Who's Carl This Time
CARL KASELL: 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 The Koussevitsky Music Shed in Tanglewood in Lenox, Massachusetts, Peter Sagal.
KASELL: Thank you, Carl. Thank you, everybody. We have a great show for everybody today, but I've got to say how fantastic it is to be here at Tanglewood. This is amazing.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Now, for those who don't know, Tanglewood is a famous outdoor music venue here in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. It's known for its beautiful, verdant outdoor setting, and its incredibly rowdy orchestra fans.
SAGAL: Every other concert people get crazy on Zinfandel, they smash the bottles, they rush the stage. It's like a combination of Carnegie Hall and Altamont.
CHARLIE PIERCE: So basically, Peter, you're saying is people come here to get their Rachmaninov.
(SOUNDBITE OF GROANS)
SAGAL: Later on, we'll appease the crowd with classical pianist Emanuel Ax. But right now, it's your turn to help us get them riled up. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT, that's 1-888-924-8924. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!
JIM MAXON: Hi Peter, this is Jim from Decatur, Georgia.
SAGAL: Decatur, I know Decatur. What do you do there?
MAXON: I am a twerking instructor.
SAGAL: A twerking instructor.
MAXON: Yeah, no, actually I'm an attorney. I just tell my kids I'm a twerking instructor so that the other kids at school don't pick on them.
SAGAL: You're a kind man, Jim. Well, welcome to the show.
MAXON: Thank you.
SAGAL: Let me introduce you to this week's panel. First up, the man behind Esquire's politics blog, it's Charlie Pierce.
MAXON: Hey, Charlie.
PIERCE: Hey, Jeff.
SAGAL: Next up, she writes a syndicated advice column Ask Amy. You can do that yourself, if you want. It's Amy Dickinson, she's right here.
MAXON: Hi, Amy.
AMY DICKINSON: Hi, Jim.
SAGAL: And finally a man who blogs probably more than is healthy at cartalk.com, it's Tom Bodett.
TOM BODETT: Hello, Jim.
SAGAL: Now you of course are going to start us off with Who's Carl This time. Carl Kasell, right here, is going to read you three quotations from this week's news. Your job, of course, explain, identify two of them. Do that, you win our prize, Carl's voice on your very own handheld device or whatever you choose. Ready to play?
MAXON: Yes, sir.
SAGAL: All right, here we go. Here's your first quote. It's a pickup line inspired by the NSA.
KASELL: I know exactly where you've been all my life.
SAGAL: That was a man named Pano Karnavezos on Twitter. He was responding to revelations that NSA staffers were using their surveillance powers to spy on whom?
MAXON: President Obama?
SAGAL: No, they might do this but only if they had very strong feelings for President Obama.
MAXON: Oh, their girlfriends, their spouses.
SAGAL: Yes, and their exes, very well done, yes.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: The latest scandal from the NSA, the most powerful surveillance agency in the world, is using that power to stalk its ex-girlfriends and boyfriends. You know, they say that with great power comes great responsibility. But other people say to hell with that, let's see what that two-timing bastard is up to now.
PIERCE: What I like, Peter, is what they called it. They actually had a term of art for it. It was called LOVEINT.
SAGAL: Yes, this is true.
PIERCE: And NSA analyst Chuck Woolery was unavailable for comment, by the way.
BODETT: Does this surprise anyone? I mean, these are young men with a tool...
DICKINSON: Or just humans...
PIERCE: Excuse me? That's the whole problem, Tom.
SAGAL: You know, you do know when you're being hit on by an NSA agent because instead of saying, hey, do you come here often, they say hey, you come here often.
SAGAL: All right, your next quote is from a U.S. official talking about taking military action:
KASELL: We'll do something just muscular enough not to get mocked.
SAGAL: That official was talking to the L.A. Times about how the U.S. might intervene where?
MAXON: In the country of Syria.
SAGAL: Yes indeed, Syria.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: It is - it's hard to believe it's been 10 years since we recklessly launched a war in the Middle East. But fortunately, you never really forget how. It's just like blowing up a bicycle.
SAGAL: This threatened attack is in reaction to a Syrian chemical weapons attack. The White House says it knows the Syrian military is responsible for it because they intercepted a phone call. Apparently somebody in the NSA used to date the Syrian military.
DICKINSON: Oh, you know what? I just figured out who I would stalk.
DICKINSON: Mark Harmon.
DICKINSON: I know. He's sort of dreamy, right?
DICKINSON: Yeah, that's - I'm just saying that's who I would stalk.
SAGAL: So we're sitting here, we're moving on, and we're talking about imminent war, and you're like Mark Harmon is cute.
DICKINSON: Sorry, I just...
SAGAL: Back on the war, apparently...
BODETT: Well, I knew it was over when I read that Canada supports military action. Like, you know, you know you're a goner when Canada supports...
SAGAL: When Canada is mad enough to bomb you, then you've done something wrong.
SAGAL: Here's the thing. So we're sending this message, right, it's got to be perfectly calibrated. It's got to be aggressive enough to deter the Syrians from doing it again but not so aggressive we get drawn into the war. It's got to be targeted, but it's got to unpredictable. It basically - doing this is like the mix-tape of military actions, right. You want to start it hot and peppy, with some Tomahawk missiles, then slow it down, maybe some ongoing aerial bombardments, and then finish it off with "Brown Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison.
SAGAL: All right, here is your last quote:
KASELL: Oh, Lord, have mercy. I was not expecting her to be putting her butt that close to my son.
SAGAL: That was the mother of singer Robin Thicke. She was talking about her son's duet on MTV's Video Music Awards this week with whom?
MAXON: Who was she talking about, Miley Cyrus?
SAGAL: Miley Cyrus, yes very good, yes.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: For those of you who missed cable news this week, Miley Cyrus was the once-innocent Disney child star who came out at the VMAs and twerked. This became the go-to stupid story of the summer. Imagine shark attacks except the sharks attack people with their genitals.
SAGAL: So Miley Cyrus twerked; the nation wept. Twerking, for all you public radio listeners...
SAGAL: ...is a kind of suggestive dance that's big in the clubs now but it's the same sort of thing we've had for years. It's what our parents called a grand mal seizure.
SAGAL: What's going on here is Miley Cyrus, she's now 20. She wants to show the audience that she's grown up. Since when is dancing around in your underwear grown up?
BODETT: And the thing with the tongue, I mean, she looked...
DICKINSON: And the teddy bears.
BODETT: She looked like a bear who got honey on her face, you know, she's trying to get it off.
SAGAL: If Miley Cyrus really wants to convince America she's grown up, she should come out on stage, settle down for an evening watching "Downton Abbey" until she falls asleep on the couch. That's what...
DICKINSON: That's grownup.
SAGAL: That's what we grownups do.
DICKINSON: I agree.
SAGAL: This is true. We love this. We're going to stay with this story for a second. she danced quite suggestively with a foam finger, you may have missed that. And the guy who invented the foam finger 40 years ago, this is true, is very upset. He said Miley Cyrus had, quote, "degraded an honorable icon."
PIERCE: So she degraded this national icon.
SAGAL: The foam finger.
PIERCE: But the 9,000 people who are going to puke on one at the Georgia game this weekend, they're not degrading it at all.
SAGAL: Carl, how did Jim do on our quiz?
KASELL: He was perfect, Peter. Jim, you had three correct answers, so I'll be doing the message on your home answering machine.
SAGAL: Well done. Thank you, Jim.