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NewsReal Sunday: Pride Goes Before Celebrity Jeopardy

September 20, 2009

Wolf Blitzer

One of the most popular verses that people quote from the Bible is “Pride goes before a fall.”  I don’t mean to sound prideful, but that’s actually a misquote. The actual verse is:

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. — Proverbs 16:18

That Proverb is one of the most common lessons in Scripture.  In both the New and Old Testaments, we are repeatedly taught that pride leads eventually to our being humbled — while humility leads to our being lifted up.

For a very long time, the news media (and those who pretend to be) have made it part of their modus operandi to look down their noses at regular American folk — especially those of us in the flyover states. They operate on the presumption that they are the intellectual elite, and that the rest of us ought to learn to follow their lead and their views. Let me offer some examples:

First there was HBO’s Bill Maher talking to Wolf Blitzer this past July, calling America a stupid country:

Then, there was the media’s unconscionable treatment of Sarah Palin during the 2008 election, an assault that continues to this day. We have everything from the not-so-subtle verbal attacks of Keith Olbermann to the famous staring-down-the-nose of Charles Gibson on ABC News.


CNN has even done news reports on just how stupid Americans are:

Recently the elite media have debated whether the Tea Party protesters in DC on 9-12 were a pack of racists or merely a pack of dunces. MSNBC racism czar David Shuster and the Chicago Tribune‘s Clarence Page had that very debate recently on Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

I’ve given you all this buildup because I now wish to draw your attention to a recent, great moment in television history.  On September 17, 2009, I just happened to catch an episode of Jeopardy.  I don’t usually watch this program, but this was Celebrity Jeopardy.  And after having seen Will Ferrell’s version of it on Saturday Night Live for so many years, I had to watch it.  I was hoping for Sean Connery to appear and tell “mom jokes” to host Alex Trebek, but what I got was oh-so-much sweeter.

The contestants (playing for charity, of course) were CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, actress Dana Delaney, and dopey comic and Tonight Show announcer Andy Richter.  Blitzer, of course, is widely regarded as part of the upper echelon of the media elite, a figure of true gravitas. He reputedly represents the “best” the news has to offer.  Richter, by contrast, represents Joe Six-pack — you know, all of us dumb Americans.

So, how badly did Blitzer beat Richter?

Blitzer started off strong in Double Jeopardy with two correct answers.  But watch the whole thing and you will see what may go down as one of the worst performances in Jeopardy history.  The score, prior to Final Jeopardy:  Richter: $39,000, Blitzer: Negative $4,600!  Blitzer was made the beneficiary of a specially invoked “mercy rule,” just so he could qualify to play in the final round.

At one point, Blitzer got 3 answers wrong by giving incorrect responses in a category where all the answers had to contain 3 “e”s.  The sad things is, none of his answers had 3 “e”s.  Blitzer’s answer to the birthplace of Jesus and David: Jerusalem instead of Bethlehem.  Alex Trebek then reminded Blitzer that the answers had to contain 3 “e”s. The very next question was “an accused person in court, along with his counsel” and Blitzer responded with “defendant” rather than the correct “defense.”  Trebek then issued two additional reminders about the 3-“e” rule, and then asked for a word describing “selected some material from larger work.” Wolf responded, “anodated” (I’m pretty sure he meant “annotated”) — which also does not have three “e”s, rather than the correct “excerpted.” The low point may have been earlier when, on a $1,000 question, Trebek told Blitzer that one of the few correct answers for which Blitzer had previously been credited, was actually wrong, thus he was docked $800.

I don’t mean to make fun of Blitzer’s dismal performance.  However, I found it somewhat delicious that a representative of the very media who are so convinced of their own intellectual superiority, was dished up a nice bowl of humility.

  1. carterthewriter permalink
    September 20, 2009 7:17 am

    Wolf Blitzer; is that his real name or an attempt to characterize his style; a blitzkrieg by a wolf.

  2. David Forsmark permalink
    September 20, 2009 9:18 am

    Good post. Don’t forget Charlie Gibson’s stuttering ACORN, what’s ACORN performance in a radio interview last week. Been meaning to do something on that… it was almost as embarrassing as Blitzer.

  3. September 20, 2009 9:53 am

    Wolf Blitzer represented the Main Stream Media (MSM) pretty well. When I was in college, I was involved in student politics and met several of the college newspaper journalists. They were some of the least knowledgeable and least informed people I ever met. Not surprising that Wolf got his backside handed to him by someone the MSM would assume (Andy Richter) would not be smart. Of course, we all know what happens when you assume.

  4. Paul Cooper permalink
    September 20, 2009 12:56 pm

    I enjoyed writing this blog more than any other I’ve written:) It was fun to call him out.

  5. Joyce permalink
    September 21, 2009 3:58 am

    I could not stop laughing!! If you saw it, you saw history. Never again will any representative of the old media go on a show where they have to actually know the answers. I’m still laughing!! I thought Alex was charitable, he even seemed to feel sorry for Wolf.

  6. Trenchant Commentator permalink
    September 21, 2009 4:12 am

    The MSM are generally guilty of “presumptive strikes” and Wolg Blitzer has been a pack leader in that effort. Nice to see Blitzer undergo such a public outing as the empty gasbag he actually is.

  7. Roger Cole permalink
    September 21, 2009 8:53 am

    What do you mean, you don’t want to make fun of it? Why not? That’s what you did anyway, it was extremely appropriate and thank you for it.

  8. Joseph Cottrell permalink
    September 21, 2009 1:00 pm

    This sounds like typical Blitzer to me – no matter what happens, no matter what the facts may be, he doesn’t listen, he just spews without thinking.


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