to see more people experience the karma they deserve.

Such as losing their followers, flock, pulpit, voice, influence, prestige, riches, reputation.

For all too many, that isn't harsh enough.



Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 08/20/2021 08:11PM by Nightingale.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 07:27PM

I like how Richards is being kept as Executive Producer so he can keep making "jokes" from behind the scenes. I think Sony Pictures really bungled the endgame for their replacement of Alex.

As for Franklin Graham, well, IMO, many Christians enabled him all the way. Now he is their PR creep that shows everyone how Christians get radicalized too. Christians shouldn't wonder why some people have lost respect for their religion and left.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 08:17PM

dagny Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I like how Richards is being kept as Executive
> Producer so he can keep making "jokes" from behind
> the scenes. I think Sony Pictures really bungled
> the endgame for their replacement of Alex.

I agree, dagny, as do many others, I've read. I think that's what the fuss is about - that Alex Trebek was such an icon in that role, with such longevity. I didn't mind Richards as the pick (although I preferred some of the other guest hosts) but he has good diction and he stayed out of the way (unlike some of the others who talked too much, I thought). I like just focusing on the game and prefer it to go at a quick pace, without interruptions for frequent asides by the host, as some of them tried, which often resulted in clues being left on the board - I know I'm unnecessarily intense about it but I don't like that.

Too, they must have known about the previous controversies as they were the subject of actual lawsuits (if not the more recent "jokes" in a podcast). But seemingly that isn't enough to lose his producer's gig over. Again, I believe in second chances for people but in this case, stepping into Trebek's shoes, it clangs.


> As for Franklin Graham, well, IMO, many Christians
> enabled him all the way. Now he is their PR creep
> that shows everyone how Christians get radicalized
> too. Christians shouldn't wonder why some people
> have lost respect for their religion and left.

Yeah, I wince.

And, I don't wonder.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 07:35PM

Devoted fans of a show have sleuthing skills that would put intelligence agencies to shame. If there is dirt out there, they will find it.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 08:20PM

For sure, summer.

As an aside, I didn't repeat the offensive remarks here, 1) because they're offensive (by definition) and 2) because why give them more air.

But really. I seriously can't believe people in profile positions aren't more clued-in at this point.

Clued-in, as in Jeopardy clue, ha.

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Posted by: messygoop ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 08:44PM

I think the guy is extremely arrogant.

Most of us have said stupid things, but are smart enough NOT to make a podcast about it.

BTW, I was appalled over the entire process to replace Trebek.

Sort of like a Mormon bishop calling for members to nominate the imaginary "Home Teacher of the Year" award, then the bishop awards himself said prize because he is the most deserving. :D

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Posted by: Curelom Joe ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 08:44PM

"I'll take 'Game Show Glitches' for $200, please."

"And here it is! What 'Jeopardy' host's first and last act in the job was to fire himself?"

"Who is Mike Richards?"

"Right you are, for $200!"

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 08:49PM

It seems that, as exec producer, his first act was to hire himself. His last act was to fire himself.

I guess he thought it was no big deal or it would blow over but the more committed fans weren't buying it.

I do believe in forgiveness, second chances etc but in this case it seems like bad judgement, even without the hosting job at play.

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Posted by: Curelom Joe ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 08:53PM

I think using the word "host" made the question more amusing, if less coldly factual!

The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth laughs.

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Posted by: Kentish ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 08:46PM

Would not have been my choice but it's game show for heaven's sake.

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Posted by: Kentish ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 08:48PM

Would not have been my choice but it's a game show after all is said and done.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 08:53PM

Yeah, kentish. I think the ongoing discontent at the choice of Richards as permanent host is because people were so fond of Alex Trebek and admired his hosting skills, respected his sterling reputation and feel invested in his legacy. They aren't thrilled to think of someone replacing him who they don't think has the same good character.

Maybe Richards thought he could ride it out but the grumbling wasn't going away.

Sometimes the punishment seems out of step with the "crime" to some but that's the way it goes in some cases.

