Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!

Who's Carl This Time

Carl Kasell reads three quotes from the week's news: Blurred Red Lines, Cold War Two: Electric Pooty Poot and A Long Hard Trip to Florida.

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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 Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

(APPLAUSE)

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Carl. Thank you everybody.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Oh, you're nice. We've got a great show for you today. We've got Baz Luhrmann, the director behind "Moulin Rouge" and "The Great Gatsby" coming by to play our game. But first, you probably saw this, the media world was horrified when billionaire Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, bought the venerable Washington Post. What would this mean for the future of journalism? What about journalistic independence, excellence, integrity?

Well, all we can say is, Mr. Bezos, if you're listening, is you can reach us through our website, WaitWait.npr.org, or use the cell number I sent you in all those emails. Or you can use our regular phone line, 1-888-WAIT-WAIT, that's 1-888-924-8924 and give us a call even if you're not a billionaire. We still want to hear from you. In fact, hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

BENNETT ULMER: Hi, Peter, this is Bennett Ulmer from Philadelphia, calling you today from State College, Pennsylvania.

SAGAL: I see, you're trying to stay mobile.

ULMER: I'm trying to, yeah, run away.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Good plan. Well, welcome to the show, Bennett. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, it's a winner of "Last Comic Standing" and host of the "Who's Paying Attention" podcast, Mr. Alonzo Bodden.

ALONZO BODDEN: Hello, Bennett.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: And next, it's a writer for HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher," Mr. Adam Felber.

(APPLAUSE)

ADAM FELBER: Hey there, Bennett.

SAGAL: And lastly, making her debut as a panelist on our show, it's a singer and songwriter whose new album "The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, the More I Love You," is out now, it is Neko Case right here.

NEKO CASE: Hi Bennett.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Welcome to the show, Bennett. You're going to play Who's Carl This Time. Carl Kasell is going to read you three quotations from the week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain two of them, you'll win our prize, Carl Kasell's voice on their home answering machine. Are you ready to play?

ULMER: I am, yeah.

SAGAL: OK, here we go. Your first quote is in two parts. The first part is from last year.

KASELL: A red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons being utilized.

SAGAL: And here's the same person again this week.

KASELL: I didn't set a red line, the world set a red line.

SAGAL: Who seemed to forget about the time he set a red line?

ULMER: I guess that would be President Obama.

SAGAL: It would be, yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: He said, you know, if Syria uses chemical weapons, they'll cross a red line. Then they did. So Obama was like, I'm going to count to three, Syria. And now he's stuck like you are when you're a parent. He's OK, two, two and a half...

(LAUGHTER)

FELBER: You are not going to get dessert, Syria.

SAGAL: It does seem, though, the world has gone mad. You've got a guy who won the Nobel Peace Prize who wants to lob missiles. The Brits won't go along with the war. The French will. John Kerry has become interesting.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Even Congress has gone topsy-turvy. Republicans are singing give peace a chance. Everything's backwards. Crotches are tweeting pictures of their congressmen.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

FELBER: I don't think Congress is going to OK it.

SAGAL: You don't think so? You think they're not going to?

FELBER: No, I do not think the United States wants to go to war over anything other than imaginary weapons of mass destruction.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: That's true. But how about the Democrats? They have a problem. You know, they want to support the president, but they're anti-war. What do they do? Their solution has been to protest their own hearings in Congress. I ask myself: Have I no shame?

(LAUGHTER)

FELBER: How many more young men and women must die before I get the message?

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: All right, Bennett, here's your next quote.

KASELL: Your humble servant was not elected by the people of Russia to be pleasant to someone.

SAGAL: That was somebody explaining why he wasn't going to be pleasant to President Obama this week. Who is it?

ULMER: Would that have been Vladimir Putin?

SAGAL: Yes, indeed, Vladimir Putin.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: A lot of Putin fans here, that's great. He does look good with his shirt off.

FELBER: Yeah, he does.

