Credit: Ken Jennings: Theo Wargo/

Irony needs raw material, and that ore is usually mined from the pages of The New York Post, which has been braying brazen headlines (“Headless Body in Topless Bar!“) since its founder, Alexander Hamilton, was caught at Scores, tucking the very first American dollar into the G-string of Aaron Burr’s favorite stripper. But just because they spend all day furnishing the rest of us with jokes doesn’t mean they can always recognize one themselves. Thus Michael Starr’s boldly stupid takedown of former Jeopardy megachamp Ken Jennings (pictured), who recently blogged a clearly ironic takedown of Jeopardy. (Sample smear: Jenning claims Alex Trebek died years ago and was replaced with a robot. In a correction, he states that Trebek is, in fact, a cyborg and “does still contain some organic parts, many harvested from patriotic Canadian schoolchildren.”)

Apparently, it was this sort of grim, humorless realism that prompted Starr to lash out at Jennings for biting the hand that fed him. (Is it something about the name “Starr” that compels a man to lob accusations?) Jenning, sighing audibly even in text, set the record straight this morning and explained that no, he does not actually think Mr. Trebek is a robot, he does not think Jeopardy needs a makeover, and he harbors no ill feelings whatsoever toward the show. He seems shocked that anyone could possibly mistake Swift-ian wit for sputtering bile. Then again, this is the Internet, where bile and irony commingle like the Captain and Tennille, and even the most innocuous blog entry is cause for pandemonium. This, to paraphrase Jennings, is the other reason Al Gore invented the Internet: as a hysteria relief system.

Jennings also thinks our recent Gore cover made the former veep look like Satan. (Full disclosure: It did give my mother palpitations.)

But you were just joking, right, Ken? Right? Ken? Don’t make me start willfully misinterpreting your dry, refined sense of humor, bucko. Because I will.

addCredit(“Ken Jennings: Theo Wargo/”)