All week, “Jeopardy” has been doing “Power Player” games, which arebasically “Celebrity Jeopardy” dressed up with the gravitas that the contestants are mostly politicos, journalists, TV punditsand others you’d expect to be in-the-know on current events, politics and pop culture.
But on Tuesday night’s match-up, Former Republican National Committee chairMichael Steele, television journalist Anderson Cooper and journalist and war correspondentLara Logan proved themselves to be anythingbutin-the-know with a trainwreck of a game that has quickly and widely been nominated for the title of “worst episode of ‘Jeopardy’ ever.”
And while it was shocking to see how little the people we get our news from seem to know about basic politics, world news, geography or any book or movie ever made, the episodeactually had a much more shocking moment than Anderson Cooper not being able to identifythe “snake with a hood” oranyone being able to come up with a word for both a military vehicle and a home for your fish. TANK, PEOPLE. Tank.
It happened after the first commercial break, which “Jeopardy” reserves for light-hearted banter between Trebek and the contestants. Trebek asks each contestant a question and they respond with a story — usually things along the lines of “I always go to the zoo on my birthday,” or “My wife and I once had a comical misunderstanding” or “I plan to throw a party with my winnings.” Anderson Cooper, for instance, got asked about being a childhood model.
Inexplicably, Trebek chose thisgenerally fun, introductory segment to say this to middle contestant Lara Logan:
“Lara Logan, a few years ago in Egypt, on what was supposed to be a happy occasion, you were violently sexually assaulted–”
TREBEK WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOOOO STOP.
He did not stop. “A few months ago, there were a number of women who experienced the same thing as a festival in Europe. WHAT IS GOING ON? I thought we were making progress in our treatment of women?” Not only did he casually bring up the woman’s violent sexual assault, but he thenaskedher to basically explain why rape happens, a problem he apparently thought we were nippingin the bud already!
Twitter was instantly not about it.
PurdueMatt (@PurdueMatt05) May 17, 2016
Lisa Echerd (@LisaEDesignNC) May 18, 2016
“So, tell me put the time you were violently raped.”
REALLY TREBEK?! #jeopardy
Brian (@BigBrain61) May 18, 2016
Nice “chit chat,” segment, Alex. Childhood modeling, Republicans, and then violent sexual assault. Asshole. #Jeopardy
Kelly Schirmer (@schirmcat) May 18, 2016
“So last year you were violently sexually assaulted” – Alex Trebek silky smooth with the small talk #Jeopardy
te’o (@tommyohandsome) May 17, 2016
In case you don’t remember, Logan was beaten and sexually assaulted for almost half an hour in 2011, when her camera died while covering a celebration in Tahrir Squarein Egypt. She was dragged by her scalp in a crowdof 200-300 men, some of whom were snapping cell phone pictures of the assault before being rescued by arriving soldiers. Not exactly cocktail conversation.
Of course, many people have pointed out that the conversation was almost certainly cleared by and likely proposed by Logan, as it was also connected to the charity she was playing for,Committee to Protect Journalists.
If Logan was trying to use her own experience to bring attention to her charity, then good for her. But it’s not a huge surprise that the tie-in didn’t come off well from aman who regularly jokes about “women’s lib” and his “ex-wives” on-air.
It was hard to even pay attention to Logan’s answer after hearing Trebek essentially open with:“So you were raped. What’s up with that?”
Ultimately, despite a poor showing from all the contestants, Logan did take the game, so at least her charity will be receiving that $50,000 donation.