Katie Couric in ‘Jeopardy!’ over GOP ‘deprogram’ comments

Katie Couric in ‘Jeopardy!’ over GOP ‘deprogram’ comments

There are concerns about Katie Couric as a guest host of “Jeopardy!” after her “condescending, elitist” remarks that GOP and Trump supporters should be “deprogrammed.”

Days after “Jeopardy!” producers announced Couric would be a guest presenter of the ABC show following the death of beloved host Alex Trebek, she went on Bill Maher’s show and backed Trump’s impeachment and Twitter ban.

The former “Today” host told Maher on January 15 of GOP congressmen, “It’s really bizarre, isn’t it, when you think about how AWOL so many of these members of Congress have gotten.

“But I also think some of them are believing the garbage that they are being fed 24/7 on the internet, by their constituents, and they bought into this big lie.

“And the question is how are we going to really almost deprogram these people who have signed up for the cult of Trump.” 

A “Jeopardy!” source told Page Six the remarks immediately worried the producers of the Sony Pictures-created show, which attracts an audience with a median age of 64.2 years old.

The source said, “The ‘Jeopardy!’ audience is very conservative. And the show has always steered clear of politics.

“Katie’s comments so soon after she was announced as a host are very concerning to the producers. They are worried there will be a backlash against her. There has already been some complaints.

“Jeopardy viewers are quite a traditional bunch, and there’s fears she might be too polarizing after this. At the very least, she already appears to have ruled herself out of becoming the permanent host of the show.”

Veteran journalist Couric, 64, — who now runs her own company called Katie Couric Media — will soon host the iconic game show for a week, becoming its first-ever female host. Other guest hosts will include actress Mayim Bialik and NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Meanwhile, Couric has been weathering criticism for her partisan comments. The Hill columnist and Fox News contributor Joe Concha said, “This sort of rhetoric from Couric — which comes across as so condescending and elitist — underscores the divide between our media, which primarily resides in New York and Washington, and the rest of the country, which is moderate to center-right per multiple polls. And it’s why the industry is so mistrusted and frowned upon.”

Another TV insider says is no coincidence that the first “Jeopardy!” guest host Ken Jennings suddenly apologized for his anti-Trump comments made nearly four years earlier on Twitter — weeks before he took Trebek’s emcee spot on January 11.

He said on December 30, “Hey, I just wanted to own up to the fact that over the years on Twitter, I’ve definitely tweeted some unartful and insensitive things. Sometimes they worked as jokes in my head and I was dismayed to see how they read on screen.”

He didn’t specify which comments, but he had made an unfortunate joke about Barron Trump, former President Trump’s younger son in May 2017.

Referring to the infamous photo Kathy Griffin shared of herself holding a replica of President Trump’s severed head — which Barron reportedly saw on TV and thought was real — Jennings tweeted, “Barron saw a very long necktie and a heap of expired deli meat in a dumpster. He thought it was his dad & his little heart is breaking.”

His tweet kicked off a beef with Donald Trump Jr., who wrote on Twitter, “It takes a real man to pick on an 11-year-old.”

The TV insider said, “Ken Jennings apologizes for a tweet he posted nearly four years ago, weeks before hosting ‘Jeopardy!’ Katie will be under huge pressure to apologize also. Time will tell if she does, but ‘Jeopardy!’ producers are expecting her to be a diva about it.”

Reps for Couric and “Jeopardy!” producers didn’t respond to requests for comment.