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Ken Jennings, champion and interim host of the daytime game show “Jeopardy!”, is being assailed online over what many believe is a weak apology for years’ worth of anti-conservative comments.
Jennings, who has been the face of the program since long-time host Alex Trebek died in November, is believed to be angling to take his place, which led others to question the timing and motivation of a conciliatory thread he posted to Twitter Wednesday.
“Hey, I just wanted to own up to the fact that over the years on Twitter, I’ve definitely tweeted some unartful and insensitive things. Sometimes they worked as jokes in my head and I was dismayed to see how they read on-screen,” he wrote.
Jennings added that he left those tweets up and didn’t delete them “just so they could be dunked on” by other users.
“Deleting them felt like whitewashing a mistake,” Jennings continued.
“Sometimes I said dumb things in a dumb way and I want to apologize to people who were (rightfully!) offended,” another post said. “It wasn’t my intention to hurt anyone, but that doesn’t matter: I screwed up, and I am truly sorry.”
He concluded: “If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we should be kinder to one another. I look forward to heading into 2021 with that in mind.”
But many users responded with skepticism, including National Review Online contributor Stephen L. Miller.
“ABC realized conservatives watch jeopardy [sic] too. This was 6 months ago,” he posted along with a screengrab of a Jennings tweet that disparaged right-leaning Americans.
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) December 30, 2020
“To all the conservatives who found out today that Tom Morello or Jim Gaffigan Don’t share their politics: it’ll be easier to get this done all at once. NOBODY whose work you like shares your politics. You get Kelsey Grammer and that’s it,” the screengrab of a Jennings tweet from June read.
Regarding Jennings’ attempted mea culpa, Sean Davis, co-founder of The Federalist, brushed it aside.
“Jennings doesn’t feel bad about the vile things he’s said about anyone who isn’t a left-wing Democrat. He hates conservatives and pro-lifers. He’s a Brett Kavanaugh rape truther. But he wants to host Jeopardy so he’s going to lie and pretend he’s sorry,” Davis wrote Wednesday.
The outlet’s senior editor and Fox News contributor Mollie Hemingway also dismissed Jennings’ apology as insincere.
“KEN JENNINGS IS THE WORST. This guy is the most annoying and arrogant jerk — and so hostile to the half of the country that doesn’t enjoy his deeply held, anti-conservative screeds. Excuse me for not buying the too-convenient and desperate timing of his “please hire me” apology,” she wrote.
KEN JENNINGS IS THE WORST. This guy is the most annoying and arrogant jerk — and so hostile to the half of the country that doesn't enjoy his deeply held, anti-conservative screeds. Excuse me for not buying the too-convenient and desperate timing of his "please hire me" apology. https://t.co/v37nUOCbgb
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) December 30, 2020
Several other users blasted Jennings for tweets over the years that disparaged conservatives, President Donald Trump and his family, and handicapped persons.
In 2014, for instance, Jennings wrote in a now-deleted tweet, “Nothing sadder than a hot person in a wheelchair.”
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) December 30, 2020
I stopped following Ken Jennings awhile ago because he started seeming more hateful than funny and I’m so tired of that.
— Frank J. Fleming (@IMAO_) December 30, 2020
Jennings also falsely claimed that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual assault accusers were being honest.
[sees a former frat boy accused by three pretty credible women of sexual assault] WHOA, THIS GUY IS JUST LIKE JESUS CHRIST
— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) September 28, 2018
According to Page Six, Jennings is currently set to return as host of Jeopardy! when the program begins taping again on Monday.
But first, the last five episodes featuring Trebek, which were taped in October, are set to air Jan. 4-8, Variety reported Wednesday. Trebek died Nov. 8.
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