Bluff The Listener
BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We are playing this week with Faith Salie, Alonzo Bodden and Tara Clancy. And here, again, is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Bill.
SAGAL: Thank you, all. Right now it's time for the WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME Bluff The Listener game. Call 1-888-WAITWAIT to play our game on the air. Hi, you are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.
MATTHEW: Hi, Mr. Sagal.
MATTHEW: How are you?
SAGAL: I'm fine. Call me Peter. Who's this?
MATTHEW: My name's Matthew (ph). And I'm called from Flint, Mich.
SAGAL: Oh, my goodness.
SAGAL: So what do you do there in Flint?
MATTHEW: I work down at the Flint Farmers Market. I sell produce and baked goods.
SAGAL: Oh, that's great. I love a farmers market. That's fabulous. How often does that happen?
MATTHEW: Three days a week - Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
SAGAL: Well, that's really great. You make - you bake the goods yourself?
MATTHEW: Yeah. I do the baked goods myself.
SAGAL: That's fabulous. We'll look for you if we're ever over there. Matthew, it's great to have you with us. You're going to play the game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Matthew's topic?
KURTIS: Let me see your bobbies.
SAGAL: So the British police are known for two things - always finding their man and funny-sounding sirens.
SAGAL: This week, we read about a Scotland Yard investigation unlike any other. Our panelists are going to tell you about it. Pick the one who's telling the truth. And you'll win our prize, the voice of your choice on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?
MATTHEW: Yes, sir.
SAGAL: First, let's hear from Alonzo Bodden.
ALONZO BODDEN: The reality show "Britain's Got Talent" was rocked by controversy, leading to a police investigation all because a Russian-born dancer's routines may have been a little too authentically Russian. As dancer Vlad Olinks (ph) advanced past the second and third rounds, there was a surprising upwelling of support for him on social media. The hashtag #WhyNotVlad was tweeted out 175,000 times in the course of a single hour with tweets reading, it's time for Russian dance to take place. It's the best dance in Britain. And Russian dance - much, much gooder than silly kilt dancing.
BODDEN: Producer John Keane explains, quote, "We liked Vlad from the beginning, and we love that type of online popularity which helps us market the show, but we noticed many tweets were coming from St. Petersburg and Moscow, which was a red flag - no pun intended..."
BODDEN: "...Then we looked at the time the tweets went out, and we realized they hit a peak one hour before he actually performed." Scotland Yard was called in, who called in MI6, as it may have been a foreign attack on the sovereignty of British talent competitions.
BODDEN: At first, the counterintelligence experts thought it was silly. But then one anonymous agent said, quote, "We got a call from America's NSA, asking why we were checking an address they were monitoring - maybe it was the same fellows who hacked the American election, maybe Russia is running their own talent competition for hackers."
BODDEN: It still might have worked out. But whoever was running the hacking operation didn't plan on one thing - singer Deborah Bailey's (ph) rendition of "And I Am Telling You," in the semifinals. She blew dancing Vlad right off the stage...
BODDEN: ...And right out of the show.
SAGAL: An investigation into a hacking attempt on "Britain's Got Talent." The next story of law and order and tea and crumpets comes from Tara Clancy.
TARA CLANCY: In the tiny town of Linthicum (ph), local police are investigating a mysterious case involving the chattels of local sheep farmer Percy Blazeby (ph). On the morning of March 4, Blazeby went outside shortly after dawn to find every last sheep in his flock of 30 dressed as lords and ladies in Elizabethan-era period costumes.
CLANCY: I was well shocked, says Blazeby. The wigs and hats were easy enough to pluck off. But it took me most of the day to wrestle them out of their corsets.
CLANCY: According to Somerset County PC James Adams, this is a rather unusual case. I've not seen one like this before.
CLANCY: No suspects have yet been identified. Despite his initial alarm, Mr. Blazeby did maintain a sense of humor over the incident, saying, my flock looked like they could, any minute, break into a right proper production of "As You Like It."
CLANCY: Get it? Ewe - forget it.
SAGAL: Sheep being dressed jest in period costumes in Britain - that was a very good British accent, by the way, Tara.
SAGAL: And your last story of an English investigation comes from Faith Salie.
FAITH SALIE: It's one to stump Sherlock himself - the case of the hand in the cookie jar. The crime - on the 7 of May, 2016, in their London station, police constable Thomas Hooper is accused of stealing inspector Sarah Blake's (ph) biscuits out of a storage cupboard at work - a tin of them with two tiers of biscuits. The motivation? Cookies are delicious. Recently, a local tribunal heard testimony on what has come to be known as Biscuit Gate.
SALIE: The misconduct trial took three days, during which Hooper's defense attorney assured the panel the biscuits had been left out. And there was zero evidence they were taken from a cupboard. Sticky-fingered Hooper himself testified that he had intended to share and replace the cookies. But his testimony crumbled...
SALIE: ...When his cohort Constable Johnson (ph), an eyewitness, quoted the biscuit burglar as saying, "if someone was stupid enough to leave the biscuits out, then [EXPLETIVE] them.
SALIE: The chairwoman of the tribunal, Nahied Asjad (ph), pointed out to Sarah Blake that an offer had been made to replace her biscuits, to which Ms. Blake replied - with the understandable angst of a hungry victim - by that time, the biscuits had been eaten. How was he going to put the biscuits back? PC Hooper has been cleared of the allegations and has returned to full duties, presumably packing his own Hobnobs and Jammie Dodgers.
SAGAL: All right then.
SAGAL: You've heard these three stories. One of them is true - a real investigation by the British authorities. Was it from Alonzo Bodden, an investigation by British intelligence into the possible hacking of "Britain's Got Talent" by the Russkies? From Tara Clancy, an investigation as yet unsolved - who might be dressing flocks of sheep in period costumes? And lastly, from Faith Salie, an internal affairs investigation of a police officer himself accused of stealing a tin of biscuits from the break room? Which of these is the real story in British crime fighting?
MATTHEW: I'm going to go with Ms. Salie's.
SAGAL: All right. You have chosen Faith Salie's story. To bring you the correct answer, we spoke to a reporter covering the real case.
REBECCA TAYLOR: A police officer in Southwest London was put on restricted duty because he was accused of stealing a tin of cookies and lying about it.
SAGAL: That was Rebecca Taylor, reporter for Sky News - the U.K. talking about the case of the stolen cookies in the police headquarters. Congratulations. You were right. It was Ms. Salie indeed who was telling the truth. You've earned a point for her. And you've won our prize, the voice of your choice on your voicemail. Well done, sir.
MATTHEW: Thank you.
SALIE: Cheers, Mr. Matthew.
SAGAL: Thanks so much for playing. And if I'm ever in Flint, I'll look you up at the farmers market.
MATTHEW: Fair enough, Mr. Sagal. I'll have some baked goods for you.
SAGAL: That would be excellent, sir.
SAGAL: Thank you very much.
MATTHEW: Thank you. Bye-bye.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES")
WISE GUYS: (Singing) I'm baking chocolate chip cookies because my chocolate chip cookies are irresistible.
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