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Who's Carl This Time?

Carl reads three quotes from the week's news: A Romney Landslide; Rupert's Tweets; Obama's Secret.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

CARL KASELL, HOST:

From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I'm Carl Kasell, and here's your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Carl.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Thank you. Thank you everybody. Great to be with you. Great to see you. We got a great show for you today. We've got the director of "Bridesmaids," among other great things. Paul Feig, he'll be coming on later to play our game.

But I want to point out that this, the first week of January, marks our fourteenth birthday at this show. That's right, WAIT WAIT is now entering our awkward adolescent phase.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: But we are still going to stay focused on getting our work done. Right, Carl?

KASELL: Shut up.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

KASELL: I hate you. I have all of you.

(SOUNDBITE OF FOOTSTEPS)

(SOUNDBITE OF DOOR SLAMMING)

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

AMY DICKINSON: Oh.

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SAGAL: Well, don't worry, it's just a phase. And while we wait for Carl to come out of his room, which I'm sure he will soon, give us a call. The number is 1-888-Wait-Wait, that's 1-888-924-8924.

It's time to welcome our first listener contestant. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

DESIREE HERNANDEZ: Hi, this is Desiree Hernandez from Brooklyn, New York, originally from Puerto Rico.

SAGAL: Hey, Desiree, how are you?

HERNANDEZ: I'm good. How are you?

SAGAL: I'm fine. Desiree Hernandez is a beautiful name.

HERNANDEZ: Oh, thank you so much.

SAGAL: I find it very romantic.

HERNANDEZ: Oh, thanks.

SAGAL: I'm sorry; I'm just kind of stopping there really.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: All right, well, Desiree, let's introduce you to our panel. First, say hello to a humorist and the author most recently of "Alphabetter Juice," Mr. Roy Blount, Jr., is here.

HERNANDEZ: Hi, Roy.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

ROY BLOUNT: Hi, Desiree.

SAGAL: Next, it's the woman behind the advice column Ask Amy and author of the memoir "The Mighty Queens of Freeville," it's Ms. Amy Dickinson.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

HERNANDEZ: Hi, Amy.

DICKINSON: Hi, Desiree.

SAGAL: A finally, a writer for HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher," Mr. Adam Felber is here.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

HERNANDEZ: Hi, Adam.

ADAM FELBER: Hi, Desiree Hernandez.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Desiree, welcome to the show. You're going to play Who's Carl This Time. Of course, Carl Kasell will start off this year as he starts off most of them, by reenacting three quotations from the week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain two of them, you'll win our prize, Carl's voice on your home answering machine. You ready to go?

HERNANDEZ: Yeah.

SAGAL: Here is your first quote.

KASELL: Well, I got to find those eight guys, one by one, and thank them for that landslide.

SAGAL: That was somebody celebrating his eight vote margin of victory...

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...in the Iowa caucuses this week. Who was it?

HERNANDEZ: Mitt Romney.

SAGAL: Yes, it was. It was a big win for Mitt Romney in Iowa.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: It was a big win, even though it was just by eight votes over Rick Santorum. That's because Iowans are known for being very conservative, for their pork products, and for really hating Mitt Romney.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: In fact, Iowa was founded in the 1850s by immigrants who moved from the east coast in the fear that someday Mitt Romney would live there.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Romney narrowly won Iowa, even though he hardly campaigned there. The less time he spent in Iowa, the higher his poll numbers went.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: His campaign manager noticed this, so in the lead up to New Hampshire, he'll be hanging out in Canada.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: The Romney campaign slogan will be, "Vote Romney and he promises he'll stay away."

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

FELBER: Mitt Romney, you don't have to like him.

SAGAL: Yeah.

DICKINSON: Yeah.

SAGAL: Or maybe if he stays away long enough, they can go with "Romney, no, really, he's better than you remember."

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

FELBER: Romney: no, the other Romney.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: And what did Romney get as a prize? What did Romney get as a prize for winning Iowa? He got the endorsement of John McCain. McCain is known for his expertise and discernment when it comes to picking ex-governors.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: And this is the thing, everybody talked about it, including us, back in 2008, how much John McCain loathed Mitt Romney, could not stand him. It was palpable. So we're wondering what McCain got in return for the endorsement? A federal ban on kids on his lawn?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: An appointment of Secretary of Rage?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Your next quote, Desiree, is a series of messages we got this week. Here's the first.

KASELL: I love the film "We Bought a Zoo," a great family movie.

SAGAL: Here's another message.

KASELL: Got to watch Fox News at 5 EST.

SAGAL: Here's another one.

