Bluff The Listener Our panelists tell us three stories of conspiracy theories about President Obama.

Bluff The Listener

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From NPR and Chicago Public Radio, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR news quiz. I'm Carl Kasell. We're playing this week with Charlie Pierce, Paula Poundstone, and Roxanne Roberts. And here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.


Thank you so much, Carl.


SAGAL: Thank you. Thanks everybody. Right now, it's time for the WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME! Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-Wait Wait to play our game on the air. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

M: Hi, this is Aaron Todd calling from Needham, Massachusetts.

SAGAL: Hey, beautiful Needham. I've been there.

M: Yeah, it's a great town. I've been here for about two weeks.

SAGAL: Two whole weeks.

M: Yeah.

SAGAL: Settled in?

M: Yeah, actually I was just doing a little painting before I got on the line.

SAGAL: Wow. Well what do you do there?

M: Actually, edit a trade magazine for online casino and poker professionals.

M: We're running a game where we're trying to bluff a guy who runs a poker magazine?

SAGAL: There you are.

M: Okey dokey.

SAGAL: Well let's see how you do, because we have invited you hear to play a game in which you have to tell truth from fiction, Aaron. Carl, what is his topic?

KASELL: It's like JFK, Roswell, and the fake moon landings rolled into one.

SAGAL: President Obama has been the focus of many conspiracy theories. Some say he was born in Kenya, some say he's a secret Muslim, others say he regularly makes lists of whose ass he's going to kick.

Well, there is, just this week, a new President Obama conspiracy theory making the rounds. This one truly shocking. Each of our panelists are going to tell you about an Obama conspiracy theory. Guess which one is being actively discussed right now, you'll win our prize. Ready to play?

M: Let's do it.

SAGAL: All right, first let's hear from Charlie Pierce.

M: The Harvard Law School blog, John's Law, set off a firestorm last week when an anonymous contributor claimed that during his days on the Harvard Law Review, Barack Obama acted as an undercover ethics nark for the law school's disciplinary board.

The blogger claims that he has unearthed files showing that Obama filed reports on students who were suspected of violating the school's honor code. The students were offered a choice, a formal hearing in front of the disciplinary board, or a certain amount of community service time of pro bono paralegal work for local legal services or community service organizations. Obama's identity was concealed, but he was regularly referred to as Habeas the Prince of Torts.


SAGAL: Barack Obama accused of being a secret nark for the law school ethic's committee. You're next story of a tale being told about the president comes from Roxanne Roberts.

M: All those weekends President Obama is playing golf, he's really playing cricket, at least according to Tea Party bloggers.

Conservatives were initially supportive when Obama took up the game last year, until someone discovered there was once a cricket field used by diplomats at Andrews Air Force Base, one of the military courses the presidential party frequents. Those 18-hole games, claims Rep. Michele Bachmann, are a cover for Obama's childhood passion, which happens to be the second most popular sport outside of the United States.

Further proof, his first state dinner last fall honored the prime minister of India, where the sport is huge. Quote, "Cricket is un-American," Bachmann told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "Who plays a sport named after a bug?"


SAGAL: President Obama secretly playing cricket, the sport of his youth. And your last story of a crackpot theory about Obama comes from Paula Poundstone.

M: Whoomp, there he is, President Obama. He's in the 1993 "Whoomp, There It is" music video. He's the guy talking on his cell phone, one minute and one second into the video. Did you see it? Watch it again. That's him. Whoomp, there he is. That's our president. That's so cool.

You didn't see it? Go back. No, no, not that guy. The dude with the hat and the glasses who looks like he's going to be president, pass a historic health care bill, narrowly steer the country clear of a depression and then gets slammed by an oil disaster. Did you see him? No, not that guy, that guy. It's him. Whoomp. At least that's what the website Gawker said. Then CNN thought so, and they always vet stuff so carefully.


M: And the Tea Party group, Tennessee Sons of Liberty thought so, and they're fact finders. And FOX News, it's turns out it's not true. It wasn't him. Whoomp.

SAGAL: All right, let us review your choices. Somebody is saying one of these things about President Obama. Was it from Charlie Pierce that he was an undercover informant for his law school ethics committee, turning people in? Was it from Roxanne Roberts that he secretly is playing cricket instead of golf like he says he is. Or from Paula Poundstone, that he appears in a 1993 hip hop music video? Which of these is the real conspiracy theory about President Obama?

M: Well, you can't bluff a poker player when he knows the answer.


M: I'm going to go with Paula's story about Barack Obama being in the music video.

SAGAL: You've seen the cards have you?

M: Yes.

SAGAL: Well this is great, we actually got the White House itself to comment on this. This is the deputy press secretary at the White House.

M: For those who are scouring the internet looking for evidence that the president had a brief music industry career back in the '90s, I have a track you should check out. It's called, Whoomp, It's Not True.



SAGAL: That was the deputy press secretary of the White House, and he has got the greatest name for a press secretary ever. His name is Josh Earnest.


SAGAL: Congratulations, Aaron, you did know the answer. You were right. Well done.

M: Thank you.


SAGAL: You earned a point for Paula Poundstone. You've won our prize. Carl Kasell will record the greeting on your home answering machine. Thank you so much for playing with us today.

M: Thank you very much.

SAGAL: It's great to have you. Bye-bye.

M: All right, bye.

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