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 Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Carl. Thank you everybody.
MAZ JOBRANI: Great to see you. We have got - we've got the wonderful Shirley Jones, star of "Oklahoma" and "The Music Man," the mom from "The Partridge Family." She's coming on to play our games later. But first, we couldn't help but notice this week that those funsters over at NBC's "Today" show had an adorable feature called Fact or Fiction in which their panel has to choose between a fake news story and a real one. Oh, I wonder where they got that idea?
SAGAL: Well, all right fine, shot across our bows. It is only fair if we steal some of their shtick. So on this week's episode, we're going to fire the beloved Ann Curry and get crushed in the ratings by "Good Morning America."
SAGAL: Anyway, you know who to call for the original version of silly games about the news, that's us, 1-888-WAIT-WAIT or 1-888-924-8924. It's time to welcome our first listener contestant. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!
MADELYN INGLESE: Hi there.
SAGAL: Who is this?
SAGAL: Hey, Madelyn, where are you calling from?
INGLESE: I'm from - in Los Angeles.
SAGAL: How are things in beautiful L.A.?
INGLESE: It's gorgeous, absolutely perfect.
SAGAL: Oh, it's that beautiful time of L.A. between the misery of the summer and the, well, misery of the winter.
INGLESE: I'll talk to you in February.
SAGAL: All right, that's better. What do you do there?
INGLESE: I'm a teacher at USC.
SAGAL: Oh, really? What do you teach there?
INGLESE: I teach writing.
SAGAL: Do you really?
MADELY INGLESE: Uh-huh.
SAGAL: So does anybody ever come to L.A. and want to write anything other than screenplays?
INGLESE: I don't think so.
SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Madelyn. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, a comedian you can see at Cobb's Comedy Club in San Francisco, California, October 17th through the 20th, it's Maz Jobrani is back with us.
JOBRANI: Hi, Madelyn.
INGLESE: Hello there.
JOBRANI: I miss L.A.
SAGAL: Next it's one of the women behind the Washington Post's Reliable Source column, Roxanne Roberts is here.
ROXANNE ROBERTS: Hello.
INGLESE: Hi, Roxanne.
SAGAL: Finally, it's the man behind Esquire's politics blog and a contributor to Grantland, Charlie Pierce.
CHARLIE PIERCE: Hey, Madelyn.
INGLESE: Hey, Charlie.
PIERCE: I thought maybe you taught cursive.
SAGAL: Madelyn, you're going to play Who's Carl This Time. Of course, Carl Kasell, giant that he is, is going to read you three quotes from this week's news. Your job, of course, explain or identify two of them. Do that, you get Carl's voice on your answering device, whatever it may be. You ready to play?
INGLESE: Oh, I sure am.
SAGAL: OK, your first quote comes from outer space. It's a message to America.
KASELL: Farewell, humans. Sort it out yourselves.
SAGAL: That was a tweet from the Voyager 2 spacecraft. Its parent organization NASA is shuttered for the moment thanks to what?
INGLESE: Well, the shutdown of the government.
SAGAL: Exactly right.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: The government is shut down, has been all week.
SAGAL: You know, anarchy seemed a lot more fun in the Mad Max movies. Yeah, the parks are closed, hundreds of thousands of people are out of work, but they kept the essential stuff going. If they really wanted us to care about this, they should have really gone for it. Release the animals in the National Zoo, open up the dams. Once we've got blood-thirsty tigers swimming down the street, watch the bipartisanship happen.
JOBRANI: Why don't they stop with programs that we don't - like we should be able to vote, like, you know, first defund the meter maids and the IRS. Do you know what I'm saying? Places that...
SAGAL: Well, that's almost what they're doing.
PIERCE: Are there federal meter maids? That's a frightening thought.
JOBRANI: I don't know, but I want to stop funding them.
SAGAL: This all began, as we know, when the Republicans in the House refused to fund the government if they couldn't get rid of Obamacare. And as the week has gone on, they've more or less given that up. But now what do they want? Nobody knows. Indiana Republican Congressman Marlin Stutzman said, quote, "We're not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don't know what that even is."
JOBRANI: It's a trip for two to lovely Hawaii.
SAGAL: Well, yeah, I mean, that's the thing. So now in order to get out of this, we have to find something to give the Republicans so they feel they've won something. Maybe...
ROBERTS: You get a car, and you get a car, and you get a car.
SAGAL: But there's no money, so it has to be something inexpensive, but they have to feel good like a participation medal. A Mr. Total Lack of Congeniality sash. Or maybe just as a concession, we can let each member of the House pick one old person that they can allow to die.
(SOUNDBITE OF GROANING)
JOBRANI: This reminds me of me dealing with my two-year-old daughter. That's how it is. Like she doesn't know what she wants, and it changes on a...
