Who's Bill This Time
BILL KURTIS: From NPR AND WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. Why play the Powerball when you can play the power-Bill? Bill Kurtis. And here is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Bill. Thank you so much...
SAGAL: Very excited for our first show of 2016. Our very special guest will be rapper, actor and movie producer Ice Cube. He'll be joining us later. But first, very important - there was a big dump of Hillary Clinton's emails right on Christmas Eve, right? What were they trying to hide? Well, in one email in regard to a foreign crisis, Secretary Clinton says, quote, she "only knows what she hears on NPR," unquote.
SAGAL: And that is scandalous because do we really want a president who only knows what she hears on NPR? Will she delay Air Force One because she's having a runway moment?
SAGAL: She'll ignore ISIS in favor of the crisis facing native weavers in Peru.
SAGAL: She'll appoint Sarah Koenig from Serial to the attorney general.
SAGAL: But nobody will ever get convicted.
SAGAL: However, we're very glad you listen. So we'd love to hear from you, so 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.
LEAH WOODRING: Hi, this is Leah from Los Angeles.
SAGAL: Hey, how are things in LA?
WOODRING: They're beautiful. It was raining for two days, so it was like the apocalypse. But now it's nice.
SAGAL: Oh, the world is ending.
WOODRING: Oh, it was terrible. We suffered.
SAGAL: Did you really? Well, it's amazing to me - I used to live in LA - and on the rare occasion it rained, everything would turn this amazing emerald green.
SAGAL: Yeah, it's quite beautiful.
SAGAL: Yeah. Well, welcome to our show, Leah. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, it's a comedian and author of "The Smartest Book In The World." He's got a new album now called "In The Ballpark." It's Greg Proops.
GREG PROOPS: Hi.
SAGAL: Next, it's the author of the advice column Ask Amy, syndicated by the Chicago Tribune. It's Amy Dickinson.
AMY DICKINSON: Hi.
SAGAL: And finally, it's the humorist and author of the upcoming book "Save Room For Pie" out this March. It's Roy Blount Jr..
WOODRING: Hi, Roy.
ROY BLOUNT, JR.: Hi. How are you doing?
WOODRING: I'm good. How are you.
BLOUNT, JR.: Good, good.
SAGAL: So Leah, so glad you're with us. You're going to play Who's Bill This Time? Bill Kurtis is going to recreate for you three quotations from the week's news. Of course, your job - correctly identify or explain 2 out of 3. Do that, you win our prize - the voice of the immortal Carl Kasell on your voicemail. Are you ready to do this?
WOODRING: I'm ready.
SAGAL: All right, your first quote is a plea for help from a brave band of patriots.
KURTIS: Things we could use - cold-weather socks, snacks and energy drinks.
SAGAL: So what group was pleading for snacks and warm socks to help them defend freedom?
WOODRING: Are these the people in Oregon? I can't remember his name.
SAGAL: Oh, we can't either. But yes, they are the Oregon militia.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL, APPLAUSE)
SAGAL: They are, in fact, a group of angry hefty white people with goatees. They decided they would start Civil War II by occupying a government-owned bird sanctuary. Amazingly, the federal government still stands as of show time.
SAGAL: This is interesting - nobody knows what's going to happen. These guys are in trouble. They don't know it. In a very threatening open letter, a leader in the birding community - and remember, they're at a bird sanctuary - a leader in the birding community wrote, quote, "we are watching your every move..."
SAGAL: "...And we have been watching you for a very long time," unquote.
DICKINSON: So maybe they'll band them, you know, like...
PROOPS: Little tags?
DICKINSON: ...Band and little tags, yeah.
SAGAL: Well, these are birdwatchers.
SAGAL: They are very observant but that's about it.
SAGAL: They're going to be, like, yeah, there they are. And then they're going to write...
DICKINSON: Write it down in their journal.
SAGAL: ...Lunatic redneck in their journal and go home.
DICKINSON: The red - the rednecked lunatic.
SAGAL: Yes, exactly.
BLOUNT, JR.: Don't disturb them, don't scare them. Shhh...
SAGAL: What is the bird call to attract the militia guard?
BLOUNT, JR.: Woo hoo.
