Tuesday, October 02, 2018

The LuLac Edition #3891, October 2nd, 2018


Alex Trebek (Photo: Times Leader.com)
Well like many political events of our time, the showdown between Governor Tom Wolf and Scott Wagner last night was controversial and interesting at the same time. Actually, it wasn’t a debate but an interview conducted by Jeopardy’s Alex Trebek.
I tuned in and thought is was pretty good. But many Dems and Rs think it was horrible. Some accused the game show host of showboating but I have to give him credit for researching the state, its politics as well as the nuances that many miss.
I noticed that when Trebek made a reference to former Congressman Pat Meehan who left office because of a scandal involving a staffer. Trebek quoted the ex Congressman saying that “Pennsylvania was his soul mate” a reference to the Meehan defense. Crickets. No one got it. Which tells you that maybe an outsider knows more than the business people putting this on.
Wolf was asked the first question which involved sports and the Eagles. The question was what Defensive lineman won his second Super Bowl in a row with the Eagles in 2018 after playing for another team the year before. Ed Rendell would have hit it out of the park but Wolf was flummoxed. It was Chris Long.
As the debate went on, Trebek asked pointed questions and no one could argue with him. Although Wagner tried.
He took on Wolf for championing campaign finance reform while funding his own campaign and asked Wagner how he was going to pay for all that education he was talking about.
Wolf looked cool and pissed, Wagner looked hot and pissed.
To me, it was an informative hour where both guys looked bad and at times looked good. That might have been Trebek’s motive where he felt that when he did  a good job because everyone was mad at him.
They were. Except maybe me.
But I’m sure Scott Wagner would have another take on it. See below. If you take a look at this, it appears Wagner is invoking Diaper Don here. Wolf has seemed to let it go. But he can afford to do that since he’s ahead.


As members of the media and pundits from both parties have pointed out, Alex Trebek’s grandstanding during last night’s gubernatorial debate hosted by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce prevented Scott Wagner and Tom Wolf from having a comprehensive discussion of their significant policy differences. While Scott Wagner used his limited time to present the clear contrast between he and Governor Wolf when it comes to managing government spending, improving the economy, and getting more dollars into the classroom, the 2018 Republican nominee is calling for two additional debates so the candidates have the ability to address the issues that went undiscussed due to Trebek’s blatant incompetence as a moderator.
“The people of Pennsylvania deserve to know that they have a choice when they go to the polls on November 6th, and last night’s debate did not profile enough of the serious problems that are facing Pennsylvania,” said Scott Wagner. “When Mr. Trebek stepped back and allowed Governor Wolf and me to have a substantive discussion of the issues I felt it was very informative. That being said, a single 45 minute debate where the moderator spoke just as much as both candidates limited our chances to present our views on a number of topics. As a self-proclaimed champion of democracy I urge Governor Wolf to join me in two additional debates so the voters can gain a better understanding where the both of us intend to take Pennsylvania during the next four years.”
Wagner is also still willing to participate in televised debates regardless of Governor Wolf’s participation.
“If Governor Wolf declines my offer I’m willing to stand on the stage with a moderator and an empty chair next to me,” Wagner concluded.
As Watchdog reported, Trebek spoke more than either of the candidates, doing 41 percent of the talking.
The below reactions from the media and pundits and operatives of both parties make it clear more debates are warranted. 
Here's reaction from the Wagner campaign. 


