But in Batman #108 (June 1957), readers of Batman comics learned the truth before the rest of the public, in The Big Batman Quiz. In the story, contestant Frank Davis is about to go for the big money:
Batman is a special judge to determine whether the answers to the questions are right or wrong. Davis aces the $75,000 question: How did Batman apprehend the criminal Fenton brothers? Answer: By soaring into their mountain hideout on a kite. But the big question is a shocker:
And even more startling, Davis has apparently deduced the answer, as he writes Bruce Wayne's name on a card and shows it only to Batman. However, before Davis can exit the isolation booth, he keels over and dies. And when they pull him out, the pad on which he wrote Batman's secret identity is blank; it appears that someone tore the top sheet off.
Suspicion immediately falls on Garth, a criminal who was scheduled to appear on another program on that network, and who escaped during the show:
However, as they try to catch the thief, Batman realizes that "Garth" knows too much about the TV business for a common crook and they discover that the real crook has been bound and gagged in a prop room. The killer is obviously someone associated with television, and Batman quickly figures out who it is:
Harmon (the game show's host) had coated the light bulb in the isolation booth with a chemical that turned into a poisonous vapor when heated. Ironically, the vapor also erased the handwriting on the pad, thus saving Batman's real identity.
Based on the timeline of the real quiz show scandal, it appears that the writer had the basics right before the scam broke. The contestants were indeed furnished with the answers, but not in order to split the prizes. The story broke completely in 1958:
The gravy train derailed in August and September of 1958 when disgruntled former contestants went public with accusations that the results were rigged and the contestants coached. First, a standby contestant on Dotto produced a page from a winner's crib sheet. Then, the still bitter Herbert Stempel, Van Doren's former nemesis on Twenty One, told how he had taken a dive in their climatic encounter.
Wikipedia notes that some elements of the story had come out in 1957:
When Enright subsequently told him the promise couldn't be kept because he had sold his shows to NBC itself, Stempel went to the authorities to explain how the show was fixed and his own role in the rigging. As he later testified to Congress, he also agreed to talk to a reporter from the New York Post in February 1957, but the paper feared a libel suit if they went public with Stempel's original accusations at the time they spoke.
However, when we consider the timeframes for publishing comics, it seems unlikely that the scandal could have been public knowledge at the time the Batman story was written. According to the Master List for DC maintained at DC Indexes, Batman #108 hit the newsstands on April 16, 1957. Given the several months' delay between creation of a comic and its actual publication, it appears likely that the story must have been written prior to Stempel's talk with the New York Post. Note as well that the scandal did not become public at that time as the Post did not run with it.
The GCD does not have a credit for the script on this story. I have a vague memory that one of the famous comic book writers appeared on one of the quiz shows of the 1950s. Anybody? Bueller?
Update: Commenter Lee points to this appearance by Leo Dorfman, which is indeed the one I remembered:
Some very funny commentary by the host there.