SAGAL: Mr. Putin, to use the delicate, subtle language of diplomacy, is a pain in the ass. He is blocking the UN from taking action on Syria. He gave asylum to Edward Snowden. Now, of course, he's hosting President Obama and other world leaders at the G-20 summit.

He made his distaste for us known by having Obama sit at the small nations' table.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: That's a card table they set up in the kitchen near the main banquet. That was OK, but it really bothered Obama when he had to make the toast with grape juice. That was like...

(LAUGHTER)

FELBER: Putin's a killer, but now he's settling for being just a needler, right?

SAGAL: Yeah.

FELBER: But with Obama right now, he's sort of like you have something on your shirt, made you look.

(LAUGHTER)

FELBER: Also, by the way, I not only have Snowden, I got your nose.

(LAUGHTER)

BODDEN: Could he maybe just - could Putin maybe be upset just because he found out that the Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl ring is nicer than the New England stolen Super Bowl? Like he stole the wrong ring.

SAGAL: One problem for America right now is that Putin has been - his government has been cracking down on gays and lesbians in Russia. This is surprising coming from a man who often has himself photographed shirtless standing next to bears.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: People want to punish Russia for their homophobic laws by taking away the Winter Olympics that'll be coming up in like February of next year. But is there any better punishment for a homophobic country than making them host the Winter Olympics?

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: You know, because you know what they say, if they outlaw homosexuality, then only outlaws will compete in ice dancing.

(LAUGHTER)

BODDEN: That's really going to be great, isn't it, just to have ice dancing, figure skating, just the whole program over there? And it's just knowing it's going to drive him crazy.

SAGAL: He'll be sitting there in the welcoming sign going what is with all these spangles.

(LAUGHTER)

CASE: Why am I wearing this singlet again?

FELBER: I always find myself in this singlet at the end of the day.

(LAUGHTER)

CASE: It's binding, but I am so aware of myself as man.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

CASE: I don't understand my feelings.

SAGAL: This is a very touching scenario we've come up with. I'm imaging Vladimir Putin standing there in his, you know, palatial apartments holding up, you know, Johnny Weir's stolen outfit up to his neck. And a tear comes to his eye, you know, and you flashback to his father saying, no, put away skates, you to be...

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: You will be a KGB officer, an autocrat, and tranquilize bears. And he says, yes, papa.

CASE: And then he yells, your foot poetry is for girls.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: OK, Bennett, here is your last quote.

KASELL: I have to say, I'm a little bit out of it right now: seawater.

SAGAL: That was a woman named Diana Nyad. She was talking on Monday as she became the first person ever to do what?

ULMER: Swim from Cuba to Florida.

SAGAL: Exactly right, yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: All of us, especially older people, and people with swollen lips, were given a huge boost of inspiration this week.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Ms. Nyad who is 64. She first attempted this feat in 1978. That is 35 years of trying to get from Cuba to Florida. She is the only person on earth who would have gotten to her destination faster by flying Delta.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

FELBER: But, you know, there's an asterisk there because the oceans are drying up. So it wasn't as...

(LAUGHTER)

FELBER: Sorry, somebody had to say it. It wasn't as long a swim as it was in the '70s.

SAGAL: Yeah, basically you just walk, you walk a bit, you wade a bit, you're there.

FELBER: Nothing.

BODDEN: Yeah, because that four feet that you got to walk made it so much easier.

(LAUGHTER)

BODDEN: You think there are literally thousands and thousands of Cuban saying: You mean they let us in if we swim over?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Oh, yeah, they're all going to be showing up. There are all these Cubans who are like, I Diana Nyad. Count me in.

(LAUGHTER)

FELBER: I think Diana Nyad is a password.

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

KASELL: Bennett, you had three correct answers. So I'll be doing the message on your home answering machine.

SAGAL: Well done, Bennett, thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Thank you so much for playing and giving us a call. Bye-bye.

ULMER: Bye.

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