The Washington Post: “Alex Trebek moderated a gubernatorial debate in Pennsylvania. It didn't go well...And Alex Trebek, the ‘Jeopardy!’ host and the moderator of Monday night’s debate, let loose, joking that the only thing with a lower approval rating than the Pennsylvania legislature was the Catholic Church. Polite laughter from the audience quickly turned to boos. Trebek, dressed in a purple flowered tie with a matching pocket square, looked out at the crowd watching the two candidates face off at an upscale hotel in Hershey, Pa. ‘Don’t go there,’ the white-haired television host said, wagging a finger. ‘I was born and raised in the Catholic Church and I’m just as ticked off as everybody else is over what has happened with the church.’ He went on, unfazed by the ticking clock and the fact that the debate was nearly halfway over....On Twitter, the overwhelming consensus was that Trebek should stick to his day job.” (Washington Post, 10/2/18)
PennLive: “The first and only debate between Pennsylvania's gubernatorial candidates could have been as mentally challenging as a game of "Jeopardy!" but it didn't provide voters many answers they didn't already know. Instead, that game show's host Alex Trebek who moderated Monday's long-awaited face-to-face encounter between Democratic incumbent Gov. Tom Wolf and Republican challenger Scott Wagner engaged in a conversation that showcased Trebek's homework from studying up on what's been happening in Pennsylvania politics.” (PennLive, 10/1/18)
York Daily Record: “Alex Trebek did his homework before moderating the only debate to be held in the Pennsylvania governor's race. That was part of the problem. Twitter users jeered Trebek, the host of "Jeopardy!," for showing how much he knew about the state. The bigger problem was that Trebek used too much of the debate on his own musings. In a debate between two candidates vying for the state's top job, too much time was spent on the moderator… In the only time Pennsylvania voters got to see the two candidates for governor debate the issues, critics said Trebek used too much of the time for himself, including a riff on the Catholic Church that lasted more than 1 minute. Trebek said he grew up Catholic and that predatory behavior is everywhere - not just the Catholic church. He said it's found in government, sports and show business, too. That brief lecture was one the audience could've lived without, with many people shaking their heads "no" as he talked. When the debate ended, Trebek was booed.” (York Daily Record, 10/1/18)
John Micek, PennLive: “It's official: The only 'debate' of the 2018 gubernatorial campaign season was a bomb. It stunk. It was "Ishtar" in pinstripes. Monday's showcase in Hershey starring "Jeopardy" host Alex Trebek, with occasional appearances by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and Republican Scott Wagner came in for the kind of savaging on social media that's generally only reserved for truly awful awards shows.” (PennLive, 10/2/18)
…“With no commercial breaks to get in his way, ‘Jeopardy’ host Alex Trebek devoured most of the oxygen in a banquet room the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry filled to capacity for its annual dinner at the Hershey Lodge on Monday night. The talkative Canadian told a story about attending a Catholic boarding school - and never being touched by the priests there. He offered an extended soliloquy about his travels through Delaware County's 7th Congressional District and what it had taught him about gerrymandering. There was a bit of football trivia involving Philadelphia Eagles star Chris Long. And he might have pleaded the case for Pennsylvania needing a severance tax on natural gas drillers. And he lectured the audience on the best way to get in touch with their elected officials. And time and again, he stepped on the candidates' answers. In a way, it was a televised event perfectly suited for a gubernatorial campaign that has flown so far below the public's radar that, with barely five weeks to go before Election Day, many voters are still just starting to tune in. ‘This is not a game show tonight. This is serious stuff,’ Trebek said as the night opened. ‘I cannot tell you how much agony and stress I suffered because I accepted this invitation. I'm not here to embarrass the candidates. They are perfectly capable of doing it themselves.’ They barely got a chance.” (PennLive, 10/1/18)
Dave Davies, WHYY: “With a total of 45 minutes of debate time in the Pa gov's campaign, Alex Trebek is killing a lot of time with meandering questions that don't get us far into the issues.” (Twitter, 10/1/18)
Chris Poter, WESA: “In this era of sharply divided politics, I think Alex Trebek deserves credit for bringing Americans from cross the ideological spectrum together ... in their condemnation of Alex Trebek.” (Twitter, 10/2/18)
Ryan Deto, Pittsburgh City Paper: “‘I'll take Stupid Ideas for $200 Alex.’ Answer: In 2018, this state hosted only one gubernatorial debate, which was widely considered to be a joke with no real substance and oddities throughout. ‘What is Pennsylvania?’’’ (Twitter, 10/1/18)


Max Steele, Communications Director for Bob Casey: “It turns out, asking real life journalists and news hosts to moderate debates is Actually Good… I've learned that Alex Trebek should not host debates again...Will Trebek's total speaking time exceed the total speaking time of both candidates combined?...Trebek was clearly biased in favor of his own voice…Trebek is debating both candidates and the audience. He is not moderating...Trebek is lecturing the audience about the severance tax and telling people to call their representatives...What is happening. Trebek is debating the audience...Alex Trebek is garbage. (Twitter, 10/1/18)
Jared Leopold, Communications Director for the Democratic Governors Association: “I’ll take “Failed Debate Moderators” for $500, Alex.” (Twitter, 10/1/18)
Mike Barley, Republican strategist, campaign manager for former Gov. Tom Corbett: "I will begin by saying that it is incredibly difficult to really win a forum like this. Not as many Pennsylvanian voters watch or read about the debate as we would hope. The only thing you can do as a candidate is lose or stumble. With the being said, I thought Alex Trebek spoke way too much and didn't allow the candidates enough time to speak. Trebek actually hit both candidates harder than they hit each other. Horrible gubernatorial debate moderators for $1,000. Who is Alex Trebek?" (Reading Eagle, 10/2/18)
Charlie Gerow, CEO Of Quantum Communications, Harrisburg: "Tonight was a disappointment for anybody who watched the debate. The two candidates are different in issues and in style and those differences were not highlighted because Alex Trebek got in the way. He went out of his way in the beginning, saying he was not going to get in the way, then he got in the way. I believe a significant number of people in the audience and watching at home thought he was biased on the severance tax and other issues. He managed to get booed by the audience. They clearly were not happy. He was argumentative on a couple of occasions and interrupted discussion." (Reading Eagle, 10/2/18)
Jill Greene, executive director, League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania: "As one of the country's oldesst nonpartisan civic organizations, the League of Women Voters takes candidate debates very seriously, so at LWV PA we're disappointed that the candidates chose for their only debate this format and this audience. Host Alex Trebek's conversational tone in lieu of a traditional debate was problematic. Pennsylvania has a host of issues, not the least of which is our dysfunctional government; Pennsylvanians deserve more in-depth responses from their candidates on a wider range of topics without interjections and asides from the moderator. Mr. Trebek is to be commended for his obviously rigorous preparation for this event, but he is not running for Pennsylvania's governor. Mr. Trebek's opinions and the opinions of the audience should have played no role in this debate, and Pennsylvanians have not gained anything through this exercise." (Reading Eagle, 10/2/18)
Kurt Knaus, director, Harrisburg office, Ceisler Media & Issue Advocacy: "It was exactly what you would expect when you have a Hollywood star. It was more entertainment than debate. It was fine for a chamber event, but to be the only debate in this race is a little disappointing. It was more of a debate between Alex Trebek and Scott Wagner. Those two went tit for tat much of the time. I thought Trebek questioned Wagner a lot more than he did the governor. It didn't seem a lot of questions were directed at the governor. As the only debate in Harrisburg, more time should have been spent on kitchen-table issues that affect people." (Reading Eagle, 10/2/18)


At 8:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I have to give him credit for researching the state, its politics as well as the nuances that many miss"

You realize Alex has a production company full of interns and researchers that gathered the information and wrote his questions and comments?


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