SAM SANDERS, HOST:
A quick word before the show - news is happening fast. But it doesn't take a lot of time to keep up. The NPR podcast Up First is the best way to get 10 minutes of the day's top news every weekday morning. Check out Up First on the NPR One app and wherever you listen to podcasts.
BETTY: Hey, y'all. This is Sam's Aunt Betty. Today's guests - from The Washington Post, columnist Alexandra Petri, and from NPR's Code Switch team, Gene Demby. All right. Let's start the show.
SANDERS: That's Aunt Betty.
GENE DEMBY, BYLINE: Hey, Aunt Betty.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BELLBOTTOMS")
SANDERS: She's going to dog-sit my dog for a few days over the weekend.
DEMBY: That's what's up.
SANDERS: She's very excited about it.
ALEXANDRA PETRI: Oh, but she's not a real relative, though, I hear, according...
SANDERS: Oh, she's actually my Aunt.
PETRI: But, like, according to the travel ban...
PETRI: ...aunts aren't real relatives. So...
SANDERS: Hey, y'all. Sam Sanders here, It's Been A Minute. That was Aunt Betty. She sends her regards. Welcome to the show. We don't do theme music on Fridays. Each week, we start with a different song. I'll explain this song in a second, but it's really fun, right? It's a fun song.
DEMBY: Wait, why didn't we get theme music? I feel left out.
SANDERS: Because I want to pick a song that matches a mood of the week every week.
DEMBY: All right. I want you to explain this.
SANDERS: Yeah, yeah yeah.
PETRI: Yeah, yeah. Justify this choice.
SANDERS: Yes, yes, yes. But first, we have two very special people in the booth. You heard right. Alexandra Petri from The Washington Post. She writes their Compost blog - best name for a blog ever.
SANDERS: And NPR's Gene Demby in the booth here in D.C. from NPR's Code Switch.
DEMBY: What's good, man?
SANDERS: So Code Switch is our team at NPR that covers race, ethnicity and culture. Also, Gene, congrats on your Code Switch podcast turning a year old.
DEMBY: This week? It's like CP time because it was actually, like, a year a month ago.
DEMBY: But you know how it goes. You know how that goes.
SANDERS: So we're here to talk about what happened this week in the news - the culture, everything. We'll share some stories that stuck with us throughout the week, a big, new survey about how Americans view discrimination, minimum wage in Seattle and some tweets and stuff from our president.
We'll also call up a listener from outside of Washington, D.C., and ask them what's going on in their neck of the woods - plus a game or two. And we'll end the show as we always do with listeners describing the best thing that happened to them all week.
SANDERS: We've got a lot for you. Have you guessed this song yet?
SANDERS: It's really good.
PETRI: It's delightful.
SANDERS: It's from a movie that came out this week.
PETRI: "Baby Driver."
DEMBY: Oh, this is...
PETRI: I knew it.
DEMBY: ...so this is the original version.
SANDERS: This was like the first song in "Baby Driver."
PETRI: It sounds like "Baby Driver" the song, which apparently is a song.
SANDERS: That's also a song. This one is called, "Bellbottoms." It's by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. It is the first song you hear in this movie, "Baby Driver," starring - I can never say his name.
DEMBY: Ansel Elgort.
PETRI: Ansel Elgort.
DEMBY: Ansel Elgort. Anyways, this song is, like, from 1994. And I thought I knew all the '90s music. I'd never heard of this song before.
SANDERS: I've never heard of this band before, but I like it.
DEMBY: It sounds like classic rock though.
SANDERS: And so in the middle of the song, they do this. It's so crazy.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BELLBOTTOMS")
THE JON SPENCER BLUES EXPLOSION: (Singing) Bell bottoms.
PETRI: Oh, that's great.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BELLBOTTOMS")
THE JON SPENCER BLUES EXPLOSION: (Singing) Bell bottoms. Yeah.
DEMBY: So OK. OK.
SANDERS: No, go ahead.
DEMBY: No no, I was just curious. What - why bell bottoms? I mean, just...
SANDERS: Why not, Gene?
SANDERS: (Singing) Bell bottoms.
They just say bell bottoms.
PETRI: That - OK, this - they should've led with this because this is the part of the song I'm most...
PETRI: ...shouting, Bell bottoms.
SANDERS: Bell bottoms. OK. Even though this is our second Friday wrap for the podcast, there'll be some folks that haven't heard us before. I'll take a little bit of...
SANDERS: ...time to explain the show to them. You guys bear with me, OK?
DEMBY: OK. Let's do it.
SANDERS: First, the show is called It's Been A Minute. That is another way of saying let's catch up. We do that every Friday with these episodes. We talk about the week of news and everything - the highs, the lows, the fun, the serious. We also have Tuesday episodes. We call those deep dives. We catch up with one person or talk about a single topic. This upcoming Tuesday, I got a special guest in honor of America Day, July 4, from HBO's "Veep," Timothy Simons, who plays...
SANDERS: ...Jonah. He was much nicer than Jonah.
DEMBY: I was about to say...
DEMBY: ...that's not, like, like a very high bar to clear, though.
DEMBY: You know what I mean?
SANDERS: No, he was great. Also, we have some really great Tuesday shows lined up for you in the future, filmmaker and actress Zoe Lister-Jones, Jeff Bhasker, who's produced for everyone - Kanye, Mark Ronson, Bruno Mars and Harry Styles - also, one of my favorite writers, the author Anne Helen Petersen of Buzzfeed.
DEMBY: Buzzfeed, yeah.
SANDERS: She was delightful. Her new book is out. We talked about that. So those will be coming up on Tuesdays.
SANDERS: All right. We're done with the explainers. Shall we?
PETRI: Let's do it.
SANDERS: All right.
SANDERS: Start the show as...
SANDERS: ...we always do. I asked my panelists to describe the week of news and culture and everything in three words. Who wants to go first?
PETRI: I'll go first.
SANDERS: OK, what are your three words?
PETRI: My words are no more tweets.
PETRI: It's not a descriptive statement so much as it is a prescriptive statement.
PETRI: But it is definitely what I wish for this week.
SANDERS: I agree. And we'll talk more about all of those tweets. That's your story for the week.
SANDERS: It's like a roller coaster. Like, just in the last few hours, the plot has twisted again. It's insane. But we'll get to it.
PETRI: Yeah. No, it's like there's too much news this week. And all of it's bad, which I realize is just 2017 in a nutshell.
PETRI: There's not been a week that I couldn't say, you know, everything has happened, and all of it has been negative.
SANDERS: Even, like, things that should be happy bummed me out. Like the new Jay-Z album's out today. I don't like it.
PETRI: Oh, no.
SANDERS: I was trying to play it this morning...
DEMBY: I couldn't even...
SANDERS: ...During my run.
SANDERS: I'll give you my Tidal login. No, I won't. I actually don't cheat the system. That's not going to stay on tape.
