Wheel of Fortune #Fail UPDATED TWICE

You have probably already seen the cringworthy Youtube Video of the famous Wheel of Fortune Fail in which a college student makes three awful blunders and loses the game. Well, I'm here to tell you about another Wheel of Fortune Fail that is even worse. Pat Sajak, the famous host of the long running game show, turns out to be a rabid Climate Change Science Denialist.

Here's a recent tweet by Pat:

Here's a screenshot of the same tweet showing some of Pat's loyal followers telling you, dear reader, what they think of you:

Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 10.37.18 AM

Apparently, Sajak is well known (to everyone but me, until just now, apparently) as a science denialist. Get Energy Smart has some coverage of this, including references to blog posts Sajak has written about climate change. For example (see GESN's post for context):

  • Is it just me, or is it warm in here? which focuses on the old canard that global cooling was predicted 30 years ago so why should we trust scientists about Global Warming along with arguments that it’s all natural. (For ammo to shoot this down,Grist’s quick Sajak slapdown references two items of their great Skeptics’ Guide: Global Cooling and natural cycle arguments.)
  • Global Warming: What Are You Willing to Do? In this, with a lot of arrogance and disdain, Sajak actually strongly states an ethical and moral dilemma that faces all who believe in Global Warming. More on this one below.
  • Sajak has taken down these posts.

    No more Wheel of Fortune in my house, I can tell you that. Unless it is to watch the show to see who advertises on it. So I can not buy their products!



    Here is a petition to sign from Forecast the Facts.


    Other posts of interest:

    Also of interest: In Search of Sungudogo: A novel of adventure and mystery, which is also an alternative history of the Skeptics Movement.

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    Gosh, Greg, I cannot believe you said such an unpatriotic, racist thing as that you don't want to watch Wheel of Fortune any more. What would Betsy Ross think??

    By climatehawk1 (not verified) on 20 May 2014 #permalink

    Sounds like someone is morally .. *ahem*... bankrupt.....

    Thanks, I'll be here all week.

    By Brent Bollmeier (not verified) on 20 May 2014 #permalink

    I see another conservative has devolved into unintentional self-parody

    Well, look on the bright side... at least he's not important or some sort of direct policymaker.

    Hey Greg. Appreciate your blog. Hate to mention this, but the wheel image needs the other i's flipped.

    By Moose Toledo (not verified) on 20 May 2014 #permalink


    Vanna is just getting to it. This is an action shot!

    Man what a egotistically and ridiculous twitter statement. Love how his followers tweet about brainwashed and morons, mindlessly following. That just made me laugh. Some people in this world, are so Tiresome.

    Knowing his past -- it was probably just a joke(over 75 don't watch wheel of fortune but re-runs of Tom Hartman on RTv).

    By Bob Jagiello (not verified) on 20 May 2014 #permalink

    Sorry! Too immoderate.

    By Bob Jagiello (not verified) on 20 May 2014 #permalink

    For someone so thoroughly invested in the cruise ship industry, he should be pretty happy with himself.

    Joe, you are correct. And this little blog post was not as much effort as a typical post interpreting the science of global warming!

    But, a lot of attention is directed at the issue of climate change, so that's a good thing.

    Bob, he followed up with a comment that he likes to stir the hornet's nest. So it wasn't really a joke as much as a prod, and evidence that he doesn't take climate change seriously. Which is fine, but he's gonna get memes. And once you've got memes it's pretty much impossible to get rid of them.

    Before he was hosting Wheel of Fortune he was in Nashville as a (no kidding) ...weather man for WSM!

    By Ed Scaife (not verified) on 20 May 2014 #permalink

    So he just likes to stir the hornets' nest, eh?

    Someone should challenge him to put his money where his mouth is and make bomb jokes at an airport. He'll find out "right quick" that TSA isn't a joke either, and they have a lot of tough questions that don't have punch lines.


    There's an article in Salon right now about this, and it has a picture of him standing next to Alex Trebek, and I swear that picture of Sajak sets off my gaydar. (No, I do _not_ think either of them are cute, in any way shape or form! Blehh!)

    A quick check of Wikipedia (unreliable source but I'm feeling lazy tonight) revels that "On April 18, 2014, Sajak used Twitter to announce his heterosexuality, a move viewed by some as being critical of the gay rights movement."

    Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner! Or perhaps we have a highly defensive cl_s_t-c_s_ (anyone want to buy a vowel?).

    You would deny yourself the joy of watching Wheel of Fortune simply because the host has an extreme opinion about an issue that is probably beyond the comprehension of the average joe? Seems to me you are drinking from another jug of kool-aid. Your reaction epitomizes the most common barrier to productive discourse in this country, that is, finding common ground. No community or soceity will thrive while its citizens constantly and concertedly fight each other down. Pat might have wild ideas about the weather but he remains the host of a quality program on which he does fantastic job. Why can't you disagree with his views and accept his contribution to TV as well? Must every wrong be the foundation of a movement to make right? Or is the average American brain not able to compartmentalizing? Take some advise mate, not every argument needs a champion. A aociety in need of heroes is one deep in the shit... just leave it alone.

