One of the most popular verses that people quote from the Bible is “Pride goes beforeÂ a fall.”Â I don’t mean to sound prideful, but that’s actually a misquote. The actual verse is:
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. — Proverbs 16:18
That Proverb is one of the most common lessons in Scripture.Â In both the New and Old Testaments, we are repeatedly taught that pride leads eventually to our being humbled — while humility leads to our being lifted up.
For a very long time, the news media (and those who pretend to be) have made it part of their modus operandi toÂ look down their nosesÂ at regular American folk — especially those of us in the flyover states.Â They operate on the presumption that theyÂ are the intellectual elite, and thatÂ the rest of usÂ ought to learn to follow their lead and their views.Â Let me offer some examples:
First there was HBO’sÂ Bill Maher talking to Wolf Blitzer this past July,Â calling America a stupid country:
Then, there was the media’s unconscionable treatment of Sarah Palin during the 2008 election, an assault that continues to this day.Â We have everything from the not-so-subtle verbal attacks of Keith Olbermann to the famous staring-down-the-nose of Charles Gibson on ABC News.
CNN has even done news reports on just how stupidÂ Americans are:
Recently the elite media have debated whetherÂ the Tea Party protesters in DC on 9-12 wereÂ a pack of racists or merely a pack of dunces.Â MSNBC racism czar David Shuster and the Chicago Tribune‘s Clarence Page had that very debate recently on Countdown with Keith Olbermann.
I’ve given you all this buildup because I now wish to draw your attention to a recent,Â great moment in television history.Â On September 17, 2009, I just happened to catch an episode of Jeopardy.Â I don’t usually watch this program, but thisÂ was Celebrity Jeopardy.Â And afterÂ having seenÂ Will Ferrell’s version of it on Saturday Night Live for so many years,Â I had to watch it.Â I was hoping for Sean Connery to appear andÂ tell “mom jokes” to host Alex Trebek, but what I got was oh-so-much sweeter.
The contestants (playing for charity, of course) were CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, actress Dana Delaney, and dopey comic and Tonight Show announcer Andy Richter.Â Blitzer, of course, is widely regarded as part of the upper echelon of the media elite, a figure of true gravitas.Â He reputedly represents the “best” the news has to offer.Â Richter, by contrast,Â represents Joe Six-pack — you know, all of us dumb Americans.
So, how badly did Blitzer beat Richter?
Blitzer started off strong in Double Jeopardy with twoÂ correct answers.Â But watch the whole thing and you will see what may go down as one of the worst performances in Jeopardy history.Â The score, prior toÂ Final Jeopardy:Â Richter: $39,000, Blitzer: Negative $4,600!Â Blitzer was made the beneficiary of a specially invoked “mercy rule,”Â just so he could qualify to play in the final round.
At one point, Blitzer got 3 answers wrong by giving incorrectÂ responses inÂ a category where all the answersÂ had toÂ contain 3 “e”s.Â The sad things is, none of his answers had 3 “e”s.Â Blitzer’s answer to the birthplace of Jesus and David: Jerusalem instead of Bethlehem.Â Alex Trebek then reminded Blitzer that the answers had to containÂ 3 “e”s.Â The very next question was “an accused person in court, along with his counsel” and Blitzer responded with “defendant” rather than the correctÂ ”defense.”Â Â Trebek thenÂ issued twoÂ additional reminders about the 3-”e” rule, and then asked for aÂ word describing “selectedÂ some material from larger work.”Â Wolf responded, “anodated” (I’m pretty sure he meant “annotated”) –Â which also does not haveÂ three “e”s, rather than the correct “excerpted.”Â The low point may have been earlier when, on a $1,000 question, Trebek told Blitzer that one of the few correct answersÂ for which Blitzer had previously been credited,Â was actually wrong, thusÂ he was docked $800.
I don’t mean to make fun of Blitzer’sÂ dismal performance.Â However, I found it somewhat deliciousÂ that a representative of the veryÂ media who are so convinced of their own intellectual superiority, wasÂ dished up a nice bowl of humility.