Who's Bill This Time?
CHIOKE I'ANSON: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. Filling in for Bill Kurtis, I'm Chioke I'Anson, one of the voices of the NPR credits and the only voice of your NPR dreams.
I'ANSON: And here is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Chioke.
SAGAL: Thank you, everybody. It's great to be with you. Now, Bill Kurtis is off this week. He's working his other job, smiting sinners from on high with lightning bolts.
SAGAL: But he's going to regret taking this week off because later on, we get to talk to Regina King, the Oscar-winning actor who's starring in a new series called "Watchmen" on HBO. It's an updating of a classic show, HBO's "Walkman"...
SAGAL: ...About a man and his portable cassette player.
SAGAL: Call us with whatever device you might have. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Let's welcome our first listener contestant.
Hi, you are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.
STEVE HIRSHFELD: Hello. This is Steve Hirshfeld from McFarland, Wis.
SAGAL: Hey, Steve. How are you?
HIRSHFELD: I'm fine, thanks. How are you?
SAGAL: I'm well, thank you. Now, where is McFarland, Wis.? I don't know it.
HIRSHFELD: Oh. Well, it's right outside of Madison.
SAGAL: Oh, right. I thought you were in the greater Madison metroplex. And what do you do there near Madison?
HIRSHFELD: I'm a bureaucrat.
SAGAL: You're - oh, I see.
PAULA POUNDSTONE: Wow.
SAGAL: You just lead with that. So...
HIRSHFELD: Yeah. Well, I couldn't come up with anything that was shorter than that. But I work in public transit at the Department of Transportation.
SAGAL: Well, that's - I am a big fan of public transit, so I'm not going to make fun of you. But let me ask you. When you hear people - because bureaucrats are ragged on all the time. Oh, the bureaucrats are holding it up, or, the bureaucrats - do you get personally offended?
HIRSHFELD: No. They're right.
SAGAL: Oh, OK.
SAGAL: Well, with your permission, then, we'll continue to do that. But first, Steve, let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, it's a comedian performing New Year's Eve at the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco. It's the host of "Nobody Listens To Paula Poundstone." That would be Paula Poundstone.
SAGAL: Next, it's the host of the podcast "Mobituaries" and now the author of the book "Mobituaries," which you should all preorder now. It's Mo Rocca.
MO ROCCA: Hi, Steve.
SAGAL: And finally, making her debut on our program, it's a performer and host of the improvised talk show "Strangers Wanted" at Upright Citizens Brigade in New York on October 23, it's Shannon O'Neill.
SHANNON O'NEILL: Hello, Steve.
SAGAL: So, Steve, we're all here. We're ready to go. You're going to play Who's Chioke This Time. Chioke I'Anson, right here, is going to read for you three quotations from the week's news. Your job, of course - identify or explain just two of them. Do that, you will win our prize - the voice of anyone you might choose from our show on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?
HIRSHFELD: Yes, I am.
SAGAL: All right. Your first quote is from a letter sent to the House of Representatives from the White House.
I'ANSON: The president cannot allow your proceedings to distract him.
SAGAL: So what is distracting the president?
HIRSHFELD: I believe that would be the impeachment inquiry.
SAGAL: Yes, the impeachment inquiry.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: Very good.
SAGAL: Very legal. Very cool. This week, in response to the House Democrats' impeachment inquiry, the White House announced its response. Nope, they'd rather not be impeached. Thank you.
SAGAL: This is weird. Presidents under investigation have tried a lot of things, but this is the first president to try ghosting the Constitution.
POUNDSTONE: Well, it just - they have a good point, which is he's so easily distracted.
SAGAL: Really. I mean...
POUNDSTONE: Yeah. I mean, a woman walks by - anything.
SAGAL: Yeah, I know. It's true. That's to protect him.
POUNDSTONE: You know, a penny on the floor.
SAGAL: It's distracting.
POUNDSTONE: Yeah, but just so easily distracted.
SAGAL: The White House sent an eight-page letter to Nancy Pelosi that insulted her and Adam Schiff and threatened that if they didn't send a copy to eight of their friends, they'd all be impeached.
SAGAL: This letter is amazing. It is signed by a lawyer, the White House counsel. But it is - its legal argument boils down to nuh-uh (ph). That's it.
ROCCA: You said a lawyer wrote it. Did Rudy write it?
SAGAL: Rudy - well, we don't know who wrote it. But...
