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Alex Trebek responds to criticism after Pa. governor's debate

Written by Candy Woodall,/The York Daily Record | Oct 3, 2018 7:40 AM
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Moderator Alex Trebek speaks during a gubernatorial debate between Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and Republican Scott Wagner in Hershey , Pa., Monday, Oct. 1, 2018. The debate is hosted by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(Undated) -- Alex Trebek is humbly responding to harsh criticism of his moderating skills during the recent Pennsylvania governor's debate. 

In an exclusive interview with CBS21, 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. 

"I thought a conversation would work better...it didn't," Trebek told CBS21

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 CBS21 interview

This story comes to us through a partnership between WITF and The York Daily Record.

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