Who's Bill This Time
BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. Hey, Guy Raz, how'd you Bill this?
KURTIS: I'm Bill Kurtis, and here is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Bill. Thank you, Bill. Thank you, everybody.
SAGAL: I share your excitement. We do have a great show for you today. Later on, we're going to be talking to actor Anna Kendrick about her new movie, and we have a lot of questions for her. And only, like, five of them are going to be, can you do the "Cups" song for us?
SAGAL: Please? Just a little bit, please? We expect you to be completely without musical accompaniment when you call. The number is 1-888-WAITWAIT - that's 1-888-924-8924. Let's welcome our first listener contestant. Hi, you are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.
HEATHER KISSLER KINS: Hi, this is Heather Kissler Kins from Arvada, Colo.
SAGAL: Oh, that's great. Arvada's out near Denver. How are things there?
KINS: Wonderful. Very hot.
SAGAL: Oh, yeah.
PAULA POUNDSTONE: Oh.
SAGAL: I know. But that'll change - or will it, right? Pretty soon? Yeah.
SAGAL: Pretty soon, Colorado will be known for water-skiing, I guess.
KINS: Oh, no.
SAGAL: Well, Heather, welcome to the show. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First, it's a comedian and host of the podcast Fake The Nation, which you can see in New York City on November 6, and the show Average Women With Average Rage. It's Negin Farsad.
SAGAL: Next, it's a humorist and author of his latest book. It's on finance and economics. It's called "None Of My Business." It's P.J. O'Rourke.
SAGAL: And a comedian performing October 26 in Raleigh, N.C. at the Meymandi Concert Hall and the host of a new podcast, Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone, it is, of course, Paula Poundstone.
SAGAL: So, Heather, welcome to the show. You're going to start us off with Who's Bill This Time. Bill Kurtis is going to read for you three quotations from the week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain two of them, you'll win our prize - the voice from our show that you like on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?
KINS: Yes, very.
SAGAL: OK, very. Here we go. Here is your first quote.
KURTIS: It's a joke - just another assault against me. I'll write the real book.
SAGAL: That was the president reacting to the publication this week of a new book by whom?
KINS: Probably the Bob Woodward book.
SAGAL: You never know with all the books coming out.
SAGAL: But, yes.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: It's Bob Woodward.
SAGAL: That was on Tuesday. By now, it could've been four more. Who knows? But we're talking about Bob Woodward. His book, titled, "Fear," which is both what it's about and what it causes...
SAGAL: ...Is already a huge best-seller, despite there being no real surprises in it. That makes it the perfect book club book.
SAGAL: You can totally get away with only pretending you've read it.
SAGAL: Oh, yeah. My favorite part is how everybody thinks the president is crazy.
SAGAL: Woodward quotes various senior White House aides saying terrible things about the president, such as, he's an idiot, a moron, he has the mental capacity of a fifth grader, which, if you're listening, Mr. President, is the grade the son you forgot about recently finished.
SAGAL: Wait a minute. You may go, ooh, but the president's going to go, oh.
SAGAL: Have you - you haven't had a chance to read it yet, but you - sure, you've heard about it, I assume.
NEGIN FARSAD: Yeah. I think one of the things that's illuminating about the book that I haven't read is that (laughter) - is that, like, it shows the shortcomings of the English language in that we don't have enough ways to call someone an idiot.
SAGAL: That's right.
P.J. O'ROURKE: Is it funny, Peter?
SAGAL: I don't know. I only got my copy recently.
O'ROURKE: I know Bob. I'm guessing kind of not.
SAGAL: Not - no.
SAGAL: He's a bit dour.
O'ROURKE: Yeah, he is a little bit dour. And...
POUNDSTONE: You know, he's not anything like Dustin Hoffman or...
SAGAL: Robert Redford.
POUNDSTONE: ...Robert Redford.
O'ROURKE: Especially not like Robert Redford.
O'ROURKE: Carl Bernstein - I know Carl from way back. He is quite a bit like Dustin Hoffman.
POUNDSTONE: Oh, is he?
O'ROURKE: (Laughter) Carl could've played himself, but Bob, not so much, though.
SAGAL: Now, what's interesting, of course, is now that the book has come out, everybody is denying the things they are quoted as saying in the book. But Woodward is notorious for recording everything, so people are being very careful. These are nondenial denials.
So Gary Cohn, for example, told Woodward he stole key documents from Trump's desk - said, quote, "this book does not accurately portray my experience at the White House," unquote. Yeah, he didn't so much steal the documents as remove them secretly when Trump wasn't looking, and...
SAGAL: It's not so much a desk as the president's wooden napping surface.
SAGAL: And former Secretary of State Tillerson is quoted as calling the president an effing moron. He, of course, says, that's not true; I used the whole word.
SAGAL: Now, what was interesting, I think, about this - maybe you can say so, P.J. - but the book was such a departure for Woodward. We remember, for example, in "All The President's Men," he had to go to parking garages to meet with secret sources. In this one, people were apparently, like, calling him cold. Mr. Woodward?
SAGAL: Yes, it's Melania with an M.
SAGAL: All right, Heather. Your next quote is actually a series of headlines from a collection we saw this week.
KURTIS: A schmear campaign in New York.
KURTIS: Lox her up.
SAGAL: That was the Wall Street Journal and Canada's National Post respectively...
