Okay, we are doing one of our rants about society in general here, so maybe there’s no real conspiracy to think of, but if you really take a step back and look, this is really one of those moments where our culture and society really shine.
We don’t have to explain what Jeopardy is. Everyone knows how this works. Alex Trebek, the host for decades, gives the answer to a question and the contestants have to tell him what the question is. Upon its inception, it was a clever twist on trivia, but it’s been around long enough that almost everyone knows the routine. Now, about once a year, they do a little run of Kids Jeopardy where they have (gasp!) child contestants. The questions are dumbed down a little bit for the kiddos, but otherwise, it’s the same old game everyone knows and loves.
Thomas Hurley III was thousands of dollars behind in the game and had absolutely no chance of winning. He wagered $3,000 big ones on the Final Jeopardy question. He got the answer right, but he spelled it wrong. In Jeopardy Land, that means he missed it. So what did Alex Trebek do? He berated the kid. Made him out for a fool. Made fun of him. Laughed at him. Mocked him. Called out for the audience to laugh and boo him. Told the other kids to turn to the kid and tell him how stupid he was. He called him a retard. He told him he should have rode the short bus to school. He asked how the hell this kid got on this show to begin with. He asked the Jeopardy Board of Directors to make sure this schmuck was never given the time of day again. Just watch this atrocity!
Well, after watching the video, you are one of two types of American here. You either totally agreed with our above statements, think that Trebek went too far, and are calling for his head on social media. Or you have common sense, and understand that Trebek simply did his job, the kid blew it on a technicality, and it really wasn’t that big of a deal.
Hurley’s father was that first type. He now says that Alex Trebek publicly tried to embarrass and humiliate his son on national television. And people are actually agreeing with him.
It’s a microcosm of society. The kid blew it. He spelled it wrong. It’s not the craziest word in the world. He spelled it wrong. Therefore, it was the wrong answer. The judges weighed it, and decided that the misspelling deemed it to be an incorrect answer, despite the fact that it was AWFULLY CLOSE to the correct answer. This means the kid loses $3,000, which he wagered of his own free will, knowing full well that there was ZERO chance of winning the game. He stood only to double his winnings, so he was only betting against himself here. Did Trebek and company snatch $3,000 from his hands over a letter? Yes. But wrong is wrong, right is right, and the kid blew it.
So does his father say “That’s a tough break.” No, he’s vehemently blathering that Jeopardy tried to destroy his kid on national television. So what is Thomas Hurley learning from all this? Well, he’s learning that someone simply following the rules and doing their job is belittling him. What will he think the first time he encounters a law enforcement officer giving him a speeding ticket? Or a judge? Or one of his teachers in school? God forbid a coach! God forbid he join the military! If he thinks Alex Trebek just ripped him a new one, he will commit suicide in some of these situations. And what would be the lesson if Jeopardy had mercy on him? That even though he missed it, it’s alright, because the real world is a nice place of butterflies and unicorns where people look out for you and go that extra mile to help you out when you’re in a jam?
Alex Trebek did nothing wrong. This kid did nothing wrong. He misspelled a word. He’s a kid. Big deal. The only one doing wrong is this kid’s father for not approaching this the way it should have been handled, and every idiot on Twitter or Facebook that actually believes that Trebek belittled this kid. Get a life, and better yet, learn how to raise kids in the real world, not your fairy tale land!