ROCCA: Rudy Giuliani...
POUNDSTONE: Rudy hasn't...
ROCCA: I'm so upset. He just - he gives a lisp such a bad name.
SAGAL: Does Rudy lisp?
POUNDSTONE: Oh, yeah.
ROCCA: And I've spent my life trying to rebrand the lisp.
ROCCA: You know, (lisping) President Trump is innocent - suffering succotash.
ROCCA: You know, he has a lisp, and it's ruined lisps. We've come so far.
SAGAL: And think about what he's done for the image of bald men. It was so positive prior to him.
SAGAL: Rudolph Giuliani seems to be in trouble because just this week, he has these two shady associates.
ROCCA: Are these - these are the Ukrainians, right?
SAGAL: These are - born in Russia, live in America, but they've been sort of going back-and-forth to Ukraine, helping him to set up his dirty deals there. And they were arrested.
POUNDSTONE: Allegedly laundering money to give to...
SAGAL: Oh, yes, accused of laundering money to give to President Trump and other Republican candidates. And they were arrested at Dulles Airport with one-way tickets to Europe.
ROCCA: Trump 2020 - yes, Ukraine.
SAGAL: There's only one thing I want to add before we finally move on, and that is that one of these shady Ukrainian associates, as part of his business, owns a beach club in Odessa in Ukraine called Mafia Rave.
SAGAL: I am not kidding. Man, I mean, you can say what you want about Nixon, but his friends didn't own a club called Burglar Bar.
HIRSHFELD: I'm still here.
SAGAL: I'm so glad.
SAGAL: So, Steve, your next quote...
SAGAL: Steve, now, your next quote is a single tweet that was sent by the general manager of the Houston Rockets.
I'ANSON: Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.
SAGAL: Just that tweet caused a huge crisis when the entire nation of China got really mad at what organization?
HIRSHFELD: I'd like to check with an associate on that.
SAGAL: Oh, please.
SAGAL: Do you have one handy?
HIRSHFELD: Yeah. No, I'm just kidding. The NBA.
SAGAL: The NBA, yes.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: The NBA, National Basketball Association.
SAGAL: China is a huge market for the NBA, so the slightest hint of support for democracy protesters in Hong Kong brought the hammer down. The NBA completely folded. They deleted the tweet. They apologized profusely. And just to cover all their bases, they blackballed Colin Kaepernick.
SAGAL: Are you happy now, China? But it didn't work. China wanted to make them learn their lesson, so they took Houston Rockets games off TV in China. They literally painted over the Rockets logo in one of the gyms where it was. All of this because of one tweet. Imagine if the Rockets had done something really offensive, like hung out with George Bush at a football game.
ROCCA: My moral compass is set by the NFL.
ROCCA: I never would've thought to look to the NBA for...
SAGAL: All of a sudden, giving people brain damage isn't so bad.
SAGAL: But, really, this whole thing - it was the strangest choice the NBA has made since allowing a team based in Salt Lake City to be called the Jazz.
SAGAL: All right, Steve. Your last quote is from Entertainment Weekly, and it's commenting on a ban that the pope started to consider lifting just this week.
I'ANSON: The hot priest just got a whole lot more accessible.
SAGAL: So what ban is the pope considering lifting?
HIRSHFELD: Celibacy vow.
SAGAL: Celibacy - that's exactly right, Steve.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: As I said...
SAGAL: ...For a thousand years, only celibate men have been allowed to be priests because Jesus does not want you to have a sidepiece.
SAGAL: Now the church is considering relaxing its rules as an effort to attract priests to serve in remote areas like the Amazon. So just imagine if you got this invite, ladies. Not only are you having sex with someone who has no idea how to do it, you'll be doing it in the Amazon.
ROCCA: Can I just say that - a little backstory on - when I saw the article Amazon Priest Shortage, I thought, Amazon is selling priests now?
SAGAL: I know.
SAGAL: It's true. Chioke, how did Steve do on our quiz?
I'ANSON: The bureaucrats always win.
SAGAL: They do, man.
SAGAL: What are you going to do about it? Steve, congratulations.
HIRSHFELD: Thanks very much.
SAGAL: Thanks so much for playing.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TAKE ME TO CHURCH")
HOZIER: (Singing) Take me to church. I'll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies. I'll tell you my sins, and you can sharpen your knife. Offer me that deathless death. Good God, let me give you my life. Take me to church. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.