Thursday, February 22, 2018

Debates in the form of a question

Debates in governor's races draw crowds of literally dozens (slight exaggeration) on obscure public TV stations.

But in Pennsylvania they've hit on a way to try for a few more viewers. They've invited Alex Trebek - he hosts Jeopardy, you know - to moderate a debate between the gubernatorial candidates this fall. Alex is no doubt better known in the state than any of the candidates he'll be moderating.

The linked story says the debate will only last 45 minutes. That seems like barely enough time for opening and closing statements, so I don't know how much of the spotlight Alex will get. The story also quotes Trebek sounding like a guy for all political factions. He's liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican and Independent all at the same time. We don't want to tick off any Jeopardy viewers, do we?

By a not so odd coincidence Jeopardy is prime real estate for political ads. The show skews really old (big news) and that's what you want in politics. Old people are a lot more likely to vote than young'uns. Retirees like moi usually don't have anything better to do on Election Day.

Right now, for instance, there's a primary coming up in my home state of Texas. Sure enough, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune are chock full of blurbs from various politicos. Funny thing, the governor's race is a done deal in this blood-red state. The incumbent Republican is spending a lot on ads, anyway.

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