SANDERS: I tried to run to it this morning. I was just like, no.
DEMBY: It's not even enough to have Tidal, though. You need to have Tidal and a Sprint - Sprint needs to be your wireless carrier.
PETRI: Oh, no.
SANDERS: No, no, no it doesn't. I have Verizon, and I was able to listen to it.
DEMBY: I couldn't listen to it this morning. They were like...
SANDERS: Wait, you...
PETRI: Maybe the reason it was bad...
SANDERS: You have Tidal?
DEMBY: I have Tidal.
SANDERS: Do you have free Tidal or paid Tidal?
DEMBY: I actually did not know that I had free Tidal. Apparently - I signed up for Tidal when Rihanna's album came out. And I forgot...
SANDERS: We all did, yeah.
DEMBY: ...I had signed up for it, which is how they get you. That's how they get you.
SANDERS: I pay for it.
SANDERS: And I was able to listen to it.
DEMBY: I forgot that I was paying for it.
SANDERS: But you don't need to listen to it. Pro tip - it's not great.
PETRI: Maybe the reason it was bad was because you didn't have the right carrier.
PETRI: And so they gave you an inferior version of the album to sabotage.
SANDERS: They gave us the bad version. I love it. Anyway, what are your three words, Gene?
DEMBY: Why are juries?
SANDERS: Why are juries?
DEMBY: Why are juries?
SANDERS: Explain, yes.
DEMBY: This is actually sort of a cheat 'cause it was last week. But there were a bunch of big cases that we were covering last week or that we were paying attention to last week on Code Switch. There were three cases in which police officers were not convicted for shooting people - shooting unarmed black men. All of those incidents were caught on camera.
DEMBY: None of those people were convicted. There was a mistrial in one. There were two just straight-up acquittals.
DEMBY: And then there was the Cosby case, which was a mistrial.
DEMBY: And the through line for both the police cases and the Cosby case seems to be, like, what the juries find is, like - doesn't line up with what they see. In the cases of the police - in the police cases - right?
SANDERS: 'Cause there's tape.
DEMBY: There's tape, right? And remember, a few years ago everyone was like, oh, we need in these instances - we need body cameras. We need this footage.
SANDERS: And as soon as we have footage and everyone can see it, things will change, but they haven't really in terms of convictions.
DEMBY: So, yeah.
PETRI: You see, like, the bar has moved.
DEMBY: The bar has moved, right. Now you need, like - I mean, it's just - I will not take a position on whether or not it was unsatisfying or not, these outcomes. But I will say that, like, it was remarkable listening to the jurors attempt to explain why they arrived at where they arrived.
SANDERS: I would never want to be on a jury now because it seems as if, like, the stakes seem to be higher because there is more press coverage of these things. There's video. And, like, a lot of times you end up knowing who these jurors are.
DEMBY: Right. They blow up your spot.
SANDERS: It's a lot. It's a lot.
DEMBY: Have you ever been on a jury? Either of you?
DEMBY: Yeah, neither have I.
PETRI: I got called for jury duty during college, but then I - then they uncalled me I think. I hope that's what happened, otherwise I might like be on the lam from the law...
SANDERS: There's actually a mark on your permanent record for missing jury duty. So my three words are, they're still here.
DEMBY: Who? Who's they?
SANDERS: A lot of people. Jay-Z - still here, dropping albums that we don't really need. Mitch McConnell...
DEMBY: So much hate.
SANDERS: I love Jay-Z. I love him, but not this - not - I miss the old Jay-Z.
DEMBY: But he's - I mean, he is the old Jay-Z now.
PETRI: You miss the young Jay-Z.
SANDERS: I miss the young Jay-Z.
DEMBY: He's a middle-aged man rapping about marriage and therapy now.
SANDERS: Have you seen the photos of him at SoulCycle?
DEMBY: No - what?
SANDERS: Yes. At your leisure, Google...
SANDERS: ...Jay-Z SoulCycle
PETRI: I want a thousand words on this. I don't want to see the picture. I just want...
SANDERS: You need to write that.
SANDERS: So Jay-Z is still here. Mitch McConnell, in spite of all these low numbers for the GOP, is this close to pushing through a health care bill in the Senate. Donald Trump is still here tweeting crazy stuff. Like, I have been not surprised, but reaffirmed in my belief that old men going to old men. And they do the things have always done and that's it.
DEMBY: You said after Donald Trump was elected that he was probably going to still be tweeting.
DEMBY: You were like, his tweet behavior probably won't change.
SANDERS: Yeah. I mean, like, Jay-Z has been making albums for - what? - 30 years now.
DEMBY: This is his 13th album.
SANDERS: This is his 13th album.
SANDERS: He's going to keep doing it. Donald Trump has been saying weird stuff about women since women.
SANDERS: This is not a surprise. So my three words are they're still here.
DEMBY: What will be that weird thing you're doing as an old man when you're, like, 55? No - no shade to 55-year-olds. Let's say...
SANDERS: Talking to myself. It's really bad.
PETRI: Oh man.
SANDERS: I talk to myself so much.
PETRI: I feel like I talk to myself less than I used to, and I wonder why that is.
SANDERS: You need to get back to the old you.
PETRI: Yeah, no.
DEMBY: Are you bored by yourself now?
PETRI: Yeah, I've said all that I had to say.
SANDERS: All right, time for a quick break. We'll be right back with the new game and long distance, where we call a listener and see what's up in their neck of the woods. BRB.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FLICKER")
SANDERS: We are back with Gene Demby and Alex Petri. All right, it's time for a segment we call Scary Or Nah.
(SOUNDBITE OF MYSTIKAL SONG)
MYSTIKAL: (Rapping) Do your thing. Don't be scared.
DEMBY: (Laughter). Yes.
SANDERS: Brent made that.
SANDERS: That was a bit extra, Brent. We're going to tone that down for the next time (laughter). So the game is very - that was some Mystikal. Shout out Mystikal - or Mysti-cal (ph).
DEMBY: Mystikal. It looks like it's Mysti-cal, but it's Mystikal.
SANDERS: OK, Mystikal. Anyway, Alex, here is an envelope. Inside is a color photograph because we have color printers on the fifth floor.
DEMBY: Are you serious? Y'all ballin' up here.
SANDERS: You didn't know that?
DEMBY: No, not at all.
SANDERS: What do y'all have, typewriters?
DEMBY: I have to highlight things, you know what I mean?
PETRI: A man with a quill pen who writes really fast.
DEMBY: Smack him on the back of the head - faster.
SANDERS: (Laughter). So basically, open that envelope. There's going to be a color photograph. Both of you look at it, and tell me if it's scary or nah.
PETRI: I'm trying to open it near the microphone so we have, like, verisimilitude.
SANDERS: Woah, word choice - love it.
PETRI: (Laughter). What are these?
