Bluff The Listener Our panelists read three stories about someone whose online celebrity turned out bad for them, only one of which is true.

Bluff The Listener

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BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We're playing this week with Janelle James, Tom Bodett and Faith Salie. And here again is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.


Thank you.


SAGAL: 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're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

DAN ANDREWS: Greetings, Peter. This is Dan Andrews from Denver, Colo.

SAGAL: Hey, how are things in beautiful Denver?

ANDREWS: We have a snowy day, but it'll probably be springtime tomorrow and then summer the next day.


SAGAL: That's how it rolls. What do you do there?

ANDREWS: I help young and old millennials with their adult responsibilities.


SAGAL: Really? Such as?

ANDREWS: I'm a certified financial planner, so help people kind of navigate that complicated realm.

SAGAL: Oh, I thought you helped them, like, make their beds and stuff.

FAITH SALIE: Cut their avocados, right.

SAGAL: Dan, it's nice to have you with us. You're going to play our game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Dan's topic?

KURTIS: You're Internet famous, which is not the same as actual famous.


SAGAL: Internet fame. It gets you all the perks of fame that movie stars get except for money, love or the adoration of anyone. Worse, this week we read a story of someone whose online celebrity turned out, well, not so good for them. Our panelists are going to tell you about it. Pick the one who's telling the truth, you'll win our prize, Carl Kasell's voice on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?

ANDREWS: Let's do it.

SAGAL: All right. First, let's hear from Tom Bodett.

TOM BODETT: When Larry Cassidy's (ph) video of launching a squirrel from a baited and bungee-rigged laundry basket on his back deck made it to the top feed on YouTube's channel devoted to the art of squirrel flinging...


BODETT: ...He was over the moon. The genre features home videos of a range of cobbled-up catapults designed to send unsuspecting squirrels into oblivion while men hoot and blow beer through their noses in the background.


BODETT: These videos are disturbing and hilarious.


BODETT: I mean, hideous.


BODETT: That's what PETA activist Elizabeth Katlin (ph) thought, too. And she set out to punish these men with a taste of their own medicine, starting with the man at the top, Larry Cassidy. So it was that Cassidy found a new leather La-Z-Boy recliner sitting in his Muncie, Ind., driveway on Monday morning with a big red ribbon on it and two strings of car lot pennants disguising the powerful bungee jumping cord stretched into the trees.


BODETT: It was my birthday, said Cassidy via phone from the Muncie medical center's ICU.


BODETT: All I thought was, I love my wife.


BODETT: Ms. Katlin was arrested within hours of posting the video she made from her parked car of Larry's flight onto the neighbor's roof which fractured his pelvis, broke six ribs and punctured his spleen. The sound of Katlin's laughter can be heard in the background as Cassidy lies inert on the shingles. I blew kombucha through my nose, said Katlin from...


BODETT: ...Delaware County Jail. Hilarious.


SAGAL: A squirrel flinger gets flung by a vengeful animal rights activist. Your next story about someone who wishes they could go back to their old life comes from Janelle James.

JANELLE JAMES: Charles Sutton (ph) of Peoria, Ill., a husband and father of three girls, was thrown into the spotlight this week after a video of him expertly doing popular dance moves such as the Nae Nae and Milly Rock at a family BBQ went viral. I Googled it and he's white. That's why it's remarkable.


JAMES: Well on his way to being crowned coolest dad ever, things took a turn after Charles turned down a chance to appear on "The Ellen Show," stating that he just wanted his 15 minutes to end.


JAMES: Well, restart that timer because it turns out that Charles had another wife and two sons just two towns over.


JAMES: Known in our Urbana, Ill., only as Mr. C, Charles moonlighted as a youth pastor at a literalist evangelical church and is well-loved amongst its parishioners. When reached for comment, Charles' newly-bastard son commented that seeing the video really surprised him because, quote, "dad always told us that dancing is for the devil."


JAMES: But also, please don't tell him I saw the video because the Internet is also for the devil.


SAGAL: A dance video goes viral and gets the dancer in trouble with his other family. Your last story of fame at making life more difficult comes from Faith Salie.

SALIE: If you were a dean at Yale University with a Ph.D. in social psychology, what kind of achievement would really make you proud? Well, if you're June Chu you'd get pretty chuffed that the crowd-sourced reviewing website Yelp named you an elite reviewer. So excited that you'd send a college-wide email announcing your elite status, inadvertently inviting Yale students to check out your Yelp account without giving them trigger warnings about how nasty you are.

About a Japanese restaurant, Dean Chu offered, to put it quite simply, if you are white trash, this is the perfect night for you. Of the mochi store she opined, I guess if you were a white person who has no clue what mochi is this would be fine for you. And she summed up a new haven movie theater with, so what they have is barely-educated morons trying to manage snack orders for the obese.

Chu, who's presumably as slim as she is racist, enjoyed reminding readers of her ethnic roots with sweet and sour lines, like, remember, I am Asian. I know mochi. Dean Chu has apologized and has been put on leave. But some say she has a bright future ahead of her deserving of her hypocritical and offensive talents - White House press secretary.


SAGAL: All right, so one of these people got in trouble for becoming Internet famous. Was it from Tom Bodett, a squirrel flinger who got himself flung in vengeance; from Janelle James, a guy whose viral dance video exposed the fact that he had a whole other family who didn't know he danced; or from Faith Salie, a Yale Dean who was so proud of being named a top Yelp reviewer until people started reading her miserable and mean Yelp reviews? Which of these is the real story of Internet fame biting someone back?

ANDREWS: These are interesting. C, please.

SAGAL: C. All right. You're going to go C. That's Faith's story of the Yale dean who bragged unwisely about her yelp reviewer status. All right, well, to bring you the correct answer we spoke to someone, of course, who was familiar with the real story.

SAMANTHA SCHMIDT: A Yale dean has created a stir over some Yelp reviews that she posted.

SAGAL: That was Samantha Schmidt, a reporter at The Washington Post, talking about the Yale Yelper. Congratulations, Dan. You got it right. You earned a point for Faith and you've won our prize. Carl Kasell will record the greeting on your voicemail.


ANDREWS: Thanks everyone, it was great.

JAMES: That sounds like a good talk.

SAGAL: Thank you, Dan. It was great to talk to you.


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