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Posted by: caffiend ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 10:59PM


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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: August 20, 2021 11:40PM

Good grief. It's about cancel culture crap.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: August 21, 2021 12:06AM

Besides, it's inaccurate. Richards' resignation is not "career-ending" as he is still on as executive producer.

Too, it's wrong to put "offensive jokes" in quotes as if there's a question about them having been offensive.

Misogyny and anti-Semitism aren't funny unless, I guess, you're misogynistic or anti-Semitic.

It's about time people had to start answering for their words and actions. You'd think someone in Richards' position would know that the old way of doing "humour" is no longer acceptable. Besides, what he said in the relatively recent past is ignorant.

It may seem like not such a big deal that he should lose a good job over it but it's a case of the job in question having been held by a man who was not only excellent in his work but was a decent person who never caused a hint of scandal to sully the good name of the program Jeopardy.

Fortunately, many people still value that degree of decency.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/21/2021 12:08AM by Nightingale.

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Posted by: Tyson Dunn (not logged in) ( )
Date: August 21, 2021 12:17AM

I’ve been in the contestant pool several times, having passed the tests and having been called in for the in-person audition. (They can only use about 40% of the contestants in the pool.)

And I sent emails making my disgust abundantly clear. I personally think he should have resigned completely.

I haven’t made my mind up about Mayim Bialik in the role of primetime host.

Tyson

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: August 21, 2021 12:39AM

That's very cool about the contestant pool!

I'm not a fan of Mayim Bialik myself since that tiff a while back with her saying modesty is a way to prevent getting assaulted. It came off as victim blaming to me. I think she apologized but that along with her identification a few years ago as an "aspiring Modern Orthodox" or "staunch Zionist" doesn't appeal to me (not that there is anything wrong with her having her own views). I do think she would do a decent job.

It's hard to separate Ken Jennings from Mormonism. I believe he is also an executive producer on Jeopardy. I've wondered if there is a connection to that and what seems to be excessive questions about Mormonism on the show compared to other weird religions.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: August 21, 2021 02:07AM

I was dressed very modestly when I was once assaulted with intent of rape (I was fortunately able to escape my attacker.) Bialik is very much mistaken if she believes that is a factor.

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Posted by: Tyson Dunn ( )
Date: August 22, 2021 12:46PM

She's got her own podcast in which she talks with celebs about mental health issues, leaning on her PhD in neuroscience, but she's endorsed a sufficiently large number of woo-woo and religious ideas that I can't imagine that that won't bleed into her hosting.

As an example of the latter, she fawningly interviewed a supposedly "hip" rabbi ostensibly on the topics of religion and grief. However, the hipness was misattributed. The rabbi himself went to summer camps back in the 1970s, where genuinely "hip" rabbis influenced him to take up the vocation. But as for this man, I didn't find anything he had to say to be hip or enlightened, and his views on religious syncretists - folks dabbling in their own hybrids of say, Judaism and Christianity or Judaism and new age thought - were wholeheartedly negative, and his take on atheists - apparently all militant - was completely offensive. And Bialik lapped it all up.

FWIW, the whole substance of the grief part was basically grieve however you want, just don't mix traditions - thoroughly useless, imnsho.

As for Ken, yeah, I have wondered if he's been using his platform to get more Mormonism injected into the show. It's hard for me to say. I knew him in the past, but far enough back pre-fame that I can't predict whether post-fame Ken would use his pulpit to push the church.

Tyson



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/22/2021 12:53PM by Tyson Dunn.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: August 22, 2021 03:03PM

Interesting re all the Mormon clues perhaps coming from Ken J. As for M. Bialik, I know it's superficial of me but I don't care for her commercial where she says "I don't just play a brainiac on TV. I really am a neuroscientist" (or words to that effect). Sounds big-headed. Hits a wrong note. I wasn't that impressed with her hosting stint on Jeopardy either. I found that some of the guest hosts injected too much of themselves into the time and she was one of them.

There seems to be a big push from fans to choose Levar Burton. I have to admit I'd never heard of the guy before but apparently he's a popular choice for the hosting spot.

