Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
11:00 am
Sat January 21, 2012

Who's Carl This Time?

Transcript

CARL KASELL: From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I'm Carl Kasell, and here's your host, at the Fox Theater in Detroit, Michigan, Peter Sagal.

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PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, all. Thank you so much. It is so great to be here in Detroit, at the fantastic Fox Theater. We have got for you, today; we have got Duke Fakir, one of the original Four Tops. He's going to come by and talk Motown.

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SAGAL: But this is a great time to be in Detroit. The Tigers and the Lions made the playoffs, right? The Red Wings have got a streak going.

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SAGAL: And General Motors - well they're not a sports team, but they're almost as important - they regained their place as the largest car company in the world, just this week.

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SAGAL: In fact, you know, some people started to worry because Detroit would not be Detroit if everything was successful.

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SAGAL: But don't worry, we're here now.

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SAGAL: Give us a call to play our games. The number, 1-888-Wait-Wait, that's 1-888-924-8924. It's time to welcome our first listener contestant. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

MARY ELLEN CARTER: Hi, my name's Mary Ellen. I'm from Melrose, Massachusetts.

SAGAL: I know Melrose; how are things in Melrose?

CARTER: They're lovely.

SAGAL: And what do you do there?

CARTER: Right now, I'm an unemployed librarian.

SAGAL: Really?

CARTER: Yeah.

SAGAL: Well, how are you spending your time then?

CARTER: Spending a lot of time at home, knitting, looking for a job.

SAGAL: A librarian who knits.

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CARTER: Yes. I'm going for all the stereotypes.

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MO ROCCA: How's your cat doing?

CARTER: I have two.

SAGAL: There you are.

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SAGAL: Mary Ellen, welcome to the show. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, a correspondent for "CBS Sunday Morning," who will be appearing in his own Cooking Channel special called, "My Grandmother's Ravioli," on Sunday, February 19th. It's Mr. Mo Rocca.

CARTER: Hey, Mo.

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ROCCA: Hi, Mary Ellen. I've got a stack of books in my apartment. Can you come over and organize them?

CARTER: Sure. How much you going to pay me?

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ROCCA: Oh that, right, yeah.

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SAGAL: Next, it's a humorist and the author of the audio book, "It's Just Like I Told You: 25 Years of Comments and Comic Pieces," available at a download near you. It's Michigan's own, Tom Bodett.

TOM BODETT: Hello, Mary Ellen.

CARTER: Hi, Tom.

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CARTER: And finally, a contributor to "CBS Sunday Morning," Ms. Faith Salie is here.

FAITH SALIE: Hi, Mary Ellen.

CARTER: Hi, Faith.

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SAGAL: Mary Ellen, thank you so much for being with us. You are going to start us off, of course, with Who's Carl This Time. Carl Kasell, right now, will recreate for you three quotations from the week's news. Your job: explain or identify two of them. Do that and you'll win our prize. Ready to go?

CARTER: Yes.

SAGAL: All right, your first quote is from a man who made $362,000 giving speeches last year.

KASELL: Oh, I could get speaking fees from time to time, but not very much.

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SAGAL: That was someone who was questioned about his finances this week. Who thinks 300 grand is not very much?

CARTER: That would be my former governor, Mitt Romney.

SAGAL: Yes, indeed, Mitt Romney. Well done.

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SAGAL: Mr. Romney had a bad week. First, he stumbled over whether or not he would release his tax returns. What was he hiding? Some people say it would be his 15 percent tax rate, or his, as we found out, offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands.

In his defense, Romney said he was not using the Caymans as a tax haven. Well then, what is his money doing there? Well, Mitt Romney is so rich, even his money gets to go on vacation.

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BODETT: Strapped to the roof of his car.

SAGAL: Exactly.

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SAGAL: Mitt's bad week continued. It turns out, oops; he didn't really win the Iowa caucuses. Rick Santorum did. And Newt Gingrich started rising in the polls in South Carolina. Gingrich did this by kicking around Juan Williams at last weekend's debate. That thrilled the Republican crowd.

Williams said he was okay with the rough treatment, but now it does make him nervous to get on a place with somebody dressed like Newt Gingrich.

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ROCCA: So, does this mean for the Iowa - does this mean that when we look up the Iowa caucuses for 2012 that Mitt Romney's name will have an asterisk by it?

SAGAL: Yes.

ROCCA: He's like the Barry Bonds now of the Iowa caucuses.

SAGAL: Exactly right.