KASELL: Vacation's a great time for thinking. St. Barts, too many people. Thoughts best kept private around here.

SAGAL: That was some of the wisdom offered by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who started doing what this week?

HERNANDEZ: He started tweeting.

SAGAL: He did start tweeting, yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Tweet, tweet, tweet. The News Corporation tycoon sent out his first tweet, naturally enough from his yacht in the Caribbean on New Year's. And since then, he's let the world know that he likes Rick Santorum, Mayor Bloomberg and various news stories and movies put out by the companies he owns. Like everyone else, he also tweets about what he had for lunch. In his case, it was the blood of innocent children, which he requires to stay alive.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

FELBER: He can get by on the blood of slightly bad children.

KASELL: He can.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

FELBER: That's not fair.

SAGAL: Yeah, he washes it down with the tears of the innocent.

FELBER: Yes, that'll work.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: So Rupert Murdoch started tweeting, and everybody in the media world was like, why is Rupert Murdoch tweeting? Does he have no other way to make his opinions known to the world?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Maybe he's doing it as a PR move, to seem more human. You know, because his other attempts to become more human failed, after his body rejected all those hearts.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

BLOUNT: Tweeting from a yacht somehow seems different.

SAGAL: Really? Why?

BLOUNT: Well, it should be called twatting or something, something different.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

BLOUNT: Tweeting from a yacht, or it should have a C-H...

SAGAL: Yeah, spelled a silent...

DICKINSON: Chatting.

FELBER: That should be the word for sure.

BLOUNT: Yeah.

SAGAL: All right, here, Desiree, is your last quote. It's actually a set of instructions supposedly once given to Barack Obama.

KASELL: Simply put, your task is to be seen and not eaten.

SAGAL: So, the White House this week actually put out an official denial, saying that as a young man, President Obama never received those instructions as part of a secret CIA mission to where?

HERNANDEZ: Afghanistan?

SAGAL: Afghan, no, this is even wilder. This is actually one of the more obscure bits of news in the week, but we thought it was interesting. Did you hear this?

HERNANDEZ: No.

SAGAL: No.

FELBER: If you didn't hear it, you might not be able to guess it.

SAGAL: Yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: The answer is - I'll just give you the answer, Desiree. It's Mars.

HERNANDEZ: Mars?

SAGAL: Mars.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

DICKINSON: Oh, come on.

SAGAL: Now, this story might have been...

FELBER: Wait, wait, wait, hear Peter out here.

SAGAL: Okay.

DICKINSON: Yeah, okay.

SAGAL: I know it sounds crazy.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: No, really, most people didn't bother noticing this story, but the White House did. They denied it. Wired magazine spoke with two men. They claimed they were once chrononauts, or time travelers. They said they were part of a secret team, along with the young Barack Obama, when he was at Occidental College. It was some sort of, like, study abroad program.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: They traveled to Mars via time machine space travel in the early 80s to shore up U.S. defenses from intergalactic threats. And instead of refusing to dignify these ramblings, the White House denied the President has ever traveled to Mars.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: In fact, they were so quick to deny it, now we believe it.

FELBER: Yeah.

DICKINSON: Yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

FELBER: And you know what else?

SAGAL: What?

FELBER: Donald Trump has sent some people over there to Mars.

SAGAL: Yeah.

FELBER: And you would not believe what they found.

SAGAL: Yeah.

DICKINSON: But you know what, it's like it's plausible because we really haven't had any problems with Mars.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: That's true.

DICKINSON: You know, so...

SAGAL: And why not?

DICKINSON: Yeah.

BLOUNT: How do you get eaten on Mars? What was that? Be quiet and don't get eaten.

SAGAL: Yeah, we don't know. We're not sure...

BLOUNT: That part...

SAGAL: ...what they saw was afraid was going to eat him. They're not clear on that part.

DICKINSON: Well I just think that's good advice regardless.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

FELBER: It's a weird thing, because if you want to bring Obama down with a conspiracy, why would you make one that's so weird and also so cool?

BLOUNT: Yeah, yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

FELBER: He was part of a junior squad of chrononauts going to Mars to fight some sort of menace that might eat him. That's not going to hurt him with anybody's vote.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Yeah, I know. And then, like, Obama some years later sits down to write his memoir and he's like, hmm, should I write about my top secret mission to Mars to fight off the man-eating aliens or just a reminiscence about my father, who I never met? Ah, my father it is.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Carl, how did Desiree do on our quiz?

KASELL: Well, Desiree, you're a winner, and that's because you had two correct answers. Congratulations.

HERNANDEZ: Yay.

SAGAL: Well done.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Bye-bye now.

HERNANDEZ: Bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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