Who's Bill This Time?
BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. Billie Eilish may have five Grammys, but Billy Kurtis is your only grampy.
KURTIS: I am 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 all so much. We indeed have a great show for you today. Later on, we're going to be talking to the actress and filmmaker Isabella Rossellini. It's so much fun to say. But first, you might have heard that one of our NPR colleagues, Mary Louise Kelly, had a very contentious interview with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He ended up yelling at her for 15 minutes after the interview ended and - this is true - as an insult, asked her to point out Ukraine on a blank map, which she did.
SAGAL: And then he said, oh, that's where it is.
SAGAL: Now, Pompeo apparently was surprised with the aggressiveness of her questions. I don't know why. NPR is famous for our confrontational journalism. It's why the original name of All Things Considered was Consider This, You Filthy Bastard.
SAGAL: We promise not to make you uncomfortable with pressing questions about your flaws, so give us a call and play our games. 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.
BECKY HALTERMON ROBINSON: Hi. This Is Becky Haltermon Robinson, and I'm calling from West Palm Beach, Fla.
SAGAL: West Palm Beach - that lovely tropical paradise where you can look up and see the president's plane all the time.
ROBINSON: And deal with the traffic when he's in town, so...
SAGAL: Everybody does.
SAGAL: But what do you do...
JOSH GONDELMAN: But it's the biggest and most beautiful traffic.
SAGAL: It really is.
FAITH SALIE: Traffic like you've never seen before.
GONDELMAN: Traffic like you've never seen.
GONDELMAN: A big military man came up to me and said, Mr. President, I've never seen such traffic in my life - started to cry.
SAGAL: Well, Becky, welcome to our show.
SAGAL: Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up is a man you can see in New York at Carolines on Broadway on March 27 through the 29. And you can hear him on his podcast Back To School With Maz Jobrani. I gave it away. It's Maz Jobrani.
MAZ JOBRANI: Hey, Becky.
SAGAL: Next, it's a contributor to "CBS Sunday Morning." It's Faith Salie.
SALIE: Hi, Becky.
SAGAL: And finally, a comedian whose book "Nice Try" is out now. He's a writer and producer for "Desus And Mero" on Showtime, which returns Monday. It's Josh Gondelman.
GONDELMAN: It's me.
SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Becky. You're going to play Who's Bill This Time. I bet you knew that. Bill Kurtis is going to read you three quotations from the week's news. Your job - just to identify two of them or explain them. And if you do that, you win our prize - the voice of anyone you might choose on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?
ROBINSON: I'm ready.
SAGAL: All right. Here is your first quote.
KURTIS: It's all about his mustache. The rest is misdirection.
SAGAL: That was the Dallas Observer talking about someone with a new book who threatened to upend the impeachment trial this week. Whose book?
ROBINSON: Is it Bolton?
SAGAL: It is Bolton...
SAGAL: ...John Bolton. Very good.
SAGAL: The impeachment of Donald John Trump was rolling along to its inevitable end with first his acquittal and then the president shooting a man in Reno just to watch him die...
SAGAL: ...Because now he can. But then the news came out that John Bolton, his former national security adviser, had written a book titled "The Room Where It Happened" - because if you don't think being a warmonger was bad enough, he also makes gratuitous "Hamilton" references.
SALIE: He wants attention so bad. I think he's...
SAGAL: Donald Trump.
SALIE: No, John Bolton.
SAGAL: Oh, John Bolton.
GONDELMAN: I thought she was talking about me.
SALIE: Josh Gondelman. No, I just - he - I think he, like, brushes his mustache in the morning. He's, like, is this the day they subpoena us? He wants them to subpoena him.
GONDELMAN: He wants it, but he doesn't - like, he wrote it in a book that isn't coming out till after the trial ends, which is, like, peak - like, hold me back. I'm going - you don't want me to fight you, big guy...
GONDELMAN: ...A guy two feet taller than him. Oh, you're lucky my friends are here.
SAGAL: Most of the week's impeachment action, of course, was taken up with senators sending questions to the chief justice, who then read them aloud.
SALIE: This was so good.
SAGAL: It was pretty good, except the Republicans were sending questions to the president's lawyers - like, in your opinion, how hot is the president?
SAGAL: And all the Democrats were asking questions of their House managers that were, like, I know, right?
GONDELMAN: I just - it was just a relief. I've never seen a Q and A without one film student coming up and being, like, not really a question - more of a comment.
