The Price Is Righteous

Bob Barker's show gets more love than respect, but it tells all you need to know about America

Michael Buckner / Getty

Bob Barker poses with a cake at the taping of the 35th season premiere of The Price Is Right at CBS Television studios August 31, 2006 in Los Angeles, California.

Everbody loves Bob Barker -- everyone, let's say, except the occasional litigious ex--Barker's Beauty or unwillingly neutered collie. And everybody respects Bob Barker. Since he announced his retirement from The Price Is Right (he tapes his last show June 6), the plaudits have rolled in: he has been called a legend, an institution, a record-setting pro.

The Price Is Right, though, that's a different story. Oh, people like the show. They remember fondly how Plinko and the Range Game got them through sick days, newborn nursing, freshman wake-and-bake sessions and periods between jobs.

But respect? It's not that critics treat any...

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