Jeopardy Question Not Answered - Why

If a question about socialism is unanswerable on jeopardy then how can we say over half of the country knows what it is and understands it?  The schools haven't taught it to my 9th grader yet.  The only reason she knows and understands the differences between the different forms of government is because I've made it a point to discuss with her through her life current events.  Current events is also something not being done in the schools anymore, at least in my children's schools.  I've always made sure that my children sat and watched the news at least twice a week and then we discussed it.  Now my 14 year old takes the time out almost every afternoon to watch the news and discuss it with me and relate it to what she has been taught or not taught in school.

February 21, 2009

Politics in Jeopardy

By Big Fur Hat

It was almost twenty years ago when my phone rang and fellow illustrator, Irony Curtain, was on the other end of the line asking incredulously, "did you just hear what I heard on the radio?"

I hadn't, but the term "the radio" only meant one thing. AM Talk Radio. (I believe that when talk radio historians document the era, Irony Curtain will be identified as Listener Zero.) He said, "put it on and wait for the next news cycle."


The on-air talent was more than likely a conservative, but the news segments, as they are today, had a pronounced slant towards the left. 


It took about twenty minutes, but I finally heard it. This was during perestroika and the Ted Baxterish newscaster was talking about the latest reforms Gorbachev was implementing that were slowly freeing the Soviet Union from the cold grip of communism. Baxter quickly summarized one reform, then another, and then came the money shot...


"and with these reforms the once hardline Soviets are moving a little more to the left."


I sat confused for a moment. I glanced at my outstretched hands questioning if I ever really knew my left from my right. I was about to doodle a crude diagram when the phone rang again.


"Do you believe what you just heard? I've been calling and complaining. You do the same!" Click.


It was amazingly easy to get right through to radio shows back in the day. The guy who answered the phone sounded like I had interrupted an epic bite of an egg salad sandwich. He listened to my rant: "The Soviet Union is communist. Communism is full blown socialism, which is the o's and x's of liberalism tried out on the playing field. Get it? If the communists retreat from their hardline stance they move (I looked at my hands) ... right!  Not left!"


Egg salad said,  "Tin ya duff tall." Which I deciphered as, "Didn't you just call?" Then he hung up.


I was frustrated that the news could get such a simple thing so wrong, and that people like egg salad-boy were running the show.


But I could be heartened by the world political climate. America was winning the war of ideology with the Soviet Union, despite the best efforts of many of America's own citizens... or so I thought.


The February 17th, 2009, episode of Jeopardy served up a heapin' helpin' dose of reality. I was working with my back to the television, half paying attention, when I heard Alex Trebek say, "bla bla Marxist stage bla blahh bla before communism bla bla control over the economy.... bla bla."


Based on all the buzz words I reflexively shouted, "socialism!"


There was a slight pause, no one rang in, so I shouted the answer again.


The third time I yelled the answer I turned around to see if the cable went out. There, staring at me, like chronic mouth breathers, were three contestants who could probably run the category on Late Renaissance Flautists, their buzzer fingers pathetically poised in space, filled with ignorant inertia.


"Are you kidding me!!!????!!!"


I called Irony Curtain.


"Are you watching Jeopardy?"


"No, I'm eating egg salad."


I called my mother in Florida because I remembered she got Jeopardy a half hour later than the New York broadcast. I wanted to confirm if I heard the question correctly.


As she held out the phone I heard Trebek say, "A Marxist stage before communism which is characterized by government control over the economy....  I thought it meant friendliness."


I hadn't heard that last part. They were teeing it up for the contestants.
And no one even attempted to answer.


In the background I hear my mother mutter, "what is socialism?" (She struggles with "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?"). Then Alex says, "Ooohhh, what is socialism? We were going for socialism. Pointdexter, you still have control of the board, pick a category."


I hung up.


Bravo, liberals. Well played. The subtle disinformation that you've quickly inserted into newscasts, your control over classroom curricula, and your domination of the pop culture -- all have been a master strokes. I can fully understand why these, otherwise brilliant, contestants stood motionless. The Jeopardy question threw them a curve ball. Had they not included the part that was supposed to make the question a slam dunk -- "I thought it meant friendliness" -- they probably would have rung in and replied, "What is Bushism?" Hell, it would be worth the shot that early in the game with nothing on the line. The staff writer had no idea his $200 question would have made a formidable Final Jeopardy puzzler.


