Game show host Pat Sajak caused a major uproar in social media circles on Tuesday, writing on Twitter that “global warming alarmists are unpatriotic racists knowingly misleading for their own ends.”
I now believe global warming alarmists are unpatriotic racists knowingly misleading for their own ends. Good night.— Pat Sajak (@patsajak) May 20, 2014
The longtime “Wheel of Fortune” host has been outspoken about his political views for several years, and has donated thousands of dollars to Republican candidates, but his opinions have never before really interfered with his day job.
First posted on Monday, the hyperbolic attack was a trending topic on Twitter by late afternoon and has been picked up by major news organizations, including The Washington Post.
Left-leaning website The Raw Story pointed out that Sajak has been a longtime critic of climate-change science and has written about the issue in the conservative publication Human Events. Earlier this month, Sajak fired another missive at proponents of climate-change science from his Twitter account, writing:
Very hot weather: "We're all going to die!" Very cold weather: "There's a difference between climate & weather, moron!"— Pat Sajak (@patsajak) May 11, 2014
Most of his other recent political jabs have been more benign sounding, including a joke about the “agony” involved in determining the most environmentally friendly to transport his purchases from the grocery store. However, he was also criticized in some circles for a Twitter post on April 18 that some took as a jab at gay-rights activists.
But could this latest comment jeopardize Sajak’s job with “Wheel,” a show he has hosted since 1983? While more than 1,400 retweeted Sajak’s jab, more than 800 people also “favorited” his comment, implying that not all of the attention being paid to his comments is necessarily negative. Even a number of the critical responses online have been humorous in nature, poking fun at Sajak's public image as game show host.
Sajak himself seemed to be enjoying the attention. In a follow up posting to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon, he wrote:
Sometimes it's fun to poke a stick in a hornets' nest just to hear the buzzing.— Pat Sajak (@patsajak) May 20, 2014
Follow Eric Pfeiffer on Twitter (@ericpfeiffer)