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SAGAL: But no matter how bad things got for Romney this week, his opponents kept trying to help him out. One of Newt Gingrich's ex-wives did an ABC News interview and said he asked her to have a, quote, open marriage, so that he could have a wife and have a mistress on the side. Gingrich defended himself. He says, look, even back in the late 90s, he was trying to create jobs.

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ROCCA: That is a spectacular development. I thought that Newt Gingrich was against open borders, but I guess it's not the case.

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BODETT: Borders, not boundaries.

SAGAL: And then at the debate Thursday night, Newt went after the moderator again. He called CNN's John King, quote, close to despicable, for asking about the open marriage thing. He then asked John King if they could bring up, you know a third moderator. Quote, maybe Katie Couric, just to see what happens.

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SAGAL: Mary Ellen, very good, here is your next quote.

KASELL: I tripped, uh, and I ended up, uh, in one of the boats, uh, that's how I found myself there.

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SAGAL: That was not Mario. That was a sea captain explaining how he suddenly ended up in the life boat, sailing safely away from what?

CARTER: From the Italian cruise ship that...

SAGAL: Yes, indeed.

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CARTER: Yeah.

SAGAL: The Italian cruise ship.

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SAGAL: The captain of that ship, Captain Francesco Schettino may have personally transformed a lovely cruise off Italy into a disaster movie. But he is making up for it sense with his sense of comic relief.

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SAGAL: At first, passengers were told that nothing was wrong with the ship. Nothing, the boat is not lying on its side, you're just all really drunk.

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SAGAL: Then Captain Schettino decided he could best oversee rescue operations, huddling in a life boat. You heard his excuse: he tripped and happened to fall into a life boat, which then went away from the wreck. Seriously, that is what he said. Weirdly, he also tripped into the boat in such a way that he ended up hiding under a blanked, dressed as an 8-year-old girl.

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BODETT: You know who's really loving this?

SAGAL: Who?

BODETT: Captain Joe Hazelwood.

SAGAL: He says "finally."

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BODETT: Yeah.

SALIE: Apparently, the ship hit a reef at, say, 9:45.

SAGAL: Yeah.

SALIE: And he ordered dinner with his Moldovan chippie at 10:40. He ordered dinner from the chef on the ship.

SAGAL: Really?

SALIE: Yeah, they were just going to tuck in and have a little bite, before he tripped into the boat.

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SAGAL: He had a Moldovan chippie with him?

ROCCA: Yes, yes.

SALIE: Yes. She is 27 years younger than he is. And they were just sharing dessert, presumably.

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BODETT: So he got the women and children part.

SAGAL: He did.

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SAGAL: First, the women.

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SAGAL: Here is your last quote.

KASELL: Student warning: do your homework early.

SAGAL: That was the founder of what site often used for research papers, which went dark in protest this week?

CARTER: Wikipedia.

SAGAL: Yes, and not just them.

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SAGAL: A lot of websites, including Google, BoingBoing and the invaluable ICanHazCheezburger site, either went black completely or put up banners, protesting two bills called SOPA and PIPPA, which purport to stop intellectual piracy, but opponents say would censor the internet.

Where could Americans turn in this dark day, Wednesday, for poorly sourced information?

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SAGAL: Or cheeseburgers they can haz?

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SAGAL: People were so desperate; they were breaking into their own basements to find their dust-covered encyclopedias on their shelves. Pulling them down and manically stabbing words with their fingers, hoping to get information.

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SAGAL: Oh no, this book is broken.

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BODETT: Well, you'd think it could put Mary Ellen back to work at the library, for at least a day.

SAGAL: I know.

CARTER: You'd think.

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SAGAL: All right. Here's the thing though, it worked. Immediately, senators and congressmen backed down. It's the first real successful civil rights protest of this century. Historians are unable, though, to identify the Rosa Parks of this movement because without Wikipedia, nobody knows who Rosa Parks is.

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BODETT: That was a dark day, Wednesday.

SAGAL: Wednesday.

BODETT: Yeah.

SAGAL: It was a great day, though, for know-it-alls. You could say anything and nobody could pull out their smart phones and fact check you.

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BODETT: But I...

SAGAL: You can be like, "Well, Mickey Mouse, in the original films was anatomically correct. Prove me wrong."

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SAGAL: Carl, how did Mary Ellen do on our quiz?

KASELL: She was perfect, Peter. She's a winner.

SAGAL: Well done.

KASELL: That's because she had three correct answers.

SAGAL: Yay.

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KASELL: So, Mary Ellen, you win our prize.

SAGAL: Thank you so much for playing.

CARTER: Thank you.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

CARTER: Bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

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