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Mass Hysteria for $2,000 – WSJ




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Carol Kaelson/Associated Press

Politics can make people crazy, especially these days. For the latest evidence, consider its insidious spread to “Jeopardy!,” the game show heretofore loved by millions.

Last week Jeopardy! contestant

Kelly Donohue

put his index finger and thumb together in an “OK” sign, with three fingers extended, during the show’s introduction. Uh oh.

It seems some progressives are on constant watch for this gesture as a signal of white supremacy because it has allegedly been adopted by some extremist groups. Within a few days, hundreds of former Jeopardy! contestants signed an open letter explaining that Mr. Donohue’s gesture, “whether intentional or not, resembled very closely a gesture that has been coopted by white power groups.”

Mr. Donohue said he had signaled the number three because he had won the show three days in a row. He clarified his meaning in a

Facebook

post, but he apparently didn’t abase himself sufficiently in the view of the concerned game-show participants. “Most problematic to us as a contestant community,” they wrote, “is the fact that Kelly has not publicly apologized for the ramifications of the gesture he made.”

Mr. Donohue then posted a statement “regret[ting] this terrible misunderstanding” and condemning racism in all its forms. We hope, for his sake, that the latter declaration appeases the troubled sensibilities of the, uh, contestant community.

We aren’t sure what inspires this manic search for racial guilt, “whether intentional or not,” but as a form of mass hysteria it is itself a sign of an unhealthy political culture. As for Mr. Donohue, his total winnings amounted to $79,601. He has earned every penny, not least for giving a whole new meaning to Double Jeopardy.

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Appeared in the May 3, 2021, print edition.



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