SAGAL: Right, I'm just (unintelligible) crying. Why are you unhappy? I don't know. I've been there.
JOBRANI: It's a lollipop one second, and then it's, you know, jelly beans. So maybe lollipops and jelly beans.
SAGAL: Yeah, it's whatever they can't have at the moment, and then 10 minutes later you give it to them, 10 minutes later it's on the ground.
JOBRANI: Yeah. And if, like, you turn on "Dora the Explorer," then they're gone. That's all you've got to do.
SAGAL: Yeah, maybe that's it.
JOBRANI: We should show "Dora the Explorer" at Congress.
SAGAL: Yeah, big screens, you know.
PIERCE: Big screens, just reruns.
SAGAL: And you can just imagine the entire Tea Party caucus staring at the screen going Swiper, no swiping.
SAGAL: And meanwhile...
PIERCE: Well, I can see the entire Tea Party caucus demanding to see Dora's papers.
SAGAL: Madelyn, your next quote is from a website for a promising new government program that launched this week.
KASELL: Please wait. We have a lot visitors on our site right now, and we're working to make your experience here better.
SAGAL: What was the program?
INGLESE: Oh, oh, oh...
SAGAL: Yeah, keep going.
INGLESE: It's the one that they shut down because - oh, do you mean the Affordable Care Act?
SAGAL: Yes, which...
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: Yes, which everybody knows these days as Obamacare. Yeah. The very day the government stopped, Tuesday the first, the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, also known as the greatest threat to freedom since the Galactic Empire, started its enrollment programs. Anybody who wanted to could go on to many websites from all over the country to sign up for inexpensive health insurance.
In some states, like New York, people waited all day long and just kept getting those annoying 404 government handout not found pages.
JOBRANI: It was good, though, Peter, because I got this great deal on a $9 million insurance policy from this Nigerian firm.
SAGAL: Oh, it's awesome.
ROBERTS: How come those websites got to stay online when every other federal - are these non-federal?
SAGAL: This actually is one of the bizarre ironies of this situation. The Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, is self-funded in its own legislation. So it has nothing to do with that. So the Republicans, who wanted Obamacare defunded, managed to shut down everything but Obamacare.
SAGAL: It's crazy, so they did that. And it turns out, meanwhile, the person to shut down Obamacare was Brad in IT who forgot to turn on the second server. That's the guy - you know, they screwed this up, you know, this launch. They got so overwhelmed. They should have handed it over to the people who really know how to run websites. Like let Netflix do it. They do high volume.
Then if Netflix did Obamacare, we'd also get recommendations. Like based on your choices, you like dialysis with a strong female lead.
SAGAL: Or maybe Amazon, they're great at this, you know, and then it would say people who looked at health care also looked at self-appendectomy for dummies and graves.
SAGAL: All right, Madelyn, here is your last quote.
KASELL: Screw off, flight attendant, I'm not turning it off during landing and takeoff. I have Candy Crush to play.
SAGAL: That was a tweet from an airline passenger named Robert Anderson. He may no longer have to break the rules. What may soon be allowed on planes?
INGLESE: Access to your Internet and computer.
SAGAL: Yes, exactly, you get to use your devices on planes. This is big news.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: All this other stuff going on in Washington, who cares? This is the news you need to know. An FAA advisory panel concluded this week that despite what every flight attendant has told us forever, our cell phones, iPads, Google Glass, crock pots, what have you, they don't pose any danger to the plane's safety, even during takeoff and landing.
This means that we can finally get rid of that last pesky 10 minutes in which we're forced to read a book or talk to another human being.
JOBRANI: You know, they tell you that it might interfere with the plane, but now you're saying it doesn't.
SAGAL: Well, the FAA has decided that all the things that - you know, the Internet connections, all that, it doesn't matter.
JOBRANI: So wouldn't that be weird? I mean, I just - I hope they test it because that would be weird if you tried it, and then suddenly the plane's control is on your phone.
SAGAL: It's like oh gosh, oh, that'd be fun. Let's go left, let's go right.
JOBRANI: Turn it off, turn it off.
PIERCE: Speaking of changing things, I got on my plane in Boston today, and I didn't leave my belt on and my shoes and my jacket. They just shuffled me right through the metal detector.
JOBRANI: They gave me a knife on the way in.
SAGAL: That's awesome.
SAGAL: Carl, how did Madelyn do?
KASELL: Madelyn, you had three correct answers, so I'll be doing the message on your home answering machine or voicemail.
SAGAL: Well done.
INGLESE: I'm thrilled, I'm thrilled, yay.
SAGAL: Thank you, Madelyn, we're thrilled for you.
INGLESE: Thank you, OK.
SAGAL: Great to talk to you. Take care.
INGLESE: You, too, bye.