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I'll Take Republican Game Show Hosts for 20, Alex

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Patricia A. Smith       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

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When I was younger, I used to enjoy TV game shows. When I visited Los Angeles in the mid 80's, I even tried out for one. Don't ask me which one, I can't remember. What I do remember about that way too long ordeal was having to jump through a lot of hoops (the quiz to see if you qualify was the easiest part), including proving that you had enough faux enthusiasm and phony cheer to spread around as if you were contagious. I had plenty of that. Faux enthusiasm, not disease. I was after all, a theater major in college. For exactly two quarters.

After freezing for several hours in a secluded room, I was finally informed that I didn't make the cut to be a contestant. The reason? I was told that I didn't look like I needed to win the money badly enough. What? Hadn't I screamed and whooped it up with the best of them? Hadn't I waved my arms and jumped up and down with enough jiggle and gusto? Had they been rifling through my tax returns and my stock portfolio while I was locked in a sub-zero room with an overdose of magic markers and stacks of blank flashcards? It was for none of these reasons (as you try to dry erase images of me flailing, whooping and jiggling from your mind). They meant that I really didn't look like I needed the money badly enough .

I was told that I was too well dressed. In other words, I looked "better off" than their target audience contestant. Was I being profiled before it even became cool to do so? You betcha!

And I'm a lifelong Democrat.

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Now, let's take a look at what Chuck Woolery, Pat Sajak, Wink Martindale, Drew Carey, Merv Griffin, Jeff Foxworthy, Ben Stein and Alex Trebek have in common, besides being game show hosts. It's not me. And only one of them is dead (that I know of). They are however, all very well dressed, perfectly fine specimens of what game show hosts are supposed to look like in "are you poor enough looking to be a game show contestant?" hell. They've all had the same dental work and their inseams are surely in the hands of fine, capable Italian tailors. They are all probably cum laude graduates from the John Edwards Hair that Doesn't Move and Spray Tan School .

But guess what else they have in common? According to a very interesting article in the Daily Beast, they are all Republicans. Every single one of them. And they have been quietly handing over money to Republican candidates and entertaining unsuspecting audiences for as long as Republican candidates and unsuspecting audiences have been around.

(Image by Merv Griffin Entertainment)
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Which leads me to believe two things. Either all game shows are in the hands of Republicans and follow a Republican agenda where they pick contestants who "look" like poorer versions of themselves, striving for the American Dream while subliminally passing on the Republican message or, as in the real world, Democrats are not trusted with huge sums of money and their shows get canceled before they have a full term to prove otherwise.

If this country is going to go down the toilet on election day, it won't be because I am better dressed than some of the other contestants who stand in line with me at the polls and whoop it up with faux enthusiasm for a Tea Party that I wouldn't attend for all the tea in China. I'm afraid that it will be because, even though I am perfectly capable of passing the quiz and understanding the issues, I bothered to get dressed and vote at all and I'm not sure everyone else is willing to do the same.

I'd like to buy a bowel.


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Patricia A. Smith is a writer and artist (and sometimes both at the same time). A former columnist, restaurant critic and cruise line executive, Smith has lived in London, Greece, Denmark, Hungary, Egypt, Costa Rica and France. She returned (more...)

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