SAGAL: Now, there is a big argument in the media about whether these guys should be called terrorists. You know, people are like well, don't call them a militia or protesters. They are terrorists. But that's exactly what they want. They want to be called terrorists in the same way and for the same reasons that your 3-year-old wants to be called a big boy.
SAGAL: Now, your next quote comes from a press release released by the government of North Korea this week.
KURTIS: There took place a world-startling event to be specially recorded in the national history spanning 5,000 years.
SAGAL: That was just a portion of the many pages and pages from the government of North Korea bragging that they had just done what?
WOODRING: An H-bomb - dropped an H-bomb.
SAGAL: Set off an H-bomb - very good, Leah, yes...
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL, APPLAUSE)
SAGAL: ...Right. Now, they say they did. Earlier this week, international monitors detected a seismic event in North Korea. It could have been a nuclear explosion or just supreme leader Kim Jong Un getting carried away in his bouncy castle.
SAGAL: North Korea says it was an H-bomb, but experts say it wasn't nearly powerful enough. Analysts believe that the North Koreans just took a regular nuclear bomb and put a big H on it.
SAGAL: So this is North Korea's - even if it's not an H-bomb, it was North Korea's fourth and so far biggest nuclear test. That is scary. Apparently, they don't have a reliable delivery system. So in the meantime, they're using UPS to engineer an apocalypse. But here's the thing - if you're not their to sign for it and they can't deliver it, after the third attempt, it goes back to North Korea and blows up there.
DICKINSON: Now, I heard that this could be in part because of tension with China? Had you heard about that?
SAGAL: Well, people say that there's tension with China. People say that they want more attention. I mean, basically, they're just trying to look tough. They're trying to cover up their insecurity and genuine weakness. So next, the government of North Korea is expected to take over a bird sanctuary in eastern Oregon.
SAGAL: We don't want people to get carried away with this whole confiscating bomb thing. You have to listen to the bomb rights advocates. Don't just close the bomb-show loophole. What about the law-abiding nation states out there who want to use nuclear weapons for hunting and fishing? Like, you want to hunt all the deer there are all at once.
SAGAL: All right, Leah, here is your last quote.
KURTIS: My favorite part was people could only be stupid for 140 characters.
SAGAL: That was Sean Keller. He is a user - one of many - of a certain social media company which just announced it may make a big change. What?
WOODRING: It's Twitter.
SAGAL: It is Twitter, yes.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL, APPLAUSE)
SAGAL: Twitter announced - or leaked - they may lift their 140 character limit on tweets and instead make it a 10,000 character limit.
BLOUNT, JR.: You have fully-developed characters.
DICKINSON: That would be awful.
SAGAL: Well, I know. I mean, because the 140 character limit...
DICKINSON: That's the thing...
SAGAL: That's what Twitter is.
DICKINSON: ...That's the best part.
SAGAL: I mean, it's perfect for pungent thoughts, quick updates. They're limited, they can't go on. That's the beauty of it. Twitter is like your drunk uncle at Thanksgiving but he's only got a minute, right? It's limited to, like, one dinner. Now Twitter is - like, wants your drunk uncle to move in with you.
BLOUNT, JR.: You can't call it Twitter anymore really. I mean, needs a longer name.
BLOUNT, JR.: I would say Woo-Hoo-Hoo-Hoo-Hoo (ph).
SAGAL: Now, I believe of all of us here, Roy, you are the only one who is not on Twitter.
BLOUNT, JR.: I don't tweet, no.
SAGAL: No, have you not been tempted to tweet?
BLOUNT, JR.: Well, sometimes I - all to myself, Ill...
BLOUNT, JR.: I'll go off and - but not publicly, no.
BLOUNT, JR.: No. No, I don't tweet. I don't think they should have called it Twitter.
SAGAL: You don't think they should have called it Twitter?
BLOUNT, JR.: If I started to do it, I would think I'm tweeting. I don't want to do this.
SAGAL: Well, here's a question. As someone who tweets constantly, what do you do with the random pointless thoughts that flow through your head?
BLOUNT, JR.: I come on the radio here.
SAGAL: Bill, how did Leah do on our quiz?
KURTIS: Well, the rain in Southern California must've been a good sign because she got them all right.
SAGAL: While done, Leah, congratulations.
WOODRING: Thank you so much.
KURTIS: Thanks, Leah.