Culture appears more monolithic than ever, with a few gigantic corporations—Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon—presiding over unprecedented monopolies. Internet discourse has become tighter, more coercive. Search engines guide you away from peculiar words. (“Did you mean … ?”) Headlines have an authoritarian bark (“This Map of Planes in the Air Right Now Will Blow Your Mind”). “Most Read” lists at the top of Web sites imply that you should read the same stories everyone else is reading. Technology conspires with populism to create an ideologically vacant dictatorship of likes.
Mr. Pardo’s decision to stay at NBC when “The Price Is Right” departed was fortuitous because that left him available to announce a new NBC show that made its debut in 1964, “Jeopardy!” A trivia show in which contestants tried to provide the questions after seeing the answers, it was hosted by Art Fleming, who made a point of thanking Mr. Pardo by name in each episode, helping to elevate him further out of the announcer anonymity of radio.