The left have successfully branded the right as evil, corrupt, callous and self-serving and themselves as good, kind, caring, compassionate and fair. The dots are easily connected now. Sound reasoning tells us that if our evil enemies are moving away from their hardline ideology they must be moving left, towards goodness, just like the newscaster said twenty years ago.  My God, it's simple logic, tainted by decades of subtle indoctrination. The über-smart contestants on Jeopardy are absolutely stumped by this throwaway question when they are told that they should be supplying a political term that is equated with communism, our ideological foe. "Are you sure it's not Bushism?"


Yes. We are sure. The answer you are struggling to find is the same ideology currently being foisted upon us by the good, kind, caring, compassionate and fair Barack Obama. So it can't be all that bad. I know it's the ideology that is universally recognized as "Communism Lite." Yes, I realize that I am teetering on hyperbole, and that nothing of the kind could ever happen here in the sophisticated, educated and level-headed U.S. of A., especially if it's being ushered in by the "nice" party.


I'll take "Ignorant, Brain-Washed Lemmings" for $200, Alex.
Grits4life Grits4life
46-50, F
16 Responses Feb 21, 2009

Most of what we hear from the MSM is what Orwell termed doublespeak.The liberal leadership,apparently,is well-versed in it.And Grits,how many kids are graduating high school these days still unable to read?But then,a dumbed-down,poorly educated population is easier to manipulate and control.

Very well said Whuttup. That we can agree on for sure.

You can point to lots of roots. One could say that propaganda masquerading as facts is the root of our evils, for it manipulates the masses against each other. Another root is the notion (largely supplied from many religions) that man is unique in all of creation, and separate from nature. This leads to untold destruction of other species and the planet itself, since little else matters compared to Man.

Root of evil is peoole failing to take a stand. And lacking time to teach their children.

well as long as we're naming zombies, don't forget the zombies that think the big bad government is the root of all evils, when an entity like religion is at least as bad, if not worse.

seeker you have hit on the truth of how the government has gotten what it wants. Parents not actually doing the job at home but allowing the lies taught in schools and over the television to shape and mold our children into the zombies that will allow the government to be all it wants to be.

Whutup: You have said: *greater damage takes place at home, where ignorant and uninformed parents who have no true grasp on reality shape and mold their kids.*<br />
Sadly most parents I know leave this all up to schools and television for most are too busy to even spend 1 hour a day with their kids.

Most 'news' seems to be only for entertainment there fore lacking substance.<br />
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I have been out of school for a little over twenty years, yet when I was in 6th grade I had a teacher tell me I didn't know what I was talking about on locusts and taught whole class wrong despite being shown in encyclopedia's. Inconsequential thing yet shows a trend which has only accelerated. <br />
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When a sixth grader or a parent can call a teacher on things and they insist encyclopedia's are wrong for fear of admitting a mistake??<br />
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Helping my son with math many many years ago they were training them, not teaching, to do what and how they were told without question. A child who left to his own devices was in 99th percentile of nation in mathematics was making lousy grades in his best subject until told to do it his way.<br />
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What reality is to most is what media ingrains within them it seems.

Children are clearly suffering from a lackluster education in school, but I have no doubt that the greater damage takes place at home, where ignorant and uninformed parents who have no true grasp on reality shape and mold their kids. You can criticize schools, like I do, for not focusing enough on important things like civics and science, for focusing on busywork and not focusing on understanding. <br />
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But I think the real crime lies with the media conglomerates and their 24/7 media coverage that fills our homes with such misinformation. <br />
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Ask yourself, why is it that people had a much greater understanding of current events when news was limited to an actual news hour after dinner? Now we have news on many different channels running 24 hours a day and people are less informed. When someone comes onto a news program, watch how long they are on. Usually it's for like 2 minutes and then it's off to commercial break and then on to another 2 minute summary of another story and then 'ooops, so sorry, looks like we're out of time' ... <br />
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Why is it that these news shows are always running out of time, when they are on 24 hours a day? There's no substance.

If there is no dumbing down of our children please tell me Why less than 20% of high school graduates can name no more than two of first five freedoms listed in constitution; And all I have asked think we have a democracy?

