Jeopardy’s Alex Trebek on debate: ‘I think I was too naive’

By By Chris Mautner, The Patriot-News, Harrisburg, Pa.

“Jeopardy” game show host Alex Trebek addressed criticisms of his performance as moderator of Monday evening’s gubernatorial debate between candidates Tom Wolf and Scott Wagner, acknowledging that he could have done a better job.

“It was a learning experience for me,” Trebek said during an interview with CBS 21. “And I think I was too naive going into this.”

This was the sole debate between Wolf and Wagner, and many pundits criticized Trebek for spending too much time talking and interrupting the candidates.

“I thought a conversation would work a lot better. It didn’t,” he said. “There’s no little red light that indicates when the candidate must stop speaking.”

“I didn’t feel powerful enough to interrupt them more than I did,” he said. “And even then I took some flack for that.”

But Trebek pushed back a bit on the suggestions that he took too much time showing off his Pennsylvania knowledge.

“I look at it this way: Would they have preferred that I was totally clueless going in and not being able to challenge the candidates when they said something that was not true?”

In the end, Trebek acknowledged that the debate probably changed few minds, at least about the candidates.

“The bottom line for all of this is that if you were a Wagner supporter before the debate, you still are. If you were a Wolf supporter before the debate, you still are. If you were a Trebek supporter before the debate, that one may be questionable.”

This article provided by NewsEdge.