Type keyword(s) to search


A Facebook group of past Jeopardy! contestants was responsible for falsely accusing Kelly Donohue of making a racist hand gesture

  • Last month, a Facebook group consisting of 2,800 former contestants quickly assembled a petition signed by 595 past Jeopardy! contestants accusing Donohue of using the symbol for white power when he displayed three fingers. As Donohue explained, his gesture was for his three victories -- just like when he displayed two fingers representing two victories and one finger after his winning for the first time. "The Jeopardy! story is a remarkable case study for a couple of reasons," says The New York Times' Ben Smith. "First, the participants represent a particular kind of American achievement — the mastery of facts and trivia, celebrated by one of America’s few universally beloved institutions. A turn on Jeopardy! is the best credential there is in America. (When my brother, Emlen, lost valiantly in 2017, it generated more familial excitement than his Ph.D.) And I would say, after talking to a couple of dozen former contestants last week, that they are not just smart people but basically nice and sincere ones, too, from diverse backgrounds all over the country, united only by their ability to recall Madonna lyrics and capital cities. And second, Snopes is right. Mr. Donohue’s case is unusually clear-cut, and the allegation is obviously false. So the element of this story that interests me most is how the beating heart of nerdy, liberal fact-mastery can pump blood into wild social media conspiracy, and send all these smart people down the sort of rabbit hole that leads other groups of Americans to believe that children are being transported inside refrigerators. And, I wanted to know, how they could remain committed to that point of view in the absence of any solid evidence."

    TOPICS: Jeopardy!, Kelly Donohue, Game Shows