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Jeopardy! Regrets Armenia-Azerbaijan Clue

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At the end of the Jeopardy! shows he is guest hosting, executive producer Mike Richards reminds viewers of the wisdom of the late Alex Trebek — pitch in to make the world “a kindler, gentler society.”

Some in the Armenian community appear to be questioning the show’s own adherence to that message after the airing of an episode this week.

A clue focused on the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict has some saying Jeopardy! got it wrong.

The show regrets the situation.

“Our clue stated that Armenia ‘has been accused of irredentism, the reclaiming of old territory.’ We didn’t mean to imply either that Armenian policy is actually irredentist, or that irredentism is necessarily something to be condemned,” Jeopardy! replied on Saturday morning, a day after GV Wire℠ posted the story.

“Jeopardy! clues often involve reducing complex situations to a brief summary, and we always regret it when our clues come across as oversimplified and even as inaccurate or insulting to any person or group,” the show said.

The show airs locally in Fresno on ABC 30 (KFSN).

An image of the clue that aired on Jeopardy!, upsetting a prominent Armenian group. (Image: screenshot)

Clue Without a Clue?

“Jeopardy! clues often involve reducing complex situations to a brief summary, and we always regret it when our clues come across as oversimplified and even as inaccurate or insulting to any person or group.”Statement from Jeopardy!

On the episode that aired on Thursday, the $1,600 clue in “Terms from History” upset Armenians.

“This country has been accused of irredentism, the reclaiming of old territory, over the Nagorno-Karabakh area in Azerbaijan,” the answer read.

“What is Armenia?” correctly questioned Jim Cooper, a screenwriter from Pacific Palisades.

For Armenian advocates, Nagorno-Karabakh is not considered part of Azerbaijan, but rather an independent land.

“The Armenian-American community is outraged by the blatant misportrayal of the Artsakh self-determination movement,” Alex Galitsky, spokesman for the Armenian National Committee of America Western Region said.

Last year, Armenia and Azerbaijan engaged in armed conflict over the disputed region, also known as Artsakh. Thousands died. Many Central Valley politicians side with Armenia. Both countries have said they are in the right.

Four months after the war ended, issues remain over POW exchanges and information about landmines.

Fresno Advocate Disappointed

Sevag Tateosian, an Armenian advocate from Fresno and former candidate for the State Center Community College District, was in disbelief.

“As someone who has watched the program with my family for decades, I’m disappointed at the lack of research by program staff. We are seeing more misinformation coming from the Azerbaijani government to the point that they are even alleging Armenian churches in Nagorno-Karabakh are Albanian churches,” Tateosian said.

Galisky, the ANCA-WR spokesman, said the Jeopardy! clue had a bias against Armenians.

” It is profoundly disappointing to see an American cultural staple like Jeopardy! use its platform to sanitize the genocidal violence perpetrated against the indigenous Armenians of Artsakh by the Azerbaijani government – one of the most repressive and authoritarian regimes in the world today,” Galitsky said.

The Los Angeles-based Azerbaijanian consulate had a completely different response. They referred GV Wire℠ to a tweet from Consul General Nasimi Aghayev.

“One of America’s oldest and most watched television shows @Jeopardy asked this question yesterday. Illegal, @UN-condemned occupation & ethnic cleansing of #Azerbaijan’s #Qarabagh region by #Armenia was exposed again. Watched by millions of people. Truth always comes out,” Aghayev wrote.

[Note: this story was updated Friday evening to include the tweet response from the Azerbaijani consul general. The story was updated again Saturday with a statement from “Jeopardy!”]

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email