One of the next hosts of Jeopardy! played in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday, as the show has enlisted a group of guest hosts while it searches for its permanent replacement following the death of Alex Trebek. It’s unlikely that Aaron Rodgers stops playing football soon enough to be that next permanent host, but another option may have talked their way out of the chance if you believe a report about future guest host Katie Couric.
According to Page Six, a source said Jeopardy! producers were “immediately worried” about comments she made on Bill Maher’s HBO show about Donald Trump. Couric spoke about Trump supporters and the dangerous rhetoric they believe in the wake of a MAGA coup attempt at the US Capitol that left five people dead.
“But I also think some of them are believing the garbage that they are being fed 24/7 on the internet, by their constituents, and they bought into this big lie,” Couric said during her January 15 appearance where she discussed Trump’s ban from Twitter and various GOP lawmakers who have amplified his rhetoric of election misinformation. “And the question is how are we going to really almost deprogram these people who have signed up for the cult of Trump.”
That “deprogram” comment has apparently raised eyebrows among people in charge at Jeopardy!, which Page Six notes attracts an audience with an average age of 64.2.
The source said, “The ‘Jeopardy!’ audience is very conservative. And the show has always steered clear of politics.
“Katie’s comments so soon after she was announced as a host are very concerning to the producers. They are worried there will be a backlash against her. There has already been some complaints.
“Jeopardy viewers are quite a traditional bunch, and there’s fears she might be too polarizing after this. At the very least, she already appears to have ruled herself out of becoming the permanent host of the show.”
It’s worth noting that what Couric said wasn’t particularly inflammatory, just merely something that can be seen as anti-Trump. Whether that’s actually enough to disqualify her from a role she hasn’t even auditioned for seems tough to imagine, as so many other factors are at play here. But Jeopardy! has been careful about this process to say the least, and the current guest host, Jeopardy! GOAT Ken Jennings, has already apologized for past tweets that were long viewed as insensitive ahead of his new episodes airing.
Jennings later got in trouble for defending Bean Dad, you know, back when that guy was the main character of Twitter for a day before Trump incited a riot in Washington. The point here is that things move quickly these days, and by the time Couric is guest hosting Jeopardy! we may all be concerned with something else entirely. But the report is a worrying one for those who want to see her take the stage, thrive and replace Trebek permanently.
[via Page Six]