Who's Carl This Time

Apr 11, 2014
Originally published on April 12, 2014 1:44 pm


CARL KASELL, BYLINE: 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 Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Carl.


SAGAL: Thank you everybody. Thank you so much. Look, I am just as excited at the prospect of having filmmaker Errol Morris on the show, but professional decorum keeps me from expressing it that way. We are excited to announce that Carl has chosen his last show before becoming our Scorekeeper Emeritus. It will be the show on the weekend of May 17. It happens to be the same weekend that Barbara Walters is retiring.


SAGAL: This is - it's a coincidence, but it's fitting...

KASELL: Oh, I think not.

SAGAL: Oh, well. No, it's a fitting coincidence. They're both trusted icons of broadcast journalism and they both had passionate affairs with married U.S. senators in the 1970's.


KASELL: Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.


SAGAL: So true. Well, we know what turns you on, Carl's voice on your voicemail so give us a call to get it. 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.

LAURIEANNE SMITH: (Caller) Hey, this is Laurieanne from Folsom, California.

SAGAL: From Folsom, California?

SMITH: (Caller) Yes.

SAGAL: I thought you people weren't allowed to place phone calls. I thought...


SAGAL: Folsom is famous for the prison, right?

SMITH: (Caller) Yes.

SAGAL: OK. Are you, in fact a prisoner?


SMITH: (Caller) No I am not a prisoner.

CHARLIE PIERCE: OK. Are you allowed conjugal visits?


SMITH: (Caller) I don't know if my husband would like that.

SAGAL: Oh, well, excuse me.


SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Laurieanne. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, the host of the public radio variety show Live Wire, it's Luke Burbank.


LUKE BURBANK: Hey, what's up Laurieanne?


BURBANK: I know that sounds, Laurieanne, like when Johnny Cash walked into Folsom to play that famous record, but I think they're cheering for me.

SAGAL: Yeah...

SMITH: (Caller) Oh, OK.

SAGAL: ...In their own particular way.

SAGAL: Next, the voice of reason behind the syndicated advice column, "Ask Amy," it's Amy Dickinson.



SAGAL: And next, he writes Esquire's politics blog with a keyboard that is on fire, it's Charlie Pierce.


PIERCE: Hey, Laurieanne.

SAGAL: Welcome to the show, Laurieanne. You'll start us off this week with Who's Carl This Time? Carl Kasell is going to read you three quotations from the week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain two of them, you will win our prize. Carl Kasell's voice on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?

SMITH: (Caller)Yes I am.

SAGAL: All right, here's your first quote.

KASELL: These efforts are as ham-handed as they are transparent.

SAGAL: That was our Secretary of State, John Kerry, talking about whose continued aggression in Eastern Ukraine?

SMITH: (Caller) Is it Putin?

SAGAL: It is Putin.


SAGAL: Who else but Putin, as I believe his campaign will be.


SAGAL: After annexing Crimea, Russia is now threatening to take over the eastern part of Ukraine. Apparently, Ukrainian provinces are as irresistible to Vladimir Putin as potato chips are - if you ate potato chips by sending a tank into the bag.


SAGAL: Secretary of State, Kerry, said that the U.S. will quote, "use 21st century tools to hold Russia accountable for 19th century behavior."


SAGAL: Twenty-first century first century tools for...

PIERCE: And then he immediately went to Home Depot.

SAGAL: Exactly.



SAGAL: But what does he mean? It's like our brave airmen are now standing by in the Twitter silos, getting ready to launch the mean hashtags at Putin.


SAGAL: That'll get him. One of the people upset about our apparent impotence was Sen. John McCain. He lectured John Kerry in the Senate in front of the committee by saying, my idol, Teddy Roosevelt said you should talk softly and carry a big stick, but you're carrying a twig. And Kerry shot back, your friend Roosevelt also said it's not the size of the stick, but the motion of the ocean.


SAGAL: So - so there.

DICKINSON: Didn't John McCain and Teddy Roosevelt go to high school together?

SAGAL: I think they did.


DICKINSON: I think they did. You know, can I just make one observation about Putin?

SAGAL: Well, yes.

DICKINSON: He sort of looks like a Minotaur.


DICKINSON: You know, isn't that the half man, half horse?

SAGAL: Yeah, he's got the...

PIERCE: No, that's a Centaur.