Then Big Fur Hat is the psychotic one that needs to get a grip. In my responses, you can change all of the times I said "you" to "he" ...but I take none of my statements back because they are at appropriate levels for such nonsense. <br />
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This story that you posted, the one that Big Fur Hat wrote, is blatant fear-mongering and it needs to be refuted in the strongest way possible. Stories like this prey on people who are too busy or too lazy to stay informed about politics, and they create HATE. This HATE was on full display at McCain's rallies where people said truly scary and hateful things about Obama. They weren't disagreeing with Obama's policies, they were spewing hate because they believed he's an undercover Muslim, he's the Anti-Christ, He's a Socialist operative of the New World Order that's going to TAKE OVER the U.S.A.... He's not a citizen, he's a terrorist, he's gonna take away our guns.... Surely you were exposed to such filth during the campaign. <br />
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This crap has to end, or else these people who are being tricked into HATING Obama will try to kill him. How can you not see this?

Whut<br />
Our family prefers Beck over the other three but we do enjoy them as well. We go between (for televesion) fox and cnn. We also like to watch Good Morning America.<br />
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Also, if you will look most of the story is an article from a website - not my words. I put the link in so that if anyone wanted to go there they could. <br />
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You really need to chill out. There is no need to put others down because they do not think as you.

I am curious what 'news' you are having your children watch. Is it Fox news? If it's not Fox, then the rest of this post won't concern you. If it is Fox that you are exposing your kids to... <br />
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I really do hope that you don't consider Hannity, O'Reilly, and Limbaugh 'news'... I mean that in all seriousness, no partisan kidding here. Fox 'news' is nothing of the sort, it's a blatant propaganda arm of Murdoch. "Fair and Balanced"... "No Spin Zone"... it's hard to describe how outrageous these sayings are, considering what passes as news on there. Most Fox viewers think MSNBC is ridiculously liberal (and if they're talking about the anchors, they'd be correct, with the exception of Scarborough) But Fox takes propaganda to a whole other level. Perhaps you want an example. <br />
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Do you realize that when Obama was taking the oath of office, and Judge Roberts flubbed the oath, that Chris Wallace was reporting on Fox that since the President stumbled while taking the oath, that he wasn't sure that Obama was really President? OMG. Was he kidding? NO. <br />
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That is a stunning thing for a reporter to say. On MSNBC and CBS, at the same exact moment, they were reporting the truth: that stumbling on the oath, while embarrassing, doesn't matter. Obama became president at noon on January 20th, oath or no oath. Obama could have sang Happy Birthday and then flipped John Roberts off and he STILL would have been President, and yet Fox NEWS is reporting this ridiculous notion that maybe we're going to have a 'constitutional crisis' because we might not have a President, because he fumbled the oath.... <br />
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This is the level of 'news' reporting that is on Fox. <br />
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I listen to and watch Fox all day long where I work. We have it on the radio and on 3 televisions. I know what I'm talking about, I'm surrounded by hardcore conservatives that worship Hannity, O'Reilly, and Limbaugh.

The category on Jeopardy was one in which they provided 2 different and unrelated definitions for a word, and the people had to guess the word. When you say the show was 'teeing it up' for them, it wasn't. It was actually making the answer trickier, cuz you have to find a word to fit both definitions. That's why they missed it, it wasn't a conspiracy. <br />
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How can you extrapolate so much from a single non-answer? That's...extreme to say the least. I always watch Jeopardy. They typically answer dozens of questions that I would never dream of knowing the answer, and sometimes they might not know an answer that I do. But you've selected a single non-answer and deemed our entire education system to be collectively dumbing down the masses in a conspiracy to 'take over' the US... are you kidding me? This conspiracy of yours makes the 911 truthers look beyond reproach. <br />
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Now I agree with you that our education system is failing in many key ways. It's also succeeding wildly in unseen but detrimental ways, that's another story. But I'm telling you it's madness to connect that to a future takeover of the US. <br />
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You've got to get a grip.

wouldn't the beginning of the end be the dumbing down of education?

I was watching that episode of Jeopardy, and I gave the correct question to that answer. Somehow I did not see it as a sign of the end times. <br />
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My bad, apparently. lol