If they settle on either Jennings or Bialik as the new host I might find myself reading a book instead of watching that half hour, after all the years of enjoying the show.

You wouldn't think the game depends so much on the host but I've come to see that it does. Maybe the deciders will get it right the second time 'round?

I didn't know all that about Bialik, Tyson, re the vax & woo-woo etc. Shows you that having a good brain isn't the be-all/end-all - you have to use it!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/22/2021 03:07PM by Nightingale.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: August 22, 2021 03:15PM

Levar Burton is popular with the Twitterati, which tends toward young and progressive, which is not Jeopardy's core audience, whose average age is just barely under 70.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: August 22, 2021 03:28PM

Oh, that explains it. I've heard he read books to them they liked, or something like that. And he was in a movie. Sorry, Levar, didn't know.

You'd think then that Jeopardy would aim to capture that younger audience to make them happy watchers and take the show forward through the next decades.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: August 22, 2021 04:02PM

I was one who Twittered about LeVar Burton deserving a chance, and I'm OLD. I got into him because of his podcast called LeVar Burton Reads. He picks stories from diverse cultures. It has opened my eyes about how others view the world. He reads them well. When I am in the mood for a bedtime story because I can't sleep, he's where I go. Many of the stories really make me think.

I couldn't watch LeVar trial host the show. I heard he was nervous and kind of screwed up some. Still, I would prefer him over Bialik by a mile. Like you, there is something off-putting about her "I'm a neuroscientist" bit in commercials and, well, everywhere. She's spent most of her time acting from what I can tell. Still, she deserves props for the credentials. However, I'm glad Tyson gave more examples about why she doesn't come off as an intellectual IMO.

I used to view Jeopardy as an intellectual show but would consider it more of a trivia memorization game if she were the host. I guess I felt that way with Ken too. It's a great accomplishment to know so many things about most everything, so I give them props for having amazing memories and recall.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: August 26, 2021 03:54PM

I came across quite a scathing article about Mayim Bialik which pointed out the same information as dagny wrote above about comments and positions she's taken that have been offensive to people.

The article concluded that in view of that, and the Richards thing, Ken Jennings is now definitely the front-runner.

Still not my choice but I will reserve judgement. Either that or find something else to do at 7:30 every evening.

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Posted by: ookami ( )
Date: August 23, 2021 06:14PM

Nightingale Wrote:
------------------------------------------------------
> There seems to be a big push from fans to choose
> Levar Burton. I have to admit I'd never heard of
> the guy before but apparently he's a popular
> choice for the hosting spot.

Seriously? You've never heard of Levar Burton?

He hosted a kids show called "Reading Rainbow" where he talked about stories and books. The nostalgia factor might be one of the reasons for folks wanting him to host; I remember watching reruns on public access when I was little.

He's best known for playing Geordi LaForge on this little show called "Star Trek: The Next Generation." Yes, I'm fully aware I'm a nerd.

Of course, I'm a few months shy of thirty, so we could chalk this up to the Generation Gap.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: August 23, 2021 06:23PM

Ha. No. Maybe because I'm not American? I only heard about the Reading Rainbow when he was a guest host on Jeopardy. I heard he really wanted the permanent gig and he is very popular with the fans. Too bad.

dagny said she heard he messed up a bit. I didn't notice that. I thought he was quite lovely in his manner. I can take a few stumbles here and there. Nobody has to be perfect. (Well, Alex Trebek is a hard act to follow in that regard).

I know I may be alone in the universe but I didn't watch Star Trek either. :)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/23/2021 06:24PM by Nightingale.

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Posted by: ookami ( )
Date: August 23, 2021 06:47PM

Fair point about Alex Trebek being a hard act to follow.

And I only started watching Star Trek recently, mostly to get the references to the Borg, where "the Morg" nickname comes from (yay, I posted something on topic!).

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 23, 2021 06:54PM

I wanted Data to get the job. Or, even better, Q.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: August 23, 2021 08:30PM

I thought Burton was most famous for playing Kunta Kinte in the Roots miniseries. That got him the Star Trek job.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: August 23, 2021 05:57PM

It's Bialik.