SANDERS: (Laughter). Can you describe what you're seeing for the listeners, please?
PETRI: Some, like, sticky oblongs. We got like brown jellies. They're all really tiny. I bet they're like ticks or leeches or something.
DEMBY: The thing that makes it scary is that we don't know what it is like. So I feel like what you're about to say is going to be, like, disgusting. So...
SANDERS: These are sea pickles.
DEMBY: Wait, so there are flat?
SANDERS: They're like tubes. Their scientific name is pyrosomes. They're actually organisms that live in the ocean.
PETRI: Do they start as sea cucumbers?
SANDERS: I don't know the history, but basically because the water is getting warmer on the West Coast, they've been washing up on shores from NorCal to Alaska. They clog up fish nets. They wash up on beaches. They also look really weird, and they can light up. They're really creepy.
DEMBY: Wait, wait, wait. Light up like bioluminescence?
SANDERS: Look at you, fancy words.
SANDERS: They can light up, yeah. And so everyone is thinking that it's tied to unusually warm ocean conditions along the coast. But these are colloquially called sea pickles.
DEMBY: Do they - like, can they move? Or do they just, like, move with the current? Or do they, like...
SANDERS: I'm going to look up a sea pickle video. But first, before that, are they scary or nah?
PETRI: Well, now that I know they glow, no. I think that sounds awesome.
SANDERS: But before you knew, were they scary?
DEMBY: I feel like if you were on a beach and saw one of these, you'd be shook.
PETRI: When I thought it was something that could, like, sneak into your body, I was more scared of it.
DEMBY: Oh, no.
SANDERS: Oh, my. OK, so scary-ish.
SANDERS: OK, so it's almost time for us to each share our stories of the week. But first, time for a segment we call Long Distance.
(SOUNDBITE OF DRAKE SONG, "HOTLINE BLING")
SANDERS: Little bit of Drake. We call a listener somewhere outside of Washington and ask them what's happening in their neck of the woods. Today, on the line from Green Bay, Wis., we have Chris (ph). Chris, hi.
CHRIS: Hey, Sam. How's it going?
SANDERS: Good, how are you?
CHRIS: Good, good.
SANDERS: Happy Friday.
CHRIS: Oh, I know.
CHRIS: How's the weather out there?
CHRIS: It's been raining a lot. It's almost like spring up here for the past week. It's been kind of crazy.
DEMBY: In my head, it's always snowing in Green Bay - like, all year round.
SANDERS: Yeah. So you're hearing the voice of Gene Demby, my friend and colleague. Also have Alex Petri here in the booth from The Washington Post. Say hi, guys.
DEMBY: Hey, how's it going man?
CHRIS: Hey. Good, good.
DEMBY: Are you a shareholder in the Packers?
CHRIS: No, I am anti-sport.
CHRIS: Terrible - I live in a terrible city to...
PETRI: Yeah, I was about to say, you've moved into...
CHRIS: Enemy territory, yeah. I know. In the grocery lines, people don't ask about the weather. They talk about the Packers. And I'm just like, I don't know.
PETRI: Brett Favre, man - we miss him.
DEMBY: There you go.
CHRIS: No, that's some dangerous conversation, depending on who you talk to.
PETRI: Oh, that's true actually. He's very polarizing...
PETRI: ...Because of the betrayal.
SANDERS: Exactly. When you're not watching the rain, what you do there in Wisconsin?
CHRIS: I work for a trucking company. I'm basically a load planner for a fleet of about 100 trucks that service the Wisconsin and Illinois area.
CHRIS: And we mostly move - in the Green Bay area, a lot of what we move freight-wise is paper and, specifically, toilet paper, which is...
CHRIS: It's a nice - it's a nice business because it's not very seasonal.
PETRI: It would be frightening if it were seasonal.
SANDERS: Very frightening.
CHRIS: Well, yeah. That's right. Well, for the most part, it's pretty consistent. So it works out.
SANDERS: So is your job kind of like air traffic control, like, scheduling, logistics - like that stuff?
CHRIS: Yeah. It's - it's a lot like Oregon Trail, actually, I would say.
SANDERS: Love it.
CHRIS: Yeah, less dysentery but only just.
CHRIS: But yeah, yeah. It's planning the trucks to move around, make sure that we're servicing customers and moving freight from A to B in a timely and efficient manner and all that.
SANDERS: So what story shall we discuss this a week from your neck of the woods?
CHRIS: Well, I think there's - there's a lot of interesting things going on in trucking generally that most people don't really spend a lot of time thinking about. But, like, trucking is the foundation of the entire consumer economy in the United States...
SANDERS: I believe it.
CHRIS: ...Yeah, like, everything in every store - it had to get there on a truck. And at the end of 2017, there's a new DOT to regulation going into effect...
SANDERS: DOT meaning...
CHRIS: ...Department of Transportation...
CHRIS: ...And it's going to reshape the entire trucking industry essentially, or start to. In December of 2017, this was a regulation that actually was proposed under the Obama administration that's just going into effect at that time. Every truck on the road will be required to have an electronic log of their drive hours. Right - right now companies can use paper logs, and drivers can fudge those logs to just kind of keep driving and drive too long...
SANDERS: Why would drivers fudge it, just to be able to drive more?
CHRIS: Yeah - drivers are paid by the amount of production that they do, not by the time that they're in the truck. So the more miles that they drive in a given day or week means more money for them in the end.
DEMBY: So you're incentivizing people to...
CHRIS: Yeah, yeah, and the DOT puts limits on how long drivers can be on the road, how long they can work in a day - stuff like that. And there's incentive to kind of go around that. But in December, there will be electronic logs, and there's no way to screw around with those. So a lot of companies are going to be consolidating. They're going to be kind of absorbing some of the smaller companies that either can't afford the technology upgrade or can't afford to run kind of above board full time...
SANDERS: Is this...
DEMBY: Do drivers...
SANDERS: Go ahead, Gene.
DEMBY: How do the drivers feel about - about the e-log regulations. Like, I mean, if they're going to be driving less - and that means they potentially make less money - right?
CHRIS: Well, for the most part it, I think the frustration for a big part of it is actually just adapting to the new technology and learning the new computer system.
DEMBY: So it's like every work place (laughter).
CHRIS: Yeah - yeah sure, I mean - and, I mean, it's - there's some special unique problems when you come - when it comes to truckers because the demographics of what a truck driver looks like in America these days. But...
DEMBY: What do you mean?
CHRIS: Generally - well, the truck drivers skew older. They - our average age is, I think, probably above 50 years old. There's definitely a lot of truck drivers who have issues with things like diabetes, sleep apnea, medical issues - because doing the job is really hard. It's very physically demanding, and it's hard on the body to just - I mean, you think, well, they're just sitting in the truck for 10 hours a day.
SANDERS: That's rough.
PETRI: Oh, that's exhausting.
