Who's Bill This Time
BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. Ask not for whom the bell tolls. Ask for whom the Bill tolls.
KURTIS: I'm Bill Kurtis. And here is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Bill.
SAGAL: Thank you, everybody. Thank you so much. We have a really interesting show for you this week. Later on, we're going to be talking to Valerie Jarrett, who not only was a senior adviser to President Barack Obama but is the longest-serving senior adviser to a president in U.S. history - every minute of all eight years. That brings up an interesting question - what dirt, exactly, does she have on him?
SAGAL: We'll be sure to ask her. But first, we're going to ask you some questions, so give us a call. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT - that's 1-888-924-8924. Now let's welcome our first listener contestant.
Hi, you are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.
MICHAEL WOZNIACK: Hi, Peter. This is Michael Wozniack from New Britain, Conn.
SAGAL: Michael Wozniack from New Britain - I know where that is. What do you do there?
WOZNIACK: Well, I'm a financial solutions adviser.
SAGAL: What is a financial solutions adviser?
WOZNIACK: It's kind of a fancy way of saying a financial adviser that lives in a bank.
SAGAL: Oh, OK.
SAGAL: Because I - like, a financial solution to me would be, like, you need more money.
SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Michael. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, it's the co-host of the podcast "Nobody Listens To Paula Poundstone." It's Adam Felber.
ADAM FELBER: Hi, Michael.
WOZNIACK: Hi, Adam.
SAGAL: Next, it's a features writer for the style section of The Washington Post, Roxanne Roberts.
ROXANNE ROBERTS: Hello, Michael.
WOZNIACK: Hi, Roxanne.
SAGAL: And a writer and actor you've seen on "Veep" and also playing the veep, Mike Pence, on "The President Show." It's Peter Grosz.
PETER GROSZ: Hello.
WOZNIACK: Hi, Peter.
SAGAL: So, Michael, welcome to our show. You're going to play Who's Bill This Time. Of course, Bill Kurtis is going to recreate for you three quotations from the week's news. Your job - correctly identify or explain just two of them. Do that, you'll win our prize - the voice of your choice on your voicemail. You ready to do this?
WOZNIACK: I am never ready.
SAGAL: That, actually, I think, is the right mindset for this. It's very Zen.
GROSZ: Sounds like a great financial adviser.
SAGAL: All right. Your first quote is the president of the United States reacting to another country's provocation.
KURTIS: I have a feeling - and I may be wrong. And I may be right. And I'm right a lot - that it was a mistake.
SAGAL: That was the president acting as the voice of reason...
SAGAL: ...Really - after who shot down an American drone this week?
SAGAL: Exactly, Iran.
SAGAL: If you were really into that retro '80s vibe of U.S. vs. Russia, you are going to love this reboot of U.S. vs. Iran.
SAGAL: You know, Madonna's on tour right now. They're making new "Bill and Ted" movie. The only more '80s thing you could have right now is a businessman named Donald Trump driving something he runs right into the ground.
SAGAL: But you can tell the Iranians are kind of enjoying the nostalgia, too. They're even selling hats in Tehran that say, make death to America great again.
GROSZ: You've got to laugh because you have to laugh.
GROSZ: It's just fun. And it's just fun to relax and then just be into it all. It's just fun.
FELBER: It's fun. It's good times.
SAGAL: It's really great.
GROSZ: And it's fun to trust the people in charge and just to know that it's going to work out.
SAGAL: So things have been getting tense, as you know, for a while.
FELBER: You think?
SAGAL: You think?
SAGAL: Yeah. First, the U.S. withdrew from the Iran deal. Then Iran allegedly attacked some oil tankers. Then Trump accused Rouhani of getting a bad facelift. No, wait - that was Mika Brzezinski.
SAGAL: Then this week, Iran shot down a U.S. drone aircraft. And the president, as you heard, instead of responding with his usual fire and fury said, hey, it was probably a mistake.
FELBER: Yeah. He suggested it was some underling that was acting above his station.
FELBER: And then, later in the day, Iran was, like, no. No. We meant to shoot that down.
FELBER: Here's some maps.
GROSZ: You know...
FELBER: Here's some video.
GROSZ: You know what?
FELBER: Here's a little scrapbook we put together.
GROSZ: I also - what was great was that the - I mean, it's a little, like, you know, he said, she said about, like, where the drone was. We said it was international waters. They said it was over their land. And our proof was just a Google Maps thing with a little blue dot.
FELBER: Yeah, we dropped a pin.
GROSZ: That said, like, this is where the launch came from, and this is where our drone was - which was, like, oh, that looks official. But also, like, you could just make that. And then Iran's response was, like, a hand-drawn map...
GROSZ: ...That was, like, a missile here, and then, like, the gulf and stuff like that. It was really, like, I don't believe either of you.
FELBER: And the funny thing was on our map, it said underneath - you knew it was made by Google because it said that it was a 37-hour drive...
FELBER: ...To get there.
