Who's Bill This Time
Friday, June 20, 2014
Bill Kurtis reads three quotes from the week's news: Cup Half Empty, Muddle East, Magna Cum Latte.
BILL KURTIS, BYLINE: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I'm inscrutable anchorman, Bill Kurtis.
KURTIS: And here's your host, at the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison, Wisconsin, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Bill.
SAGAL: Thanks, everyone. People, seriously - what happened to your famed Midwestern reserve? Come on, now. It's great to be here in Madison, where later on, we will be talking to Nick Hitchon. His entire life has been chronicled in the "7 Up" series of documentaries. He starred in the first film back in 1964 as a seven-year-old. He's appeared in another film every seven years, up through the latest, "56 Up." So you can think of him as the original reality star. He's just like Kim Kardashian, except he's a middle-aged, bald man from England, with a PhD. But other than that...
SAGAL: We'll be doing an in-depth look at about 10 minutes of his life later on. First it's your turn to play our games. Give us a call, it's 1-888-WAIT-WAIT or 1-888-924-8924. Let's welcome our first listener contest to the show. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME.
LENA THOMAS: Hello.
SAGAL: Hello. Who's this?
THOMAS: My name's Lena.
SAGAL: Where are you calling from?
THOMAS: I'm calling from Los Angeles.
SAGAL: Oh. Where it's hot but pleasant. What do you do there?
THOMAS: I am a donor advisor for a nonprofit here. I'm actually at work right now.
SAGAL: You are?
THOMAS: (Laughing) I am.
SAGAL: So when you say you advise donors, are you like, I advise you to donate?
THOMAS: Exactly. I always advise them to give more.
SAGAL: I think - OK.
O'ROURKE: Do they get a tote bag, though?
THOMAS: (Laughing) You got to get a tote bag.
SAGAL: Yeah. Lena, let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, an author and a humorist. His new book is "The Baby Boom." It's P.J. O'Rourke.
O'ROURKE: Hi, Lena.
THOMAS: Oh, they love you.
SAGAL: Next, a writer and blogger for the Houston Chronicle. It's Kyrie O'Connor.
O'CONNOR: Hey, Lena. I don't have any money. But I'd donate it if I did.
SAGAL: And a comedian who's special, "I Come In Peace" is out now on iTunes, Amazon and Netflix - Maz Jobrani.
MAZ JOBRANI: Hey, Lena.
JOBRANI: How are you?
SAGAL: Lena, welcome to the show. You're going to play Who's Bill This Time. Bill Kurtis is going to re-create for you three quotations from the week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain two of them, you will win our prize, Scorekeeper Emeritus Carl Kasell's voice on your voicemail. Are you ready to go?
THOMAS: Yay. Yes.
SAGAL: All right.
THOMAS: I'm ready.
SAGAL: Here we go. Your first quote is from the Wikipedia entry for a man named John Brooks.
KURTIS: He is the greatest American since Abraham Lincoln.
SAGAL: That little note was added to Mr. Brook's entry this week, after he helped his team a win a match where?
THOMAS: Was it the World Cup?
SAGAL: Yes, it was.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: The World Cup.
SAGAL: Of football, of course. Everybody in America instantly became a soccer fan on Monday, after the U.S. defeated our archrival Ghana in our...
SAGAL: No, this is true. Most - this is true. Most Americans did not know that Ghana is legitimately our archrival in soccer. Most Americans didn't even know it was a country.
SAGAL: Our best guess? Ghana is an STD.
SAGAL: We're not a global-minded people, is what I'm saying.
SAGAL: But the team, of course - John Brooks is the guy who scored the go-ahead goal off his head - that's how they do. And there's guys on the team who nobody ever heard of. They're now national heroes. And they will be until they inevitably lose. They're like cicadas. They get to date supermodels and endorse sports drinks for one week.
SAGAL: And then they die or go be famous in Europe, which is the same thing.
SAGAL: Now you may have noticed that I predicted that the team is going to lose. And you may be like, how can you do that? Where's your national pride? Who says they're going to lose? I'll tell you who did - their coach did.