SANDERS: That's rough.
CHRIS: It is rough. And there's no good food. There's no healthy food. It's hard to get exercise. It's long days, long weeks. And so it really is hard to get, actually, kind of young, experienced or educated people into truck driving, even though it's a decent job pay-wise. But there's - there's this thing in the industry that's called the driver shortage.
It's a thing everybody's really worried about. And some people think that, you know, self-driving trucks is eventually going to be the answer for it. But, like, there's - there's probably like 20,000, 30,000 truck driving jobs that need to be filled that just cannot be.
SANDERS: Listeners out there...
SANDERS: Do you hear that?
PETRI: You can listen. To NPR as you're driving along...
SANDERS: That's right...
SANDERS: Exactly, exactly so Chris, what is on your schedule this weekend for fun?
CHRIS: Well, I'm in Wisconsin. So for the first time - I actually moved here a couple of years ago. So I finally live in a state where I have easy access to fireworks, which...
PETRI: Woo (ph).
DEMBY: Hey, hey turn up...
CHRIS: I've got a 3-year-old daughter. So I bought, like, 20 bucks' worth of fountains and pop rocks and things like that...
SANDERS: Be safe with those fireworks. I've seen too many videos of fireworks gone wrong.
CHRIS: ...Oh, I know - I know. It's going to be, like, smokes. And, you know, I light a fountain, and we run away. And yeah...
PETRI: Oh yeah...
CHRIS: I'm not doing, like, firecrackers and sparklers or anything so...
SANDERS: All right...
CHRIS: ...We're going to be careful about it. But yeah, just, you know, fireworks, go to the pool, hang out...
SANDERS: Hey, well, Chris, I hope you have a great weekend. Enjoy the fireworks. Hope your 3-year-old daughter has a wonderful Fourth of July.
CHRIS: All right, thanks. You guys have a good one, too.
DEMBY: Take care, man.
SANDERS: Take care.
PETRI: Thank you.
CHRIS: All right, bye.
SANDERS: Thank you, Chris. And listeners, we want to talk to you for this segment. We would love to hear about what's going on where you live. Drop us a note, and tell us what's going on in your neck of the woods, at email@example.com.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
SANDERS: OK, you guys, it is time for our story swap, when we each share a story from the week that was sort of - we worked on, that we're obsessed with, whatever. Alex, you're going to go first.
PETRI: Oh, I am?
SANDERS: What's your story?
PETRI: Well, I've just been fascinated not only by this sort of tweet kerfuffle which has happened with...
SANDERS: For those that haven't heard. Everyone's already heard, but...
SANDERS: Just catch us up...
PETRI: ...Oh, yeah - no, I'm gonna. The tweet kerfuffle where, basically, Donald Trump, as is his wont - Thursday morning he unleashed a barrage of tweets against Mika Brzezinski saying...
SANDERS: Of MSNBC...
PETRI: ...Of MSNBC - a "Morning Joe" co-host saying that - challenging her mental health and saying that she'd come to Mar-a-Lago bleeding badly from a facelift, and he said no, around New Year's Eve. So of course, huge outrage immediately followed. We got some ringing denunciations from both sides of the aisle. Whether those will translate into any sort of activity...
SANDERS: Also, there were lots of Republicans that, like, denounced it but in really weird tones. No one said, you must apologize. I regret his statements.
SANDERS: That wasn't a good thing to say.
DEMBY: I agree, I don't think that was appropriate.
PETRI: Every so often you get a dipsy doodle...
PETRI: ...Which is my favorite.
SANDERS: Wait, who said that?
PETRI: Orrin Hatch was, like, in the midst of - he said, admittedly, many other things.
SANDERS: Orrin Hatch is still there?
SANDERS: I always forget about that.
PETRI: No, he's there. He's...
SANDERS: Oh. What did Orrin say?
PETRI: batten down the hatches. No, he said many things denouncing it. But then he also said - you know, every once in a while you get a dipsy doodle...
PETRI: ...Which apparently was a phrase you could not print in The New York Times back in - like, a few decades ago.
DEMBY: Are you serious?
SANDERS: ...did you - you researched dipsy doodle?
PETRI: Somebody was tweeting about it...
PETRI: ...so I'll pretend that I did research (laughter). But, really, I just...
DEMBY: I feel like there was a cheese snack that we used to eat called Dipsy Doodles. And I couldn't...
DEMBY: ...that's - but at all the time, it was...
PETRI: Cheese dipsy...
DEMBY: It was profane...
DEMBY: ...All the time. I was just cursing all the time.
PETRI: No, but my favorite thing, though, I think of all the responses, was Sarah Huckabee Sanders who, instead of saying, you know, regrettable...
SANDERS: White House spokesperson.
PETRI: ...Just doubled down defending it. She went full - you knew he was a scorpion when you tried to bring him across the river.
PETRI: Like, literally, they asked, how do you feel? Did he go too far? And she goes, I don't think so.
SANDERS: And then she was like, well, everyone else attacks him.
PETRI: Yeah. No, he'll fight back ten times as hard, as he's always said. Then she says - they said, is he a good role model? And she said, only God can be a good role model, which - that's a bold statement.
SANDERS: Yeah. But, like, I'm kind of like, OK, you're right (laughter).
PETRI: I mean...
DEMBY: I mean...
PETRI: But, like, which God? Like, are we talking Zeus here?
PETRI: Are we talking, you know...
DEMBY: Not Old Testament God, right? He's a little temperamental. You know what I mean?
PETRI: Exactly. Until he had kids, he was sort of not very mellow.
DEMBY: Kids mellow you out, man.
SANDERS: But what I love about this tweet story - so there was the initial day of coverage of the tweet and Mika's response. Because she tweeted back a Cheerio box saying...
PETRI: Yeah, fort made for little hands.
SANDERS: ...what? - made for tiny hands - little hands. But then today, the plot thickens some more.
PETRI: What, did something else happen?
SANDERS: Apparently, today on "Morning Joe," Mika and Joe Scarborough were talking more about this. And they said a while back, The National Enquirer was digging into Mika's personal life and her family, trying to write, kind of a hit piece on her.
PETRI: Right, because they and Trump go way back.
SANDERS: Exactly. And so over the course of the Enquirer's research for the piece, the White House called Joe and Mika and said - if y'all call Donald Trump, he can get the Enquirer off y'all's backs. But you got to apologize for what you said about him...
SANDERS: ...on your air.
SANDERS: They said no. And then Trump tweeted again this morning about the Enquirer piece. It's crazy.
PETRI: This is - yeah, wheels...
SANDERS: It's crazy.
PETRI: ...within wheels. Opening the...
PETRI: ..nesting doll and continuing to go...
SANDERS: What's the moral (laughter) of this story, Alex? If there is one.
PETRI: There is no moral (laughter). There is only darkness.
