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, Arthur Miller - step into this Cruci-Bill (ph).
KURTIS: I'm Bill Kurtis. And here's your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Bill. Thank you, everybody.
SAGAL: Thank you so much. We have a very interesting show for you today. Later on, we're going to be talking to Microsoft co-founder Steve Ballmer. He is, we believe, the richest guest we've ever had. But, of course, your true wealth is measured in your friends. And this just in - he has more friends, too.
SAGAL: But first, as many of you know, the NPR podcast feeds got all screwed up last week. People who tried to download our show got, for example, How I Built This instead, for which I apologize. And the people who wanted How I Built This got us, for which I apologize even more.
SAGAL: So if this time you can hear us, we want to hear you. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT - that's 1-888-924-8924. Let's welcome our first listener contestant this week.
Hi, you are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.
GABRIEL GALVEZ: Hi, Peter. This is Gabriel Galvez of Washington, D.C.
SAGAL: Hey, Gabriel. How are you?
GALVEZ: I'm great.
SAGAL: What do you do there in Washington?
GALVEZ: Well, I'm a student at George Washington University, but I'm also an analytics intern for Amtrak.
SAGAL: Well, that's exciting. So you're doing the trains. How are the trains doing?
GALVEZ: They've been going all right. I love working at Amtrak so far. It's a great job, and I get to meet a ton of great people every single day.
SAGAL: That's great. Do you get free train rides?
GALVEZ: I do. I get unlimited business travel, and I get a handful of personal passes. But it's kind of hard to ride Amtrak to where I'm actually from, but (laughter), you know...
SAGAL: Where are you actually from?
GALVEZ: San Diego, Calif.
PETEY DEABREU: That'd take forever.
SAGAL: It's great, man. By the time you go home to visit your parents, you have to turn around and come back.
SAGAL: Well, welcome to our show, Gabriel. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, a writer and performer you can see in the final season of "Veep" on HBO - it's Peter Grosz.
PETER GROSZ: Hello.
GALVEZ: Hey, Peter.
SAGAL: Next, it's a feature writer for the Style section of The Washington Post. It's Roxanne Roberts.
ROXANNE ROBERTS: Hello, Gabriel.
GALVEZ: Hey, Roxanne.
SAGAL: And it's a comedian performing June 21 through the 23 at Clusterfest in San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza...
SAGAL: ...And the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Joining us for the first time, it's Petey DeAbreu.
SAGAL: Gabriel, welcome to the show. You're going to play Who's Bill This Time. Bill Kurtis is going to read for you three quotations from this week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain two of them, you will win our prize - any voice from our show you might choose on your voicemail. You ready to go?
GALVEZ: Absolutely. Let's do it.
SAGAL: Here we go. Your first quote is from Attorney General William Barr. He's talking about some mail he recently got.
KURTIS: You know, the letter was a bit snitty.
SAGAL: So Mr. Barr apparently just didn't appreciate the tone in the letter he got from whom?
GALVEZ: I believe that's Nancy Pelosi.
SAGAL: Oh, no.
KURTIS: He heard snitty.
SAGAL: I don't think Nancy Pelosi sends letters.
GROSZ: You don't hear her coming.
SAGAL: This is the letter that was leaked this week. It turns out it had been sent to Mr. Barr by this gentleman right after Mr. Barr had sent out his summary of the Mueller Report.
GALVEZ: Oh. That must be Mr. Trump.
SAGAL: No, it wasn't. I don't think our president actually writes letters.
GALVEZ: Clearly, I'm not doing too hot right now.
SAGAL: No, no, no, no.
ROBERTS: It's OK. It's all right.
SAGAL: So I'll give it to you. It's Robert Mueller who wrote this letter.
SAGAL: I know. Robert Mueller doesn't write letters (unintelligible). After years of silence as he was viciously attacked by the president and his allies, slandered and threatened, special counsel Robert Mueller had enough. His fury ignited. He rose up, clenched his fist and typed a letter.
SAGAL: Which was tough because with his fist clenched, he had to use his knuckles.
SAGAL: So Mueller sent this letter to William Barr, criticizing the way Barr had distorted Mueller's findings about President Trump. The letter said Barr's summary did not, quote, "capture the context, nature and substance of the investigation," unquote. Barr then summarized that letter to the press saying, quote, "Robert Mueller says I look like I've lost some weight."
GROSZ: There's just such an unfortunate amount of not conclusive stuff that's going on.
GROSZ: Do you feel that way? Like, it's - it just feels like - leading up to the report, I feel like everybody, even on both sides - you just want, like, some definitive answer.
GROSZ: And this is just yet another thing...
ROBERTS: You want closure.
GROSZ: I want closure. I want, like, the last scene of a movie.
GROSZ: And we're getting, like, page 407 of a, like, thousand-page book.
SAGAL: I think it depends - like, I think a lot depends on what movie you want to see the last scene of. Do you want to see, like, the last scene of "Return Of The Jedi," where all the Ewoks are dancing on Endor? Or is it more like the last scene of "The Godfather," where everybody's dead?