    Petitioning someone who has already renounced the use of reason is useless. The petition should go to his employer to unemploy him.

    Racist? What does he even mean by that? Does he think talking about climate change is racist to polar bears?

    By Jane Lane (not verified) on 20 May 2014 #permalink

    This is definitely a prod comment. What s wrong with explaining yourself.or better yet getting your point across. You do have a point right Mr. Sajack. Maybe hes still drunk.

    Much as I hate to defend a climate change denier, I do have to point out that it's his personal opinion, not the opinion of Wheel of Fortune. Boycotting the show is kind of pointless. Boycotting its advertisers is just plain silly; something a diehard Creationist would do. He's the moron, not the company in the commercials in between.

    Robbie #16: "You would deny yourself the joy of watching Wheel of Fortune simply because the host has an extreme opinion about an issue that is probably beyond the comprehension of the average joe?Seems to me you are drinking from another jug of kool-aid. Your reaction epitomizes the most common barrier to productive discourse in this country,"

    I think that is a valid question to ask, but the answer you are providing without having heard my response is way off.

    First, one could argue that different people get different levels of "joy" out of the show. Second, for me, Sajak was just a game show host before, and now he is a climate science denialist and I really think climate science denialists are doing something very very bad in this world right now. So it is probably the case that if I tried to watch the show I'd be putt off by that. I'm not really sure it is your place to tell me that I can't have those feelings or to insult any one with the "kool-aid" joke because they may not share your opinion. Also, you are implying a kind of false balance here, that there is kool-aid on both sides of the issue.

    Science is not kool-aid, robbie. Though I'm sure there is a cup of it now and then, it is something we explicitly watch out for because that is what science is ... anti-kool-aid.

    Regarding climate science being beyond the comprehension of the average joe, that may be true. Over the last couple of years I've dedicated most of this blog to writing about climate science for the average joe. Over 500 posts. I think a lot of people get it, but maybe I'm wrong. Do you have any information or evidence to back up your claim?

    "No community or soceity will thrive while its citizens constantly and concertedly fight each other down. Pat might have wild ideas about the weather but he remains the host of a quality program on which he does fantastic job. Why can’t you disagree with his views and accept his contribution to TV as well? "

    Again, a good question. I was thinking about this yesterday. Do I personally think the head of the network should fire him? Actually no, I don't think so. He can have his incorrect bone headed views. But if he was representing something other than a game show, in a different kind of position, his out of work remarks would be the kind of thing one would get fired for. It all depends.

    But that has nothing to do with a personal opinion of him, how it colors the show, etc.

    "Must every wrong be the foundation of a movement to make right? "

    Now that there is an on line tool or two to make a petition, yes, apparently!

    "Or is the average American brain not able to compartmentalizing?"

    That might be a real risk of seemingly unfettered, unending, streaming of communication among a huge number of people (the Internet). I see a lot of not compartmentalizing.

    " Take some advise mate, not every argument needs a champion."

    I agree not every argument needs a champion, but this is not an argument with a champion. It is a funny internet meme taking a poke at someone who made a public comment that was obnoxious. But on the internet, memes become huge on their own. This is not controllable.

    Some of your points are valid, really, but I think you need to reconsider them in light of the broader context. Famous guy makes a bone headed remark he himself says is to "stir the pot." He has a history of anti-science comments. Science commenters take him to task on the internet. That's it. Long before next Tuesday he'll go back to gay bashing and I'll go back to talking about El Niño. But after that, Pat Sajak, whom a lot of people pay attention to, may think twice before he makes the kind of remark that solidifies anti-science views among his fans, which is a think we can't afford going on.

    Tom #21: I tend to think boycotting the show doesn't have much point, but it is a perfectly reasonable thing to try if activists who want to do it have their act together and can make a point with it.

    The point people are making, though, is valid: Climate change is truly an existential threat. People who are looked up to by a large portion of the society who make the claim that the honest hard working individuals who study and deal with this problem are faking it, or that climate change is not real, should be, and are going to be, shamed.


    By carolyn Sutton… (not verified) on 21 May 2014 #permalink

    I see this as little different than the movement to go after Rush's sponsors for his misogynistic comments - except that Rush said them on his program and Sajack did not. However, both have huge followings and both have very public forums in which to spout their crap. People who have a high public profile have greater influence over the public than joe blow with little to none, and should be held to a higher standard than others. They have the capability to do good or evil - Sajak chose the latter and now he should learn that all actions have consequences.

    By Smarter Than Y… (not verified) on 21 May 2014 #permalink

    My first thought was "Wait! Isn't Pat Sajak dead?" Apparently not. Even more surprising to me was that it is the same Pat Sajak that was on decades ago when I'd catch the tail end of Wheel of Fortune waiting for whatever it was that came on next (News? Jeopardy? A Star Trek episode?). Making idiotic comments must be one way he relieves the frustrated stress of doing the same mind-numbing show for decades (the other way would be to count his piles of money to see if it compensates for what appears, on the surface anyway, a largely wasted life).