SAGAL: Centaur.

DICKINSON: Oh, a Centaur.

PIERCE: Minotaur is half man, half...

DICKINSON: No, he looks like a Centaur.

SAGAL: He looks like a Centaur?

DICKINSON: Yeah, the man torso with like the - have you ever seen his legs really in the same picture?


BURBANK: Only three of them at a time.

DICKINSON: Yeah, so I'm just saying, I feel like there's something there.


SAGAL: So I love - I love, like, you know, what do we do about Putin? Can we have sanctions? And Amy Dickinson's like, why not offer him oats?


SAGAL: All right, Laurieanne, here is your next quote.

KASELL: We'll talk about dry cleaners next because I don't know why it costs more for Michelle's blouse than my shirt.

SAGAL: That was somebody who spent the week trying and failing to get Congress to pass a law encouraging equal pay for men and women. Who was it?

SMITH: (Caller) Oh, God. I don't know.

SAGAL: Well, he knows a woman named Michelle. Does that help?


SMITH: (Caller) OK, so yeah, it's President Obama.

SAGAL: President Obama, yes.

SMITH: (Caller) Thank you for the answer.


BURBANK: Oh man, how you know it's the second term, right?

SAGAL: Yeah.


BURBANK: Yeah, that guy that's on TV a bunch of times.


SAGAL: President Obama made an appearance this week. He was outlining all the ways in which the world is unfair to women. Among them, laundries charge more, much more to wash a woman's blouse than they do a man's shirt, to which most men say, look, you know, if we could wear gorgeous, silky blouses like that anywhere but my own locked bathroom, we would.


SAGAL: This last Tuesday, this was Equal Pay Day. Do you know what this is? Activists have calculated how many extra days a woman has to work to make what a man in an equivalent job would in the course of a year. Women have to work an extra four months, so this week was the day they said, yeah, a woman would have had to work 'til now to make the same money a man did just last year.

BURBANK: Is that why you got here on Monday, Amy?


SAGAL: Now, if this is true, and I have no reason to doubt the numbers, but if this is true, we men are blowing a chance to see magnanimous. What we should do is we should pick a day in August - I guess it would be, when we've made all the money that a woman will have to work to the rest of the year to make. And we should say, OK, we're done. We're taking...


SAGAL: ...We're taking the rest of the year off and we're feminists, that's why we're doing it. And we would say, no honey, I am not just lying around on the couch all day. I am not oppressing you.


BURBANK: You first.

DICKINSON: Yeah, really.


DICKINSON: Ay yai yai (ph).


SAGAL: All right, let us quickly move on...


SAGAL: ...To your last quote.

KASELL: Stay off the Internet.

SAGAL: That was one of many experts asking the impossible in response to what revelation this week?

SMITH: (Caller) Was it the Heartbleed virus?

SAGAL: Oh, you even know it's name? The Heartbleed bug. Go get the typewriter down from the attic, people, because the Internet is blown. It actually - it turns out that that little padlock that sometimes appears on your web pages saying it's secure - not actually a padlock.


SAGAL: Which explains why my bike got stolen even though I printed out a picture of the padlock and taped it to the saddle.


SAGAL: So hackers, because of this security breach, this vulnerability in the system, hackers who have figured this out could be taking all your money right now from your online bank accounts. Good news for you, though, ladies, you've got 23 percent less money to worry about.


DICKINSON: We're so lucky.

SAGAL: Aren't you, though?

PIERCE: You could also do what I've done. I've spent years preparing myself for this by having such bad credit that if someone stole my identity, it would improve my credit score.


SAGAL: Let me ask you guys a question.


SAGAL: Let's say it takes a week to fix this. Could you guys stay off the Internet for a week?

PIERCE: I could never, ever, ever stay off the Internet for a week. I would be like - I like - if I went, like, Tom Hanks "Cast Away" style to some island somewhere, at some point, I would be talking to the volleyball and I would be saying, shh, I think I can hear someone tweeting about me.


PIERCE: Hold on, Wilson.

SAGAL: Carl, how did Laurieanne do on our quiz?

KASELL: Laurieanne, you're a winner. You had three correct answers so I'll be doing the message on your home answering machine.


SAGAL: Congratulations, Laurieanne.

SMITH: (Caller) Thank you.

SAGAL: Well done. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.