GROSZ: Now, I use Waze. I have to say, when I'm shooting down drones, I always use Waze.
FELBER: Yeah, but that'll take you...
GROSZ: You know, I think Waze...
FELBER: That'll take your missile on so many weird turns...
GROSZ: I know, but you get there two minutes earlier.
FELBER: Yeah, but...
FELBER: ...What does it matter - two minutes?
GROSZ: It's two minutes. That's time you could be spent shooting down another drone.
SAGAL: Now, why is Trump trying to keep this war from happening? Well, he probably took a look at Iran. Its anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-Jew. And he's, like, whoa, what are we doing? Iran is my base.
SAGAL: Michael, your next quote is from a former adviser to Barack Obama.
KURTIS: We knew the primary wouldn't be all puppies and rainbows forever.
SAGAL: He was talking about 23 people who finally started going after each other this week. Who are they?
WOZNIACK: Oh, the candidates for the Democratic primary.
SAGAL: Yes, the Democratic presidential candidates...
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: ...Very good.
SAGAL: This week, the various presidential candidates on the Democratic side finally started attacking each other. It was real - a real mano-a-mano fight. Well, actually, because there are 23 of them, it was actually mano-a-mano-a-mano-a-mano-a...
SAGAL: ...a-mano-a-Beto (ph).
SAGAL: So Joe Biden, the frontrunner, bragged about his ability to get along with people he disagreed with - like, he said, segregationists from the South. It is unclear why he did this because Democratic voters are probably not looking to replace Trump with someone who gets along with racists better.
GROSZ: But that's how you dig into his base, is you take away some of those people...
GROSZ: ...Because you drop the segregationist names, and people are, like, well, now I'm listening, Joe Biden.
SAGAL: Tell me more.
GROSZ: Yes, tell me more.
ROBERTS: It's - I mean, oh, bless his heart. You know, you just want to, like - everybody loves Joe.
GROSZ: That's - by the way, that's what you say about a cousin who's, like, kind of, you know, touched.
ROBERTS: Well, but...
FELBER: But, to be fair, conveying to voters that he has the ability to reach across the aisle and make Congress get along and be effective again is a great strategy for 1986.
SAGAL: Anyway, we're all going to see this play out because the debates are next week. There's going to be two of them, 10 candidates a night. The first question from the moderator is going to be, what is your name again?
GROSZ: They should - when they do the debates, they should be, like, and just go down the line, and please say your opening and then your closing statement...
GROSZ: ...Because that is all we have time for.
SAGAL: Here, Michael, is your last quote.
KURTIS: Spikes, head horns and phone bones.
SAGAL: Those are nicknames given to a supposed new medical phenomenon - a bony spike growing in the back of many people's heads entirely due to what?
WOZNIACK: Looking down on your phone.
SAGAL: Exactly right...
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: It turns out that looking down at our phones so much might actually be causing a bony spike to be growing in the back of our heads. You can feel the bone if you press down to the back of your neck. It's right underneath the Apple logo.
SAGAL: And the theory is this is happening because we're constantly looking down, and our head is, like, growing a little extra bone to help the muscles support the weight of our hanging head.
FELBER: But you know what? It's not a bone. It's an antenna.
SAGAL: Is it?
FELBER: Mine's 5G.
SAGAL: That's good.
SAGAL: It's not a problem. We - there's a way to get around this. What we can do is we can all stop staring down at our phones. We just hang our phones on the phone bone of the person walking in front of us.
ROBERTS: What if we, instead of look down - you know how they have those headsets where you can put cans of beers on the side?
SAGAL: Yes. Yes...
FELBER: Beer helmets.
ROBERTS: Beer - OK, so why don't...
GROSZ: Yeah, they're called beer helmets, Rox. They're not called headsets.
ROBERTS: OK. Maybe do one where the phone just kind of comes out, and it hangs...
SAGAL: In front of you...
SAGAL: ...Like the old thing there used to be with mule of hanging a carrot out there, and...
GROSZ: Yeah. So people are just, like, oh...
GROSZ: ...Walking towards their phone. I love how, like, it's always - like, this is such a human thing that we're doing now. It's, like, don't change the problem. Like, let's innovate our way out of this - these neck things. So, like...
GROSZ: ...The fact that you're even, like, let's just make another thing that you can put on your head that brings your phone in front of you to prevent this bone. So, like, put the phone down.
GROSZ: Then you won't have bones growing out of the back of your neck.
ROBERTS: I'm a realist. Nobody is...
ROBERTS: All right. Realistically...
GROSZ: Hold on a second. Hold on a second. Somebody just called me.
SAGAL: Bill, how did Michael do?
KURTIS: Well, he said he was never ready, but boy, he was ready this time.
SAGAL: That's great.
KURTIS: He got them all right.
SAGAL: Congratulations, Michael.
SAGAL: Well done.
WOZNIACK: Thank you, Peter.
SAGAL: Thanks for calling.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.