SAGAL: Which are you looking for is the question.
GROSZ: Those are my only two choices. And I - no one has ever said this, but I'm choosing Ewoks over "The Godfather."
SAGAL: All right.
ROBERTS: See, maybe it's more like "The Sopranos" where it's just black, and then you get to decide what happened.
DEABREU: Oh, my - but I think that's what's happening.
SAGAL: Yeah, that was so satisfying.
GROSZ: That's what's happening. It's, like, there's, like, no definitive thing. And then even Mueller's letter is, like, I disagree with the conclusions that you drew about - like, he should have written letters, like, you scoundrel...
GROSZ: You liar.
GROSZ: That would have been much more exciting.
SAGAL: Peter, one of the interesting things about this that didn't get a lot of attention this week is that Mueller and Barr are old friends. Barr talked about this during his confirmation hearings. They've known each other for 30 years. Their wives go to Bible study together. Of course, Barr's wife insists the Ten Commandments are really just suggestions...
SAGAL: ...More of a listicle than anything else.
SAGAL: Can you imagine how, like, incredibly awkward these people's game night is? They all get together, Barr and Mueller and their wives, and they, like, play Scrabble. And it's Robert Mueller's turn, and he takes two years to play.
SAGAL: All right. Gabriel, here is your next quote.
KURTIS: The fact that it's 2019 and we're dealing with this is ridiculous.
SAGAL: That was a student at UCLA who recently found out that she is among the many people who might have been exposed to what disease making a comeback?
SAGAL: Measles. That's right, Gabriel.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: Measles is, of course, the disease that's so contagious, you caught it just because I said its name just now.
SAGAL: America had eliminated measles. But then people started saying the measles vaccine was bad for you. So now there are 700 reported cases of measles nationwide, and people are freaking out. Parents are trying to deny that they are the problem. No, my kid doesn't have measles. He's a bodybuilder, and that's just bacne (ph).
SAGAL: And front-ne (ph).
SAGAL: And arm-ne (ph) and face-ne (ph) and hi-ne (ph).
SAGAL: So many people are responsible for this crisis, this anti-vaccine crisis. There's the right-wing nut jobs, the left-wing nut jobs, religious nut-jobs, libertarian nut-jobs. It's so great that in this divided time we live in, all sides can get together to do something deeply stupid.
ROBERTS: Now, the question is, is this cruise ship that's...
ROBERTS: ...Infected, this Scientology...
ROBERTS: ...Cruise ship. So the question is...
GROSZ: Wait, I don't know about this. Can you...
ROBERTS: Go ahead.
SAGAL: All right.
DEABREU: So did something bad happen to the Scientologists?
SAGAL: So there's this...
DEABREU: Oh, no.
SAGAL: There's this...
GROSZ: That was Petey, by the way. When you...
GROSZ: When you come with your weird assassins in the dark...
GROSZ: That's Petey, and he lives in the Bronx.
SAGAL: So yes. There's this Scientology cruise. And they have been quarantined off an island in the Caribbean because there's a measles outbreak onboard. This is crazy because measles is not the worst thing to ever happen on a cruise, people.
SAGAL: Hell, measles is an upgrade from what you usually get on a cruise. Am I right?
GROSZ: You're talking about the entertainment, right?
SAGAL: Yeah. No - Gabriel, your last quote is from a Burger King customer.
KURTIS: If you don't tell anybody, they don't know.
SAGAL: That man was talking about the taste of a new Whopper the Burger King is selling - the first ever Whopper that does not contain what?
SAGAL: Right. Meat, beef.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: Very good.
SAGAL: It's called the Impossible Burger. It's the all-vegetable patty that tastes amazingly like beef. Burger King offered them as a limited experiment. It was so successful, they're extending it nationwide - which could mean that nonvegetarians are choosing the burger, which is amazing. Or it could just mean that anybody who goes into a Burger King is beyond caring what they eat anyway.
SAGAL: Here's the thing. And I've tasted it. It's great. But here's the thing.
ROBERTS: Is it really?
SAGAL: It's terrific.
ROBERTS: No, I want honestly because...
ROBERTS: Usually, they're terrible.
SAGAL: Yeah. This tastes like beef. But here's the thing - it's still really bad for you.
SAGAL: It has to be in order to taste that good. It's got all kinds of fats to make it give that juicy taste. And listen to some of the ingredients, right? - soy protein concentrate, methylcellulose, soy leghemoglobin. It does sound gross. It does sound...
GROSZ: So now I'm so hungry...
SAGAL: But if you think that sounds gross, just try listing the ingredients of a typical fast food hamburger - head, tongue...
SAGAL: ...Kidney, horse.
DEABREU: I thought that was just IKEA.
SAGAL: Bill, how did Gabriel do on our quiz?
KURTIS: He got 2 out of 3, and that is good enough for a win.
SAGAL: Thank you, Gabriel.
GALVEZ: Thanks, Peter.
SAGAL: Thank you for playing, man.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.