JOBRANI: My problem with it was - there was a couple problems. First of all, why - it takes too long. Can't they just text them the questions?
JOBRANI: It really slowed things down. And you know who I felt really bad for was C-SPAN because they've been televising this stuff...
JOBRANI: ...For years and years. And finally, they're, like, we got the Super Bowl. And they're, like, so does CNN and Fox and MSNBC and everybody else.
GONDELMAN: Oh, now everybody likes to watch the Senate, you know?
GONDELMAN: Look who comes crawling back to old C-SPAN.
SAGAL: So your next quote is from NPR.
KURTIS: Every four years, Iowans have to basically re-learn how it works.
SAGAL: That was part of a rundown of what big event that's coming up next week in Iowa?
ROBINSON: The Democratic caucuses.
SAGAL: Yes, the caucuses in Iowa.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: Yes. They're here again...
SAGAL: ...Happening on Monday. Many people still don't know how caucuses work. It's very simple. Two stout men tie one of their legs together and run down a hallway.
SAGAL: At the end, they choose between a floor lamp representing one candidate and a cucumber representing democracy. If they pick the floor lamp, and it turns on, Joe Biden is president.
SAGAL: Now, it's very complicated, as you can tell. Most people don't even know what the word caucus means. But we're guessing, looking around Iowa, that it comes from the word Caucasian.
SAGAL: Now, as we get - as we approach the caucuses...
SAGAL: ...Many Democrats were freaking out, we were told, because Bernie was rising in the polls. But what are they going to do about it? Bernie seems to inspire incredible loyalty. His supporters swarm any critic on social media. And he has strong support among the youth vote. Many 3-year-olds are also refusing to comb their hair.
SAGAL: And what's amazing is he's making these gains in the polls while being stuck at the Senate trial. The less he shows up, the better he does.
SALIE: Do you think if Bloomberg rises in the polls, we'll be able to see him?
SALIE: Thanks, Josh.
SAGAL: There is one candidate, who is actually fourth right now in the national polls - Mike Bloomberg, as you said - he seems to be attempting to just buy the nomination, like pressing the buy it now button on eBay.
SAGAL: This week, he tried to humanize himself. He shared a video in which he met a voter and the voter's dog, which he greeted in the traditional manner of greeting dogs - by grabbing its snout and shaking it.
SALIE: It's an unbelievable video. Like, he didn't just kind of do it and then realize he had - he was shaking a dog's snout.
SALIE: He doubled down and shook the muzzle harder.
SAGAL: Yes, he did.
SALIE: He committed to it.
GONDELMAN: It was, like, it's a service dog, and he was going, thank you for your service.
SAGAL: All right, Becky. Your last quote is from the New York Post. It's about an event this weekend.
KURTIS: By kickoff Sunday, you will be sick of hearing about it.
SAGAL: What will be - what will we be sick of hearing about come Sunday?
ROBINSON: The Super Bowl.
SAGAL: The Super Bowl.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: It's Super Bowl LIV, and it kicks off on Sunday with all of America hoping it will finally address the unanswered questions of Super Bowl LIII. It's an interesting matchup this year - San Francisco - once the center of the nation's counterculture, now home to the industry that has changed the world - versus Kansas City, home to the Kansas City Chiefs.
SAGAL: It's being played at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami with a record 65,000 football fans packed in there to see it. It's going to be a thrill for everyone, but no one's more excited than the coronavirus.
JOBRANI: Oh, my God.
SALIE: Can you even say too soon if it hasn't happened yet?
SAGAL: I guess so.
GONDELMAN: Did you hear about the bar that was giving discounted Coronas for the coronavirus?
GONDELMAN: They were doing...
SALIE: For real. For real.
GONDELMAN: They were actually doing that.
SAGAL: Did - I heard that people were talking about this. I don't know if Corona actually had to put out a statement saying, it has nothing to do with our beer.
SAGAL: You can't get it.
GONDELMAN: If you feel sick after drinking a Corona, that's your fault.
GONDELMAN: That's user error.
SAGAL: Bill, how did Becky do on our quiz?
KURTIS: Becky was perfect.
SAGAL: Congratulations, Becky.
KURTIS: Three straight, Becky.
ROBINSON: Thank you.
SAGAL: Thank you so much for playing.
ROBINSON: Thank you so much.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.