PETRI: I don't know - part of it makes me think, this is exactly the sort of thing that people in my bubble love to get excited about.
SANDERS: Oh, journal Twitter was turning cartwheels yesterday.
PETRI: Yeah, but I also feel like this is also exactly the sort of thing where if I were not constantly glued to the screen, I would be like - oh, Donald Trump insulted a morning television personality. And this is the least thing that I could possibly care about in the world other than insofar as you want the president to be somebody who isn't spending his time tweeting...
SANDERS: Being nasty on the internet.
PETRI: ...Angrily at the television.
PETRI: But of all the sort of fights for everyone to be like, this is where we're staking our claim, I can also see how it would appear to be a big sort of teapot tempest. So it has that dimension to it as well.
SANDERS: Yeah. Tweet show.
SANDERS: Gene, what's your story?
DEMBY: So my story is this humongous survey that came out from the Public Religion Research Institute. So there's this nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank here in D.C. They basically do polling on the way Americans feel about other Americans. They did this huge, huge, huge, huge survey. When I say huge, I mean, like, a typical survey's like a thousand people in the sample.
DEMBY: This survey had 40,000 people on the sample.
SANDERS: Oh, wow.
PETRI: Holy cow.
DEMBY: So like, you know, if there were 4 percent of respondents that were queer, that's, like, 1,600 people in the sample so...
DEMBY: ...you can be like, oh, how do white gay men in the South feel about - you could like, break it down.
PETRI: Oh, wow. Yeah.
SANDERS: Very kind of...
DEMBY: And so what you get is this huge sample size, right? This huge poll - you can get this very pointillist-like picture of American, like, attitudes about discrimination, which is what they're asking about.
DEMBY: And so some of the findings were just really interesting.
SANDERS: What one was the wackiest?
DEMBY: So the thing that jumped out to me the most - African-Americans were the group least likely to support same-sex marriage - right? - with a plurality now to, like, 48 percent. So it was basically...
SANDERS: A racial group.
DEMBY: A racial group. That's right.
SANDERS: I'm guessing, like, Southern Baptists are even higher.
DEMBY: Well - so this is where it gets interesting.
DEMBY: So 48 percent of African-Americans support same-sex marriage, which is lower than other groups. But it's basically a plurality now. But African-Americans are also the group most likely to see that gay people face discrimination. And they're opposed...
SANDERS: Oh, yeah.
DEMBY: ...to things like religious-based refusal of service - like, things like that.
SANDERS: Yeah. Also, like, per capita in polls, a higher percentage of black respondents ID as LGBTQ than the percentage of white respondents.
DEMBY: That is interesting.
DEMBY: That is interesting.
DEMBY: But, I mean so - but you find similar responses in their sample, too. Like, Mormons - obviously not huge fans of same-sex marriage but also...
SANDERS: But they support it more than black people?
DEMBY: But they were big opponents of religious-based refusal of service, right?
DEMBY: And it's because they have these...
SANDERS: Because they have a history.
DEMBY: ...Histories of discrimination, right? Like, they're marginalized groups, right?
DEMBY: But the big thing that sort of was fascinating in all these details was, like, it is hard to untangle the way - like, the gravitational pull of the political parties from the way people think about things, right? So, like, black people on same-sex marriage - there's been a lot of movement in the direction of support of same-sex marriage since Obama's statement in 2012 coming out in support of it, right?
Part of that is obviously, like, he's the first black president. He's enormously influential. But part of that is he is the head of the party that 95 percent of black voters belong to, right? And so, like, party ID matters a great deal in how you...
SANDERS: Especially nowadays.
DEMBY: If it's an issue you don't care a whole lot about or issues - it's like not a top-tier issue. If your - whatever your party position is, that's the position you belong to, right?
PETRI: Yeah, you just check that box.
DEMBY: So Americans were more likely in 2015 than in 2016 to say that they felt that black people face a lot of discrimination. It didn't drop a lot in 2016. It dropped like three or four percentage points. But all of that drop occurred among conservatives and Republicans - white conservatives and Republicans. And the only thing that happened between the two years was that the campaign happened - right? - and like - and you have the Republican Party sort of...
SANDERS: Well, also - but there's more factors than that. I mean there was increased visibility of movements like Black Lives Matter and protests across the country.
SANDERS: Those have influenced things.
DEMBY: Last year was more of the campaign, though, right? I mean, like...
SANDERS: Totally. Totally.
DEMBY: ...BLM has been around since - what? - 20 - since...
SANDERS: Since Trayvon - '14.
DEMBY: Well, since Michael Brown, really.
SANDERS: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.
DEMBY: And so that's 2015, 14 - 15, right? But once these issues become partisan issues - right? - like, once they become partisan issues, then people sort of go to their sides, right? So once...
PETRI: Yeah. It wasn't partisan until the election.
DEMBY: It wasn't a partisan issue. Like, it was - I think it was implicitly partisan before the election.
DEMBY: But then...
DEMBY: ...At the RNC - right? - you see like, you know, you see Sheriff Clarke and those people like that. It becomes an explicitly partisan issue.
SANDERS: So how should this or how can this study and these findings kind of, like, inform our political discourse? I mean, it seems like what you're saying is the rhetoric of parties and political leaders might not actually perfectly match how people are actually feeling. So where do we go from there?
DEMBY: I don't know, I mean, because so much of this is this weird structure, right? I mean, you look at an issue like immigration. Apparently, you know, most Americans are in support of a pathway to citizenship. Then there's another big chunk of Americans who are in support of some sort of legalization of, like, permanent residency.
Only, like, 3 in 10 Americans, apparently, are in support of just deportation, right? But it doesn't look like that, right? And a lot of that - Robert P. Jones from PRRI was saying, like, a lot of is because of, like, what districts looks like, right? The House members are responsive to a much more homogenous...
SANDERS: To a base...
DEMBY: Like, to a base - right? - in a way that senators are not.
DEMBY: And so, like, part of this - the intractability of this issue is not - it's not even about, like, public opinion. It's about...
SANDERS: What your district looks like.
DEMBY: ...Political structure. Right.
SANDERS: Which all comes down to housing...
DEMBY: All comes down to housing.
SANDERS: ...Which is the root of everything.
DEMBY: Everything - housing, segregation and everything. Yes.
SANDERS: Yeah. All right.
SANDERS: I learned some stuff from both you guys.
DEMBY: This is fun.
SANDERS: My story isn't nearly as seductive. That wasn't seductive...
DEMBY: It was an old story. My story wasn't seductive.
PETRI: Yeah (laughter).
SANDERS: I have been obsessed this week with a couple of dueling studies out of Seattle. That city is gradually raising its minimum wage...
SANDERS: ...To $15 an hour. They're almost there. I think they're at $13 right now. But there were two studies out this week basically saying how this affected the economy and workers - one study out of the University of Washington, another study out of the University of California, Berkeley. And they had differing results.
