I’ll Take “Long-Running Psyops” for $400


“Would you buy life insurance from this man?” That was the question posed to me by Phil Solesky, an ad man who made a career out of figuring out how to separate people from their money by selling life insurance. He wrote me the following, and I found it interesting enough to pass it along. I paste it below without further comment:

For the better part of the last 30 years I’ve watched Jeopardy almost every night. I can even remember watching the show as a kid when Art Fleming was the host. It’s become such a habit that I still watch it and will watch it tonight, even though I can barely stand Alex Trebek and his surly pretentious act. By now, I’m also aware that he’s most likely a spook, but that’s not the point of this article.

For the last 12 years quite a few things stand out about the show. First, the way they juxtapose Jeopardy with Wheel of Fortune. Jeopardy being dominated by “braniacs” while Wheel of Fortune is presented as clownish with silly contestants made to act even sillier. Why do they promote the shows in that light? In my opinion, it’s very clear. Go to school, get an education (indoctrination), study what we tell you to study without questioning any of it and you too can become a genius. With a snap of the finger (pressing a toggle switch) give us the answer (in the form of a question) that we want, whether true or not. And, be rewarded for your tremendous memorizing of useless “facts.”

On the other hand, go on Wheel of Fortune, exercise your brain by using problem solving skills, but look like an idiot while doing it. Quickly solve a word puzzle and you can win a few thousand dollars and a pat on the ass from Pat Sajak, the alternate spook.

In typical psy-op fashion, a total reversal of the truth.

Both shows are laden with commercial messages. In fact, the shows are a commercial in themselves. Every night Jeopardy will devote entire categories to a tourist destination (where they want you to travel next) and /or promoting an allied country, NASA or some other agency and even a plug for the latest play or ballet company they are promoting. A real bore for any true trivia buff.

Meanwhile, Alex Trebek is the number one spokesman for political correctness. Probably why he’ll be out of a job in a few years. An interesting side note is that Trebek was brought in to host the show in… you guessed it.. 1984. Need I say more?

As we now know, most of the answers aren’t even correct. Any questions pertaining to history, politics and even science are simply stories they’ve been selling to us for years, presumably for our own good. It might even have been the premise for the show to begin with. You repeat a “fact” long enough and you begin to believe it.

Well, it is a game show, after all.

4 thoughts on “I’ll Take “Long-Running Psyops” for $400

  1. You are dead-on, Phil! I’ve been half-watching Jeopardy for years now, usually distracted and doing something like this while it is on. We ff through commercials. It caught my attention back in October when they asked who a Colorado prisoner’s ID belonged to … I put up a blog post that evening about it.


    It was Rob Blogojevich, and I already suspected that he was not really in prison, but that sealed it. But then Annette noticed the time that I had frozen the screen to take a photo of it – that freaked me, gave me a chill.

    If you watch daily, then you saw the “Power Players” tournament where they bring in news readers like Chuck Todd, S.E. Cupp, Anderson Cooper. Do you notice that they dumb the questions down for that elite group? Anderson Cooper (actually the twin, Carter Vanderbilt) won this year, but he reminded me of the character Puddy on Seinfeld, slow-witted, deadpan and sincere.

    Keep them coming Phil! I love this sort of thing, pointing out the absurdity of everyday life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Mark and Daddieuhoh. I think Daddieuhoh might be a former adman himself. Great headline! I do remember that post, but I hadn’t noticed the time. Unreal!

    I regret to say that occasionally I do watch the celebrity games and yes without question they do dumb down the questions.


  3. Just rambling but I am so glad I lost touch with television. I was glued to the tube during the entire decade of the 60’s and more than half of the 70’s. Then I joined the Air Force and did not watch the thing for 6 years. When I was discharged the spell was broken-never seriously watched it ever again except for an occasional rented movie or football game.


  4. My brother is good at these shows and views them occasionally so when I visited him recently it was on and I had the opportunity to observe Pat Sajak. He appeared bored, bitter, and disdainful. After the puzzle “thick creamy milkshake” was solved he joked “that was my nickname in high school.”


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