Panel Round Two

Originally published on March 26, 2011 11:33 am
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CARL KASELL, Host:

From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME! the NPR News quiz. I'm Carl Kasell. We're playing this week with PJ O'Rourke, Charlie Pierce and Kyrie O'Connor. And here again is your host, at the Palace Theater in Waterbury, Connecticut, Peter Sagal.

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PETER SAGAL, Host:

Thank you, Carl. Thank you, everybody. In just a minute, Carl emerges from his Rhymecave, behind the wheel of the Rhymemobile. It's the "Listener Limerick Challenge," on the way. If you'd like to play, give us a call at 1-888-Wait-Wait; that's 1-888-924-8924.

Right now, panel, some more questions for you from the week's news. PJ, this week an appeals court judge overturned the Stolen Valor Act of 2005. Now, that act made it a crime to say that you'd won a military medal if you had not. The judge ruled the act was flawed because if you could go to jail for lying about winning a medal, you could also go to jail for what?

PJ O: Gee, uh - need a hint, need a hint.

SAGAL: Well, it'd be like, well, we've pumped your dog's stomach, Billy. There's no sign of your math homework, so you're going to the slammer.

ROURKE: For lying about why you were late for work, why your homework wasn't done.

SAGAL: Right.

ROURKE: What that naked girl was doing in your motel bed.

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SAGAL: Right. Basically, lying about anything might become illegal.

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SAGAL: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Alex Kozinski explained the act violated the First Amendment and if it were to stand, quote, the J-Dater who falsely claims he's Jewish, or the dentist who assures you it won't hurt a bit, unquote, could all face a year in prison.

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ROURKE: Or the dater who assures you it won't hurt a bit.

SAGAL: Yeah.

ROURKE: Or the dentist who falsely claims to be Jewish.

SAGAL: Yeah, I know.

ROURKE: Yeah, it is a slippery slope.

SAGAL: It really is.

ROURKE: I mean, I don't know about you guys. I told my kids that lying is illegal.

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SAGAL: They'd be punished. I mean, if this were to stand, as he says, it would be terrible news for just about everybody. Can you imagine? It'd be like: Honey, do these pants make me look fat? Darling, I need to assert my rights under the Fifth Amendment at this point.

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SAGAL: Charlie, Donald Trump continues to hint that he, too, might be president, and not just of the Hair Club for Men.

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SAGAL: In an attempt to burnish his foreign policy credentials this week, he bragged that he once did what to Moammar Gadhafi?

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CHARLIE PIERCE: Fired him.

SAGAL: No.

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PIERCE: I don't know. Danced the tango late at night, as the moon rose over the desert. Danced the tarantella at night...

SAGAL: No, no, no, it's sort of the Bernie Madoff approach to international relations.

PIERCE: What, he swindled him?

SAGAL: Yes. He bragged about cheating him in a real estate deal.

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SAGAL: Are we clapping for the right answer or for Donald Trump, who knows? The host of "Fox and Friends" asked Donald Trump what foreign policy experience he has. He replied that he has lots because he had sold quote, everybody real estate for tremendous amounts of money, unquote. And further, he went on to say, he once charged Moammar Gadhafi a lot of money to rent some land, and then didn't even let him use it. Quote, I don't want to use the word screwed, but I screwed him, unquote.

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SAGAL: That's what happens when he doesn't want to use the word screwed, by the way.

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SAGAL: When he does want to use the word screwed, he says reamed. It's just how he is. In Trump's favor, many presidents have excelled at screwing somebody nobody expected. So...

KYRIE O: Oh.

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SAGAL: Charlie, this weekend, BBC's Radio 3 will broadcast a new adaptation of "Wuthering Heights." Producers say this updated version will allow listeners to experience the shock felt when the book was first published more than 150 years ago. How will they do this?

PIERCE: Well, judging from my experience with "Wuthering Heights," it's because the BBC is sending out 50-volt cattle prods for you to stab yourself in the side as you get to Chapter Two.

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SAGAL: Not a fan, Charlie?

PIERCE: My father once - this is a true story - when I got a C in penmanship, my father made me copy a chapter of "Wuthering Heights" out in longhand.

SAGAL: Whoa.

PIERCE: Anyone named Bronte gets a pen in the eye.

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SAGAL: No, that's not quite right. They are going to try to jazz it up a little bit.

PIERCE: This is a radio program?

SAGAL: It's a radio program.

PIERCE: So they're going to add a laugh track.

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SAGAL: That is a great idea. Heathcliff, ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.

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SAGAL: It'll sound like it was written by David Mamet.

PIERCE: Oh, dirty words?

SAGAL: Yes.

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SAGAL: They're going to swear. Catherine and Heathcliff are going to go blue.

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SAGAL: Yeah.

PIERCE: I'd write that one out.

SAGAL: Yeah.

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SAGAL: Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights" shocked readers when it was first published in 1847, with all the passion and all the elicit romance. But over the years, other things have occurred to make it seem tame in comparison - like, say, everything that's happened since then.

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SAGAL: So what do you do when you want to make something shocking again? You drop some F-bombs on it. That's what you do. It's like bleep these bleeping moors.

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SAGAL: Said bleeping Heathcliff. If the broadcast...

PIERCE: It will spice up the romantic scenes.

SAGAL: Yes.

PIERCE: Oh Heathcliff, you know, just do me like a dune pony - or something. I have no idea.

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SAGAL: What?

PIERCE: I don't know.

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SAGAL: Do me like a...

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SAGAL: Do me like a dune pony? Anyway, if this works, they'll probably give similar treatment to other great works of literature. Mark Twain's "Bleeple-berry Finn."

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SAGAL: Jane Austen's "Enema."

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SAGAL: And Herman Melville's classic, "Moby Dick."

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ROURKE: What also rises?

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