Finally, A Decision

The answer is, Mike Richards.

  • What is the end result of the process of picking a new Jeopardy! host?
  • Who has a history of sexual harassment allegations against him?
  • Who's raising eyebrows because, as the executive producer, he may have had a role in his own selection?
  • Who was clearly the best at the actual job during the try-outs? (and not by a little. by a lot!)

Mike Richards

Here's the thing. Maybe this is coming from a place of privilege or maybe it's simply fatigue but... it's pretty close to impossible for someone to have had a high-profile career in any field and there not be someone who can make an allegation against them.

The social media mob effect is too often turned against people who are generally on the right side of things but had a slip. Al Franken left the Senate and Donald Trump got elected President. In the grand scheme of things, how is that OK? How? But Franken felt a need to act honorably, while Trump was amused to see just how much would the rubes let him get away with.

I am not saying we should ignore instances of sexual harassment, I'm saying the destructiveness of our response should be proportional. Both to the offense and to how much the situation in which it occurred matters to the world. Compared to government, the military, or Fortune 500 business, how much does Jeopardy! matter? Really? Or is target selection for the roving social media mob proportioned to who's an easy target rather than who's an important one?

So, I guess I am also saying, leave Jeopardy! the hell alone, people. Let us old fogies shout answers at the TV in peace. Please.

In case anyone still cares after all this: two more things. One, Mayim Bialik will be hosting the specials and tournaments, some in prime time on ABC, I guess. She impressed some folks at Sony a heck of a lot more than she did me, but she was the highest-ranked woman host in my own unprofessional opinion.

And two: here's my own final ranking of all of them:

Top: Mike Richards
Anderson Cooper
Buzzy Cohen
Ken Jennings
Sanjay Gupta
Mayim Bialik
Bill Whitaker
George Stephanopoulos
Savannah Guthrie
David Faber
Robin Roberts
Katie Couric
Joe Buck
Aaron Rodgers
LeVar Burton
Bottom:Mehmet Oz

This article was updated on May 9, 2023

David F