SAGAL: Before the tournament, Jurgen Klinsmann, the German-born coach of the U.S. team, said they would not win the tournament. You can't do that. I mean, it's true, but you can't say it.
SAGAL: Can you imagine, like, an American coach saying, well, we may be down, but we are also out. It is hopeless.
JOBRANI: Well, he's German. He's very philosophical. Maybe he's like...
O'ROURKE: Or just blunt.
JOBRANI: Yeah. He's probably in the locker room going you're going to lose, and you will die one day, too.
JOBRANI: But first, you're going to try. You're going to run for 90 minutes. And it's not going to be worth anything. You're going to die.
JOBRANI: But go out there and run because you're going to lose and die.
JOBRANI: That's his pep talk.
SAGAL: Lena, here is your next quote.
KURTIS: Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.
SAGAL: That was Dick Cheney finally apologizing for the Iraq war. Just kidding. He was actually criticizing President Obama over his handling of the crisis where?
THOMAS: In Iraq.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: So it is not quite true that Iraq is going to hell. It's more like it's moving from a suburb of hell to a new loft in the downtown entertainment district of hell.
SAGAL: This time, the country of Iraq is being overrun by a terrorist group called ISIS, which - let's face it - is a really cool name for an organization of super villains.
SAGAL: And former Vice President Cheney gets on the TV, and he says that President Obama has made a terrible mistake by not somehow fixing the incredible mess that Mr. Cheney helped create.
SAGAL: This is nuts. This is like your dog farting and blaming you.
SAGAL: And while you're a little disgusted at the dog's behavior, you're like, that's pretty bold, dog. I'm going to give you some points.
SAGAL: Even Fox News was taken a little aback. Megan Kelly, who was interviewing, said to Mr. Cheney, quote, "the suggestion is that you caused this mess," unquote. In response, Dick Cheney unhinged his jaw and ate her.
SAGAL: You guys have any ideas on how to fix Iraq? We have about 30 seconds. Go.
O'CONNOR: Oh, yeah. Change it's name so we can fix someplace else.
>>SAGAL That's an idea.
O'ROURKE: Change it's name to Ghana and pretend we won.
SAGAL: We couldn't handle Iraq, but we beat the hell out of Ghana. There.
SAGAL: Here we go. Here is your final quote.
KURTIS: If I'm a gold cardmember and I buy drinks every day, can I have free tuition too?
SAGAL: That was one coffee drinker responding to the news that what company will be funding college education for all of its employees?
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: Yes, Starbucks.
SAGAL: Some good news. This is nice. Perk us back up. Starbucks, America's premier destination for people just sneaking in to use the restroom...
SAGAL: ...Has announced it will pay tuition for all of its employees to attend Arizona State University Online. Reactions from just about everywhere were pretty much the same. So Starbucks made a second announcement, quote, "no, not University of Phoenix. This is a real school."
SAGAL: Starbucks is offering a tuition reimbursement to every single one of their U.S. employees. The cost of the company is huge. Starbucks also announced this week the cost of a venti frappuccino is now $45,000.
JOBRANI: How much money does Starbucks have? That's a lot - like, that's a baller move. That's like the kind of stuff, like, the king of Bahrain does when there's a protest. He goes everyone's going to get a car or something, you know.
SAGAL: This is something the government used to do. They were like, we're going to send everybody to college. The government can't do it. Government's broke. So Starbucks is the new - you know, that's like the new G.I. Bill.
O'ROURKE: Government. They're the new government.
SAGAL: I know. Our greatest generation is now Starbucks baristas.
JOBRANI: Well, maybe they can finally read the names right and pronounce the names.
SAGAL: Yeah. I know. Oh, but this offer to pay the tuitions for all the baristas makes Starbucks the leading provider of college educations to people who already have a PhD in English.
SAGAL: Bill, how did Lena do on our quiz?
KURTIS: Well, Lena, to the next donor who says no to you, you tell them you got three right on WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME.
SAGAL: Well done. Yay.
SAGAL: Thanks for playing, Lena.
THOMAS: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.View this story on npr.org