    By Dan J. Andrews (not verified) on 21 May 2014 #permalink

    Dan J. Andrews - he's making $8M/yr (according to a Google search) in that job so I'm sure it more than makes up for the tedium. :)

    By Smarter Than Y… (not verified) on 21 May 2014 #permalink

    Most of those thousands of "scientists" who sign aboard the Global Warming credo are not actually meteorologists or geophysicists, or even storm chasers who know shitloads about the atmosphere. They are sociologists, virologists, librarians, math teachers, social workers, etc. Pat Sajak's remark is a satire upon the shrill, hyperbolic rhetoric that always ensues when someone suggests that Global Warming is a debatable issue.

    By MS VanVliet (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

    MS VAnVleit: No, not really. The climate change community is as close to 100% on board with the science, that climate change as generally described is for real, serious, and the mechanisms involved are understood, though obviously there are area of intense further research (especially about glacial melting, certain teleconnections, etc., exact level of long term equilibrium sensitivity, and so on). This is not social scientists, librarians, and social workers doing and agreeing on the science. Your suggestion is absurd.

    Pat Sajak's remarks are in line with his writing on this topic over the last seven or more years.

    There is nothing out there in the world, and certainly nothing in your comment, that suggests that the reality and seriousness of global warming is a debatable issue. You are simply incorrect.

    It appears Ms VanVliet is confused about which group is responsible for the Oregon petition.

    My comment via Twitter:
    Congrats on your verbal twerking @patsajak - Everyone is talking, just like with Miley.

    Unfortunately, I neglected to hashtag #twerking, thereby reducing my potential audience by 98.8%

    By climatehawk1 (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

    HAHAHAHA - how funny it is to see the overblown, kneejerk reactions of all you uptight leftists. Thanks for the laughs!

    By David Van (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

    Speaking of laughs - what do y'all think of this? "Walking along beach in HI & found presidential birth certificate that had washed up. Had no idea Bush was born here."

    By David Van (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

    Then there's this: "Even though I told him it was settled folklore, my young nephew remains a Tooth Fairy denier. (Those kids today!)"

    By David Van (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

    "Please sir, may I have another?" you ask ... well, ok: "The world would be such a wonderful place without human beings. Just animals breathing clean air & eating each other."

    By David Van (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

    We're constantly being lectured by some on The Left about "context" - how important it is to be aware of the context in which a statement is made (just FYI, most of us realized this around age 10, but I digress ...).

    Well, a la Edward G. Robinson's character in Moses, "Where's your nuance NOOOWWW ?!"

    By David Van (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

    Sorry, David, that's a no go. The context has been discussed at length. The context is seven plus years of writing in opposition to science, and finally, being called on it. Your context card, it is trumped, yes?

    Sorry Greg, that's not the context I was referring to (obviously). It's actually your premise that's a no go - he's not writing in opposition to science, because there are several scientists who don't think humans are mainly responsible for climate change/climate catastrophe/global warming/climate weirding, or whatever it's being called this week (and please don't pull out that bogus 97% figure - scientists look for evidence, not consensus).

    Actually it's folks like you who are the science denialists. No one denies climate change - it's been happening for over 4 billion years. The question is whether global warming is happening at an accelerated and significant rate due to human activity. And if that's true then there should be evidence of it - but where's the warming?

    By David Van (not verified) on 23 May 2014 #permalink

    Where is the melted/vanished polar ice cap that "climate scientist" Al Gore predicted? Where are the warmer winters and absence of snow in Britain? The increase in hurricane activity we were told would happen? (BTW, you are aware that Sandy was a Cat 1 hurricane at most when it hit, aren't you? Not to mention that was a WEATHER event.)

    Better yet, where are the accurate climate models?


    By David Van (not verified) on 23 May 2014 #permalink

    Nice try at misdirection. Speaking of which: I am hurt by your apparent lack of interest in the "funnies" I posted above - a la J. Welch replying to Joe McCarthy, "Have you no sense of humor, sir?!"

    Did not even a chuckle escape your lips whilst reading them? Are you not curious as to their source?

    By David Van (not verified) on 23 May 2014 #permalink

    Al Gore is not a climate scientist. Winters have been very warm, last year's was one of the warmest on record. The people whose lives were wrecked by Superstorm Sandy probably think you are a jerk for minimizing their pain, thanks for that. Also, TC activity is increased and expected to increase.

    I'll remove that link, no linking to denialist sites here.

    I noticed your funny posts but was too busy to laugh or respond. Not really your job to tell me what to do, sorry.

    and please don’t pull out that bogus 97% figure – scientists look for evidence, not consensus

    The point of that figure is that the consensus formed because of the overwhelming evidence. The only reason to push the number aside is because you blithely, without good reason, choose to ignore the evidence.
    It is interesting how the only people who bring up gore's name and imply that he is some sort of "hero" are the ones who are the denialists.