(SOUNDBITE OF MOOSE BELLOWING)
SAGAL: ...Reacting to someone ordering the wrong kind of bagel and thus perhaps ending her quest to be governor of New York. Who was it?
KINS: Cynthia Nixon.
SAGAL: It's Cynthia Nixon.
KINS: But it doesn't sound bad.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: Say it again?
KINS: It doesn't sound bad. Like, you get the sweet and salty.
POUNDSTONE: I think it sounds delicious.
SAGAL: All right.
O'ROURKE: You guys are just not from New York.
SAGAL: Before we explain how wrong you are, we need to let everybody else know what we're talking about.
O'ROURKE: OK, there's that.
SAGAL: The actress Cynthia Nixon, of course, famous from "Sex And The City," has been running an insurgent campaign against the governor of New York. And she was doing really well because, what could be a better idea than electing a famous television star with no political experience...
O'ROURKE: She had that going for her.
SAGAL: ...To a position of power? Yeah. But it all came crashing down when she was filmed by Gothamist ordering a cinnamon raisin bagel with lox, cream cheese and capers...
SAGAL: ...At Zabar's in New York. Now, no...
O'ROURKE: What, no pork skins?
SAGAL: No - yeah.
SAGAL: Chicharrones? No true New Yorker orders a sweet bagel with lox. True New Yorkers like an onion bagel, a little schmear and, for that New York authenticity, a whiff of stale urine.
POUNDSTONE: All right...
SAGAL: Now, some attacked Ms. Nixon for this order. Some have defended her, saying, at least it wasn't a blueberry bagel, which is the worst thing to happen to Jews ever.
O'ROURKE: Yeah, it really is bad.
SAGAL: No. I mean, it's just...
O'ROURKE: It's an ugly, ugly thing.
FARSAD: What is wrong with you? It's totally - I also love the sweet and salty. I'm the guy that orders pineapple on my pizza, and I stand by those decisions in life. I dip my sausage in maple syrup. Who is with me in 2020?
POUNDSTONE: There you go.
O'ROURKE: No. Simple answer - no.
O'ROURKE: You obviously have no experience with practical politics. John Kerry never became president because he ordered Brie on a Philly cheesesteak.
POUNDSTONE: Oh, for God's sake.
SAGAL: Now, wait a minute. Now, in fact, P.J. makes a point, which is that, for some reason, in this country, we are really sensitive to politicians eating foods correctly. As P.J. brought up, John Kerry ordered a cheesesteak wrong, although it was with Swiss, not Brie. Mitt Romney once said...
O'ROURKE: Ew, Swiss - even worse.
SAGAL: I know.
SAGAL: Mitt Romney once said, quote, "my favorite meat is hot dog." And Chris Christie, of course, famously created a massive traffic jam in Fort Lee, N.J., when he decided to eat the George Washington Bridge.
POUNDSTONE: I was going to say, tell me there's any food that Chris Christie ate wrong.
SAGAL: Heather, here is your last quote.
KURTIS: Maybe for a little extra, they can decorate it, drink your milk and cookies and spend quality time with Aunt Sally for you, too.
SAGAL: That was somebody on Twitter commenting on the news that Amazon will now deliver what to your house this Christmas?
KINS: Are they delivering Christmas trees?
SAGAL: They are, Heather.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
POUNDSTONE: Isn't that awful?
O'ROURKE: Good for you.
SAGAL: That's right. Along...
O'ROURKE: All right. I'm deeply alarmed. My wife is seeing too much of that UPS man already. And to have him over...
O'ROURKE: ...For Christmas dinner on top of it?
O'ROURKE: I don't know.
SAGAL: Along with your local bookstore and department stores, Amazon is now putting the old guy standing in an empty lot drinking vodka from a paper bag out of business.
SAGAL: Amazon, this year, will be delivering live, or at least recently killed, Christmas trees up to 7-feet tall right to your house. It is amazing to think that finally the robots that will kill us all turn out to be the ones Amazon built with buzz saws for hands so they could make an extra dollar this Christmas.
POUNDSTONE: I think this is such a sad story. I love going to get the Christmas tree. I just - I love, you know...
O'ROURKE: And I am the drunk guy drinking vodka out of the paper bag.
SAGAL: I'm sorry for your loss, Sir.
FARSAD: You know, Peter, I'm a Muslim, like most of your listeners.
FARSAD: And even - and I don't buy Christmas trees, you know, unless they're wrapped in a prayer rug. But...
FARSAD: But I don't buy Christmas trees, but I still love seeing the parking lot and...
FARSAD: ...You know, when the smell of the thing, and it's lovely. You know what I mean? Even a horrible, terrorist Muslim like myself...
FARSAD: ...Can see this beautiful American tradition as being lovely, and Amazon just taking a giant dump on it.
SAGAL: It's terrible.
SAGAL: It'll still be nice. It'll be a family thing. Instead of, like, getting in the car and driving off to the tree farm or the filled parking lot, we'll just gather around the iPhone so we can all click order together as a family.
SAGAL: Bill, how did Heather do on our show?
KURTIS: She did great.
KURTIS: Heather, you got all three right.
SAGAL: Congratulations, Heather.
POUNDSTONE: All right.
SAGAL: Heather, thanks for playing. Bye-bye.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
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