Is Alex Trebek a tea party supporter?
The long-time “Jeopardy” host sure sounds at least sympathetic to the conservative grassroots movement.
“Somebody was saying on television a few days ago that the Tea Party is a reflection of the people,” the Canadian-born game show icon told Noreen Malone of the New Republic magazine. “There are a lot of people out there who are not happy with the way things are going, and they’ve banded together.”
Malone noted, however, that the 73-year-old Trebek, who she reports keeps Fox News on “in the background” of his dressing room, ”declined to reveal whom he voted for in the last presidential election and, when pressed, said he’s ‘apolitical.’”
“Apolitical” is a new one for Trebek. He has previously referred to himself as “an independent.” Yet despite his apolitical independence, he has supported Republican candidates in the past. When Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel served as a Republican senator from Nebraska, Trebek, who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1998, donated $3,000 to his re-election campaigns between 2001 and 2007. He also was listed as a host of a fundraiser for Republican congressional candidates, though a Trebek spokesman later claimed “he did not attend, or host, or sponsor” the event.
“My guess is that they asked to use his name, and since veterans were involved and he’s worked for years with the USO, there might have been some confusion,” the spokesman said.
Trebek doesn’t seem to have ever donated money to or hosted an event for a Democratic candidate out of confusion.
While taping a week’s worth of special “Jeopardy” episodes in Washington, D.C. in April 2012, Trebek said he was undecided on whom to vote for in the presidential race. But he then laid out some conservative policy and cultural views.
“People [are] relying too much on the government,” he told Politico.
“If you want to tax high earners more, it would be nice if you told us where you are spending the money,” he said. “If you are going to use our extra taxes to reduce the debt, fine. If you are going to use our extra taxes to finance new programs, whoa, let’s slow down a moment.”
“The same word that I am using with my children, a lot of people are using now: a sense of ‘entitlement’ in our society,” he added. “I think we need to get away from that.”
According to the New Republic profile, most of Trebek’s friends come from his church. He also doesn’t think the Washington Redskins, his favorite football team, should change their name.
“They weren’t called the Redskins because we thought Redskins were terrible; it’s because we admire their strength, their abilities,” he said.