SANDERS: And there was kind of a skirmish of sorts this week between the academic community with some clap back...
PETRI: Data points just, like, falling like flies...
SANDERS: (Laughter). There was even a clap back from a third party.
SANDERS: The U of Washington study found that when the minimum wage was increased to $11 an hour, that led to a 1.5 increase in hourly wages for all low-wage employees, not just those making the minimum. This was folk making $19 and below. And they found a modest reduction in employment but not too big.
DEMBY: So wages go up a little, and employment drops only a little?
SANDERS: Only a little.
SANDERS: But more positives than negatives.
SANDERS: But when they had the second jump - when they raised it to $13 an hour - the University of Washington found that there was a 3 percent increase in hourly wages for all low-income workers, but a 9 percent reduction in the hours they got to work every week.
SANDERS: So their employers were giving them fewer hours because they had to pay them more.
SANDERS: And Washington found that that averaged out to about $125 loss per job per month.
SANDERS: So they basically found that there were some negatives by raising these wages. It gives low income workers fewer hours. That's what Washington found.
DEMBY: That's what the Washington was.
SANDERS: Now, the Berkeley study kind of totally contradicted. They found that wages always increased. They didn't see a big drop in hours. And they found that these wage hikes achieved the policy goal. Employment was not really affected too much, right? So you see these competing results, and you're like, what's the deal?
SANDERS: Of course, there are different methods and different data that they used. And I actually talked to academics from both Berkeley and Washington. And the Berkeley academic - she basically was like, yeah, I respect those people. But they wrong.
SANDERS: And so, like, what I take away from this is, like, my big question with all studies is, like, how seriously do we take just one study? What both of these academics told me on the phone was, like, oh, well, we need more studies.
PETRI: Yeah. Right.
SANDERS: We need to research this more to find out totally what it means. Also, you can't say what Seattle's job situation looks like - can mirror Houston's or LA's because cities are different and borders are different and the economies are different. Yet there's so many headlines from these two studies saying wage hikes don't work or wage hikes are great.
SANDERS: And, like, we allow these trees to let us not see the forest. And this happens every time. Like, every other week, there's a study that says coffee is good.
SANDERS: And then coffee is bad for you. And it's, like, I don't know why we don't have a more holistic approach to looking at things like this.
DEMBY: Well, you don't need a study to tell you that coffee is trash. But one of things I...
PETRI: Hey, whoa - as I drink coffee.
DEMBY: Guzzles her coffee. But, like, one of the things that some of my academic friends talk about is, like, there's all this pressure to not duplicate studies, right?
DEMBY: Like, some novel finding - a study...
SANDERS: You want to have data and results that don't look like any other results.
DEMBY: That are new. Right, right.
DEMBY: But it seems, like, maybe...
PETRI: That makes it harder to check, I guess.
DEMBY: Absolutely, right. But maybe something, like, that's this controversial - maybe you end up getting more people, like, wanting to, like, throw the, you know - like, dive into the fray and do...
SANDERS: Yeah, yeah. Oh, go ahead.
PETRI: I could see that go either way because on the one hand, you don't want to have a study that's incorrect have a huge impact. Like, if you look at vaccines...
DEMBY: Oh, right. Yeah.
PETRI: Like, that study is still...
SANDERS: One study is all it takes.
PETRI: One study.
PETRI: But on the other hand, if you get a study, and it turns out to have a good methodology and it goes against sort of the consensus, you want to be able to take that information and assimilate it. So...
SANDERS: Yeah. And, I mean, I don't want to imply that there aren't already a lot of studies on these issues. There's actually studies all the time on wage issues like this. But as we can see just this week, we need more.
DEMBY: Yeah, we need more.
SANDERS: Even more. Do some studies.
DEMBY: But it is funny because, you know...
PETRI: Become a truck driver and do some studies.
DEMBY: That's the take away from this week.
SANDERS: Yes. Yes.
DEMBY: Do some studies while you're a truck driver. Get your telemarketer on. I mean, get your call center on from your truck. Although, that's probably really dangerous.
SANDERS: It's very dangerous. Don't do that.
SANDERS: Don't do that. You guys, we are rocking and rolling along. It is now time for a game.
SANDERS: Want to play?
SANDERS: You have to say yes. Want to play?
DEMBY: Hell yeah. Let's do it.
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA")
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS #1: (As character, unintelligible).
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS #2: (As character) Who said that?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS #3: (As character) Who said that?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS #4: (As character) Who said that?
SANDERS: OK. If you haven't guessed yet, this is a clip from "The Real Housewives Of Atlanta."
SANDERS: Have you seen this scene?
DEMBY: I have seen this scene.
SANDERS: OK. Have you seen this scene?
PETRI: I have not seen this scene.
SANDERS: OK. Well, I'll send you a clip later.
PETRI: Please do.
SANDERS: Yes. Yes. It's a really simple game. I share a quote from the week. You have to guess who said that.
DEMBY: Is it multiple choice?
SANDERS: We'll do three. No, you just throw out your guesses. Ready?
DEMBY: Alex, you got this.
SANDERS: You don't - no, cheer for yourself.
DEMBY: Oh, sorry.
PETRI: Yeah, yeah. You've got this, Gene.
DEMBY: Oh, I'm sorry. we're...
SANDERS: Y'all are competing.
PETRI: Yeah. Oh. Oh. Never mind. Yeah.
DEMBY: All right.
DEMBY: It's curtains, Alex. It's curtains.
PETRI: Yeah. You're going down, Gene.
SANDERS: The first quote - "respect me and my privacy as I'm trying to have a baby. Good day, sir."
PETRI: Serena Williams.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
SANDERS: So you know the back story to this, right?
PETRI: Her gorgeous cover shoot.
SANDERS: Yes. One, she's on the cover of Vanity Fair looking gorgeous and pregnant. Check that out. But two, she was responding to another tennis pro's comments about her performance. This past weekend, John McEnroe was on NPR on NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday. Shout out - Lulu Garcia-Navarro. In his book, he called Serena the greatest female player of all time for tennis. And our host, Lulu, pushed back and said female or, like, all the people?
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)
LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, BYLINE: Why qualify it?
JOHN MCENROE: Oh, she's not - you mean the best player in the world, period?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah. Best tennis player in the world. You know, why say female player?
MCENROE: Well, because if she was - if she played the men's circuit, she'd be, like, 700 in the world.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You think so?
SANDERS: So that drew some controversy online. And Serena finally said, chill, bro. She also said in a tweet, dear John, I adore and respect you. But please, please keep me out of your statements that are not factually based.
DEMBY: Keep my name out your mouth.
SANDERS: Yeah. Or at least put some respect on it.
DEMBY: Put some respect on my name.
