Alex Trebek says he was 'naive' in wake of debate moderator criticism

York Daily Record

Published 10:46 AM EDT Oct 3, 2018

Alex Trebek says he was 'naive' in wake of debate moderator criticism

YORK, Pa. – Alex Trebek is humbly responding to harsh criticism of his moderating skills during the recent Pennsylvania governor's race debate. 

In an exclusive interview with WHP-TV in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Trebek said he prepared for months and studied Pennsylvania politics. But he was also "naive," he said. 

"I think it was a learning experience for me. I was too naive going into this," Trebek said during the interview. 

At the start of the debate Monday night at the Hershey Lodge, Trebek told the gubernatorial candidates, Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf and Republican Scott Wagner, that he wasn't a fan of the traditional debate format. He didn't want the candidates standing at podiums. 

Oct. 2: Alex Trebek of 'Jeopardy!' gets booed at Pennsylvania governor race debate

Oct. 1: Pennsylvania governor, GOP challenger face off in only debate hosted by Alex Trebek

"I thought a conversation would work better ... it didn't," Trebek told the TV station.

Critics slammed Trebek for making the evening too much about himself. 

Local politico Andrew Ritter Jr. tallied how long the candidates and Trebek spoke, with Trebek dominating the conversation. Trebek spoke 44 times for a total of 21 minutes. Wagner spoke 29 times for a total of 17 minutes. Wolf spoke 25 times for a total of 13 minutes. 

Pennsylvanians on Twitter also expressed concern because the Monday debate was the only debate between the two gubernatorial candidates throughout the election. Voters didn't get a chance to hear a substantive debate. 

"I look at it this way, if you were a Wagner supporter before this debate, you're still a Wagner supporter. If you were a Wolf supporter before this debate, you are still a Wolf supporter. If you were a Trebek supporter before the debate, that one may be questionable," Trebek said in the WHP-TV interview. 

Follow Candy Woodall on Twitter: @candynotcandace

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