Wah.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: August 23, 2021 06:32PM

Disappointing if they don't pick an additional person at least.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: August 25, 2021 12:13AM

So sorry. I've just read that Mayim Bialik is still listed as a guest host, not the permanent choice. I didn't notice that major detail in the first article I read.

Also sorry to LeVar Burton that I didn't write his first name correctly (I assumed it was Levar). I should have noticed that dagny wrote it correctly.

It pays to check details.

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Posted by: Kentish ( )
Date: August 23, 2021 08:08PM

Does anyone watch just because of the host? I watch to test my own trivia knowledge and not even for the contestants. I think the producers like big, show after show winners because it'good for ratings. Seems to me they dummy up many of the questions to keep them on once they appear a few times.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: August 23, 2021 08:25PM

No, I never watched it because of Alex Trebek. But some of the guest hosts were not to my taste (i.e. the ones who talked too much over and above just moving the game along).

As M. Bialik was one of those I was happy when her stint was over. Now if she's the main host for the foreseeable I don't think I can get used to her.

I do like the trivia game part of it. Not that I can answer that many questions. I have a few specialty categories and they're not the latest movies or music, which are subjects that seem to come up nearly every night now.

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Posted by: Tyson Dunn ( )
Date: August 26, 2021 10:28AM

When I played College Bowl (way before the current interesting and odd TV implementation), we generally attended invitational tournaments organized by other schools' teams, or we hosted our own. Myself, I was responsible for organizing at least three tournaments at both my undergraduate and graduate schools, though it may have been as many as five.

People seldom noticed the amount of work that went into running these tournaments. Since the best tournaments were done round-robin, either the hosting school would have to write all the packets or they'd solicit packets from the schools in attendance and then have to edit the packets for appropriateness of questions, accuracy, etc. Or sometimes, we'd be able to get tournament packets from tournaments in other geographical locations.

In a round robin, we'd often have to provide all the readers as well, which often meant dropping into our B- and C-teams. And rest assured, while it's fun to play almost any well-curated pack of questions, the readers matter.

On Jeopardy!, Trebek reviewed the packets for pronunciation and wording to make sure that he could read the questions and understand well. He also generally didn't ham it up.

This wasn't necessarily the case with our student readers. A bad reader turns a good game into an excruciating experience. The game suffers if the reader preens; it's awful if they have a monotonous delivery or they overemote; and it's intolerable if they mispronounce words.

So who gets picked as reader does matter, because both the contestants' and the viewers' enjoyment rely on it.

Tyson

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: August 26, 2021 12:27PM

Interesting.

I saw the College Bowl thing is on TV now. Some of those participants are impressive. I wonder how many will end up on Jeopardy someday.

I have to admit sometimes Trebek came off a little condescending and snobby when someone got the wrong answer. I don't know why exactly I felt that way. I don't think he intended that though. Sure, it was easy for him to know all the answers since he had them in front of him. (What, too soon?)

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: August 26, 2021 03:48PM

dagny Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I have to admit sometimes Trebek came off a little
> condescending and snobby when someone got the
> wrong answer.

My impression too, dagny, at times. I can't think of an example but he did do it. I don't think he meant to hurt anybody - he was Canadian after all. :)

I enjoyed his evident pleasure in the material, especially when he was out and about, like backstage at the opera when he donned some of the costumes and especially when he went to the Galapagos and Machu Picchu and other amazing locations like those.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: August 26, 2021 03:44PM

Tyson:

>So who gets picked as reader does matter, because both the contestants' and the viewers' enjoyment rely on it.


Yes, this is exactly it, as far as I'm concerned. Just keep the game moving, don't inject yourself into the proceedings, read well. Thankyouverymuch.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: August 23, 2021 08:35PM

I read where the Jeopardy movers and shakers have tried to appeal to a younger audience, by instituting things like the Clue Crew, and video clues, and more pop culture items. It lowered the average viewer age from 70 to 65. A start.

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