SANDERS: What's interesting, though, is that, previously, Serena Williams herself has talked about how different men's tennis and women's tennis is. And she's even kind of said herself that she would not be the No. 1 in the world if she were playing with the men, as well.
DEMBY: But what you're measuring is different, right? Like, you're measuring...
SANDERS: It's a different game.
DEMBY: Right? I mean, she is the most dominant...
SANDERS: Yeah. Also...
PETRI: She's also not the world's best polo player, but that doesn't mean that she's, like...
SANDERS: Right. Yeah. Also, no man has ever won a Grand Slam pregnant.
DEMBY: Right. That's true.
PETRI: That's true.
DEMBY: That's true.
SANDERS: So, Serena, love you, boo. All right. Next quote. You ready?
DEMBY: Let's do it.
SANDERS: "I apologize, often womanize. Took for my child to be born to see through a woman's eyes."
DEMBY: Man, come on. That's so easy.
PETRI: Oh, that's Jay Z, I bet.
DEMBY: That is. It's Jay Z.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
SANDERS: OK. Fine. We're out of line. Game over. Sorry, guys.
DEMBY: Literally, that's from "4:44."
SANDERS: "4:44," the new Jay-Z album that is exclusively available on Tidal...
DEMBY: That's from the song...
SANDERS: ...Courtesy of Sprint.
DEMBY: ..."4:44," though, right?
SANDERS: I think so. Yes.
DEMBY: That's from the song. He's, like, apologizing about...
DEMBY: ...Cheating on Beyonce, which...
PETRI: Is this the Becky?
PETRI: Is this Becky?
SANDERS: (Laughter) We'll never know who Becky is.
SANDERS: We will never know who Becky is.
DEMBY: Becky is a composite character. Yes, so he apologizes to B for being adulterous, for being emotionally unavailable. It's a - it was kind of bracing, though.
SANDERS: I didn't need - I don't need to hear that.
DEMBY: But, I mean...
SANDERS: Also, like, the first time that their relationship is a theme of an entire album, I'm cool. The second time - stop making money off that.
DEMBY: Is the whole album about...
SANDERS: I mean, a lot of it, I'm guessing. I haven't gotten all the way through it because I can't.
DEMBY: I mean, he can't rap about, like, being on the corner no more. He's rhyming - I mean, he's in soul cycle and taking care of his...
DEMBY: Has a toddler. He's worth $800 million. He has all sorts of corny, rich people. You know what I mean?
PETRI: That's true. He can't live a different life now that his life...
SANDERS: Jay-Z is cool dad.
DEMBY: Is he cool dad? I guess Jay-Z is probably cool dad.
SANDERS: Like trying to be cool dad.
DEMBY: Jay-Z is cool dad.
SANDERS: All right. Last quote - you ready guys? Who's - who's winning right now?
DEMBY: It's tied.
PETRI: I think, yeah. Tied.
SANDERS: OK. OK.
DEMBY: Oh, it's out of three, right?
SANDERS: It's out of three.
SANDERS: It's out of three. Here we go. Ready?
DEMBY: Sorry, you've got to fall, Alex. You've got to fall.
SANDERS: "You people need to be reprogrammed. You continually vote against your own interest. You put people in Congress..."
PETRI: Oh, I know this. I know this.
SANDERS: OK, who is it?
PETRI: It's the pro wrestler, Progressive Liberal.
DEMBY: Oh, yes, that's right.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
SANDERS: Tell us about this.
DEMBY: This is the best thing in the world.
PETRI: Oh, this is literally the only good news this week.
DEMBY: This is the best thing in the world right now. It's so funny.
PETRI: It's like - not like WWE levels, but next level down. Like pro-wrestling...
SANDERS: It's an Appalachian wrestling circuit.
PETRI: Pro wrestler whose name is Progressive Liberal - and he goes and he taunts people...
PETRI: ...For voting against their own interests. He wears a Hillary T-shirt sometimes.
SANDERS: And the crowds jeer him.
PETRI: Oh, they hate him.
SANDERS: So the whole thing with wrestling is that, like...
PETRI: He's a heel.
SANDERS: Every wrestling match, there is, like, the hero and the heel. And the heel is the villain.
DEMBY: The face and the heel.
PETRI: The face, yeah.
SANDERS: I'm sorry. The face and the heel. My bad. My bad.
SANDERS: Yeah, there's the face, who is, like, the hero, and the heel, who is a villain. And to be the perfect villain, this guy decided, I should just be a liberal.
DEMBY: But apparently...
SANDERS: It worked.
DEMBY: ...He is a liberal.
SANDERS: He's a liberal.
PETRI: He actually is. Yeah. He's not just, like, playing.
PETRI: He's like, this is close to my own policies, which he shouldn't admit because now...
SANDERS: Now they know for real.
SANDERS: Yeah. But his name is Daniel Richards. Or his wrestler name is Daniel Richards. His real name is Daniel Harnsberger. He's a 36-year-old real estate agent on the indie wrestling circuit. And his, like, name as a wrestler is Progressive Liberal, the, quote, "most hated character in Kentucky's Appalachian Mountain Wrestling program."
DEMBY: That is so funny.
PETRI: And I think his manager pretends he's feeding him the lines so that the crowds won't, like, turn on him.
SANDERS: Oh, wow.
PETRI: Yeah, no. He's concerned.
SANDERS: That's crazy. You know, speaking of this...
DEMBY: What do you think his signature move is?
PETRI: Oh wait, I actually know. I know what this is, but I'm forgetting it. But he has one. And it's got, like, a funny name like...
SANDERS: The liberal agenda.
PETRI: That's what it is.
SANDERS: We actually have some tape of this guy in the ring. It's pretty funny.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
DANIEL HARNSBERGER: Anyone who's to stand in my way, I challenge them right now. These are a lost, sick, pathetic people that I'm trying to help. And anyone who wants to stand in the way of Daniel Richards' liberal movement, I challenge you right now to come on out because I don't need a title to prove my point. Come on.
SANDERS: Wrestling is so weird.
DEMBY: This is Twitter coming to life, basically.
SANDERS: Ayy (ph). Speaking of wrestling, have you guys watched "GLOW" on Netflix yet?
DEMBY: Oh, I haven't watched it yet.
PETRI: I hear it's amazing.
SANDERS: So good. So for those who haven't heard, "GLOW" is this new Netflix series all about a women's wrestling TV show from the '80s.
DEMBY: GLOW, "Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling."
SANDERS: That's a real thing?
DEMBY: Yeah. I remember that from - oh, my God, I didn't realize that's what it's about.
SANDERS: Oh, wait, that's a real thing.
PETRI: Wait, it's real?
DEMBY: It was a real thing. I grew up watching it.
SANDERS: Stop it.
DEMBY: It wasn't on for very long...
DEMBY: ...But it used to come on at, like, 7 in the morning.
SANDERS: You watched it?
DEMBY: It was like - there was Americana. She would dress in, like, all, like, stars and stripes.
