Panel Round One

Jul 12, 2013
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


We want to remind everybody they can join us here most weeks at the Chase Bank Auditorium in beautiful downtown Chicago. For tickets and more information just go over to, and you can find a link at our website,

Right now, panel, it's time for you to answer some questions about this week's news. Paula, the U.S.'s new billion-dollar F-35 fighter jets have failed to meet military standards for speed, acceleration, and handling. Not to worry, though, the Pentagon found a way to fix the situation. What did they do?

PAULA POUNDSTONE: Ask everyone else to slow down.


SAGAL: You're actually kind of close. They had set these benchmarks for performance, and it didn't meet the benchmarks.

POUNDSTONE: Oh, it changed the benchmarks.

SAGAL: Exactly, they lowered their standards.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, good idea.


SAGAL: They basically pretended it was 1 a.m., and they were still in the bar alone. They're like OK, whatever works for me now.


SAGAL: So when the F-35 stealth fighter jet, which has cost a trillion dollars to develop, failed its performance tests, the Pentagon just lowered the speed and handling requirements until it could pass. They beat the previous solution, which had pilots getting a red pen and changing the F to an A before they showed their moms.


SAGAL: It used to be the Pentagon said of the F-35, this is going to be the fastest, smartest, most advanced fighter jet modern warfare has ever seen. Now they're saying, well, it's got a great personality.


POUNDSTONE: Did I ever tell you my daughter one time on her report card, my oldest daughter, she changed a D-minus in science with a black marker into a D-plus.



SAGAL: It's incremental.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, I couldn't help laughing when I talked to her. I said honey, once you're in the D range, you can pretty much let it ride, I think.


POUNDSTONE: I showed her how to make a D into a B, and I said if you ever want to work for the Pentagon, young lady.


SAGAL: Coming up, our panelists lie to you about school. It's our Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-Wait-Wait to play.


SAGAL: We'll be back in a minute, with more of WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME! from NPR. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.