Last Night On Jeopardy!: Chris Matthews Fumbles, And Robert Gibbs Eeks Out A Win

By Alex Weprin 

Last night was night one of “Jeopardy!” “Power Players” week, which features Washington politicos, influencers and TV news personalities competing for charity.

The contestants were MSNBC host Chris Matthews, CNN aviation and regulation correspondent Lizzie O’Leary and former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

Notes and observations:


Chris Matthews should stick to political talk shows. Matthews had a lot of trouble with the “Jeopardy!” format. After selecting the category “New York Times Crossword Clues ‘E,'” Matthews answered the first question as such: “At ease, soldier, what is at ease soldier, ease soldier!” In fact, all he had to say was “What is ease?”

Matthews also answered a question about geography (“Beirut!”) before Trebek called on him, allowing Gibbs to get the point by buzzing in first. Finally, a question about espionage led Matthews to answer “Who is Gary Powers?” host Alex Trebek responded that they needed the full name, and Matthews replied by saying “Who is GARY POWERS!” O’Leary stole the cash by answering correctly, “Who is Francis Gary Powers?”

Newsbusters, which is quite openly anti-MSNBC Matthews and MSNBC, chronicled some of his other mistakes, and noted that he had mocked Sarah Palin by noting that she wouldnt do well on “Jeopardy!”

Of course, O’Leary was not immune to error. In the “Hardball” category (get it?) O’Leary confused loathed Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez for beloved Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, something that would have been unforgivable in New York.

O’Leary led the group going into the Final Jeopardy! about “Awards,” but all three got the question wrong, leading Gibbs to victory thanks to some smart wagering.

Related: FishbowlDC took a trip to the Jeopardy! Teen Tournament, and saw host Alex Trebek make a major flub.