Opening Panel Round

Originally published on May 28, 2011 10:35 am
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


We want to remind everyone they can join us most weeks back at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago, Illinois. For tickets and more information go to And you can find a link at our website,

Right now, panel, time for you to answer some questions about this week's news.

Faith, we know that in World War II, the Nazis made great efforts to get every military advantage, including strange plans for secret weapons. This week, we learned form a new book that they attempted to create a fighting force, composed of what?

Ms. FAITH SALIE (Contributor, "CBS Sunday Morning"): Dogs.

SAGAL: Yes, but not just dogs - dogs that could talk.

Ms. SALIE: Talk.

(Soundbite of a bell)

SAGAL: Nazi talking dogs.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SAGAL: A book published in Britain this week reveals the existence of a school set up in Germany soon after the Nazi takeover, to teach dogs to speak, read and even spell. One dog supposedly learned to tap out letters with his paw. He was said to speculate about religion and write poetry - although, of course, it was just doggerel.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. ADAM FELBER (Writer, "Real Time with Bill Maher"): They had some intelligence from America that America had already trained them to play poker.

SAGAL: So...

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. FELBER: They fingered - look, we have this picture. If they can play cards.

SAGAL: Another dog was said to able to answer the question: Who is Adolf Hitler, by barking Mein Furher. Although he then barked under his breath: What a complete putz.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. TOM BODETT (Author and Humorist): What would be the advantage...

SAGAL: Dogs speak Yiddish.

Mr. BODETT: Although, what would be the advantage of a dog army that could talk? I mean just a dog army seems like enough.

SAGAL: Yeah.

Mr. BODETT: You know?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. FELBER: And they have jet packs.

SAGAL: Right.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SAGAL: And - well, no. the idea was that, you know, these dogs, if you could teach them to talk, they can communicate with you and you can give them more elaborate jobs like, you know, soldiers jobs and so on and so forth.

Mr. FELBER: I mean they only teach Marines to say: Yes, sir.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SAGAL: That's true. But the programs failed because the dogs became too smart and introspective. And they lost...

Ms. SALIE: And then he realized the really smart, funny dogs were Jewish.

SAGAL: Exactly.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SAGAL: Coming up: You get a bluff, you get a bluff, you get a bluff. It's an Oprah-themed Bluff the Listener. Call 1-888, WAIT WAIT to play. And Chef Bob Waggoner joins us to play Not My Job.

(Soundbite of cheering and applause) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.