DEMBY: There was Medusa, I want to say. There was a bunch. Yeah. I remember this.
PETRI: Wait, this is - you're blowing my mind.
DEMBY: It used to come on Saturday mornings.
DEMBY: This was a real thing. So wait, is it good?
SANDERS: Oh, it's quite good. So really great development of the characters that are playing the wrestlers. Alison Brie has a really big starring role. Love her.
DEMBY: Oh, yeah.
SANDERS: And the guy who was directing this whole thing is played by Marc Maron.
SANDERS: He does a really good job. He does a really good job. Watch the show.
DEMBY: OK. I'm on it.
SANDERS: Not for the kids - but watch the show.
DEMBY: All right.
SANDERS: OK. All right. We're almost done. One more quick break. Then we'll come back with the best things from our listeners' week.
(SOUNDBITE OF FLEVANS'S "FLICKER")
SANDERS: All right, we're almost done - promise. But before we end the show, another plug for Timothy Simons from HBO's "Veep." He's on the show on Tuesday. He plays Jonah on "Veep." Do you guys watch "Veep"?
PETRI: Oh, yeah.
SANDERS: Isn't Jonah the worst?
DEMBY: He's the worst.
PETRI: I hope endgame is for him to be president.
DEMBY: I feel like a lot of people have predicted that...
DEMBY: ...You know what I mean?
PETRI: I'm fully on team that.
SANDERS: Yeah, episode will be up early Tuesday morning just in time for your cookouts.
DEMBY: Your cookout.
DEMBY: Do you say cookout or barbecue?
PETRI: Or garden party.
SANDERS: It depends on what they're cooking.
DEMBY: Who says garden party? People in Connecticut.
SANDERS: If you just bring burgers, that's not a barbecue. If it's going to be called a barbecue, we need some ribs. We need, like, some actual barbecue, some brisket. Like, if you're just grilling burgers and hot dogs, that's a cookout.
DEMBY: Sam is particular about barbecue. He's from Texas.
PETRI: Oh, yeah. That's true. You've got to have...
SANDERS: Fixings. And the actual barbecued meat. Anyway, I could talk about that forever. But we're going to end the show as we always do. Each week, I ask listeners to send us a recording of their own voices telling me about the best thing that happened to them all week. And I encourage them to brag. We have a few of those voices here. Take a listen.
ANNA: Hi. My name is Anna, (ph) and I'm calling from Los Alamos, N.M. The best thing that's happened to me last week was when I was in the garden with my 12-year-old son. He told me, Mom, I think I like fierce women.
ANNA: I thought he might be inspired by "Wonder Woman" movie that we watched the previous day. So I asked him, why? And he told me because fierce women are super interesting and cool. And then he looked at me and said, they remind me of you.
ANNA: Needless to say, that made me realize I might be doing something right with my parenting. Have a nice day.
ROSE: The best thing that's happened to me this week was that I got an interview to be a teen volunteer at the museum in Washington, D.C., for the summer.
SANDERS: Oh, hey...
SANDERS: ...Just down the street.
CHRIS: My darling bride and I took our four kids to their first major-league baseball game. Thank you, Milwaukee. You were a great host.
JENNIFER: After waiting nine months with tickets, I finally got to see the "Hamilton" musical...
JENNIFER: ...In Chicago.
MELISSA: We got our first foster placement.
MELISSA: And I'm really, really happy we decided to go on this journey with him.
SELENE: The best thing that happened to me this week was that I got to spend the weekend with my family at the funeral of my amazing grandmother, who died at 97 years old.
SELENE: It was beautiful and sad and so, so great.
CECELIA: Hi, I'm Cecelia (ph) (unintelligible).
GUS: And I'm Gus (ph). The best part of my week is spending with my family...
CECELIA: With Momma.
GUS: ...And hanging out with my cousins.
JOSH MIGDAM: Hey, it's Josh Migdam (ph) from Hartford, Conn. Tuesday was my birthday - my 40th birthday.
SANDERS: Happy birthday, Josh.
MIGDAM: I promised myself I would do five things on that day - get to work late, leave work to go get a haircut at the barber shop, have jerk chicken for lunch...
MIGDAM: ...Have dinner out with my wife and kids, and go out and play music with some musicians I know. And I did all those things.
MIGDAM: So it was a very good birthday. And on top of that, the next day, my wife threw me a surprise party.
PETRI: Yay, Josh.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Thanks for your show. I love it. Goodbye.
DEMBY: No, you're crying.
SANDERS: You're crying. Someone's chopping onions. Someone's chopping onions.
PETRI: Those were beautiful.
DEMBY: They were beautiful.
SANDERS: So thanks to Anna (ph), and Rose, Chris, Jennifer, Melissa, Selene (ph), those twins...
SANDERS: ...Cecelia and Gus, and also to Josh. Happy 40th birthday, Josh. Living your best life.
SANDERS: It's a great birthday.
DEMBY: Turn up.
SANDERS: All right. Thank you for those who shared with us. Even if we can't fit yours in the show, know that we listen to all of them. And we really love hearing them, seriously. Big shoutout to folks who also said discovering this show was the best part of their week. That was really nice.
SANDERS: So thank you. Again, share your best things all week with me any time throughout the week. Just record your own voice and send that file to me via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. OK, Momma, we made it.
DEMBY: We did it.
SANDERS: It's time.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BELLBOTTOMS")
THE JON SPENCER BLUES EXPLOSION: (Singing) Bell bottoms.
SANDERS: Bell bottoms.
DEMBY: Bell bottoms (laughter).
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BELLBOTTOMS")
THE JON SPENCER BLUES EXPLOSION: (Singing) Bell bottoms, uh.
SANDERS: Gene, Alex, thanks for hanging out. This was quite nice.
DEMBY: Appreciate you.
PETRI: Yeah, thank you.
SANDERS: Oh, yeah, yeah.
PETRI: This was fun.
SANDERS: Check out Gene's work on the Code Switch podcast and blog, which is now 13 months old.
SANDERS: Read Alex at The Washington Post Compost blog and follow both of them on Twitter because they are just lights in a dark sky in my Twitter world.
SANDERS: I love you all there. All right, a few more quick thank yous that we didn't fit in last week. On behalf of Brent and myself, thanks to Uri Berliner and Jeff Rogers. They helped edit the show. Also, thanks to Neal Carruth, who edited us during our beta phase. And a big shoutout to my friend from NPR West in Los Angeles, Nina Gregory, an amazing arts editor out there who helps us book all those Tuesday episodes. Anyways, refresh your feed Tuesday morning for Timothy Simons from HBO's "Veep." Until then, rock those bellbottoms. Thanks for listening. Talk soon. You can say bye if you want.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BELLBOTTOMS")
THE JON SPENCER BLUES EXPLOSION: (Singing) She got them. I want to dance.
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