Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!

Intern Net #2: You Can't Spell "Machiavellian" Without "Ian"

Ian takes his job very seriously. i i

hide captionIan takes his job very seriously.

MacKenzie Van Engelenhoven
Ian takes his job very seriously.

Ian takes his job very seriously.

MacKenzie Van Engelenhoven

This week, Danforth has been out of the office. Much like King Richard I, who left his throne in England to go on Crusade, he has left a young whippersnapper to run things in his place. And so, this week, Ian has taken the reigns of Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me, the Prince John to our little kingdom.

Once in control, Ian wastes no time in establishing himself as a tyrant. He rules with an iron fist and a Darth Vader-like sense of justice. As the week progressed, I began to notice striking similarities between Ian's reign and Machiavelli's The Prince. In order to better understand the intricacies of Ian's tyranny, I myself revisited the pages of the rules for leaders as laid down by that Florentine tough guy, and found several quotations that brought to mind Ian's tactics.

"It is better to be feared than to be loved." At the end of the first meeting with Ian on the throne, we all sit awkwardly around the table for a moment. When Peter finally stands up, Ian says in a low, dangerous whisper, "I didn't say you were excused yet." Peter leaves anyway. The rest of us, however, remain in our seats, quaking in terror, until we are dismissed.

"The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him."

Peter, trying out a joke for the show: You can't possibly be the boy's father, he doesn't have your creepy mustache!

Ian: I don't think you understand genetics.

"He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command." Peter is reluctant to discuss the TomKat divorce on the show this week. Ian swoops in and unflinchingly rules with an iron fist on this matter, demanding the presence of the story in Who's Carl This Time. In my memory of this moment, Ian is wearing an ostentatious golden crown and banging the table with a scepter. TomKat ends up in the show.

"The end is all that counts. The means will always be judged to be honorable and praiseworthy." Wednesday afternoon, Ian sends me on an intern quest to obtain what is arguably one of the worst sandwiches I've ever tasted. Just as communist Russia kept the people submissive with rationing and starvation, so Ian keeps us in line with barely swallowable Sandwich Monday food. Because, in the end, a good Sandwich Monday blog makes eating a terrible sandwich worth it.

"A capable leader must act with cunning and, if necessary, force." We arrive in the office Thursday to discover a guillotine has been inexplicably installed in the center of our cubicles.

"It is the common good and not private gain that makes cities great." The show on Thursday starts right on time. It is hilarious, especially the part where [spoilers redacted]. Ian's tyranny has yielded beneficial results.

"The best fortress which a prince can possess is the affection of his people." Ian's week at the helm of Wait, Wait requires no Magna Carta to check his power, no revolution to overthrow him. When Danforth returns from his Crusade on Monday, Ian will quietly remove his crown, which now that I look at it again, I think he got from Burger King.

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Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!
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