Panel Round Two

Jun 8, 2012
Originally published on June 9, 2012 10:32 am


CARL KASELL: 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 Roxanne Roberts, P.J. O'Rourke and Mo Rocca. And, here again is your host, at The Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, Maryland, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Carl. Thanks everybody.


SAGAL: In just a minute, Carl is appointed as the first ever Secretary of Rhyme. It's the listener limerick challenge. 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.

P.J., California Democrat Brad Sherman is facing a tough primary fight against Representative Howard Berman. They got redistricted together. Mr. Sherman isn't taking any chances. He recently sent out two versions of a family photo to voters. In one designed to appeal to Jewish voters, Sherman allegedly digitally altered it to include what?

P.J. O'ROURKE: Well, like a Yakima.


O'ROURKE: Well, it wouldn't be a big ham salad, would it?

SAGAL: No, it wouldn't be that.


SAGAL: I'll give you a hint. She's the one in the picture telling him to put on a sweater because she's cold.

O'ROURKE: His mom.




SAGAL: Both Mr. Sherman and his opponent are both Jewish, and so are a lot of the voters in his district. Which might explain why the district at large got a flyer with a picture of Sherman with his wife and kids, but the Jewish voters got a picture with his wife, kids and the smiling grey-haired Bubbe in the background.


MO ROCCA: Where is this again?

SAGAL: This is southern California.


SAGAL: I think in the...

O'ROURKE: And they rhyme.

SAGAL: Berman and Sherman.


This is the Berman-Sherman race. This is a problem. So Mr. Sherman, who's also Jewish had to come back with his own strategy. He sent out two versions of his own mailer, one with a foreskin and one without.


SAGAL: This is true. This is funny. What happened was they said "what are you doing? You're photoshopping in your mother for the Jewish voters?"

They say no, what happened was is they took the picture and the picture originally had his mother in it, and then they sent it out to the Jewish voters. And then they're like, "oh, for the next mailing we should probably remove the mother because people will wonder who is this woman in the picture," so they photoshopped the mother out.

ROCCA: Oh my gosh.

SAGAL: Right, they made her disappear. And they got all these calls from Jewish men all over the district going "how did you do that?"



SAGAL: Mo, earlier this week Britain's Queen Elizabeth celebrated her Diamond Jubilee - 60 years on the throne - and amid all the breathless coverage we learned a really amusing and surprising detail about the Queen, what?

ROCCA: We learned, I mean with all the coverage we learned a lot about the Queen. We learned...

SAGAL: Well run through your list, Mo.


ROCCA: Well I actually know this because I read the biography of the Queen by Sarah Bradford many years ago. And this is true, that the Queen and all the Windsors, they learn from an early age to all poop at the exact same time in the morning. It's all about having possession over your body. And so they all poop at 8 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time.


ROCCA: There's a lot. She's an interesting lady.

SAGAL: She is a very interesting lady.

ROCCA: I like her.

SAGAL: But we're looking for a particular detail that was revealed - I'm glad and she'll be glad to know when she hears it.

ROCCA: She has a gold hula-hoop. I don't know.

SAGAL: I'll give you a hint. She's sort of a royal Rich Little, if you will.

ROCCA: She does impressions.

SAGAL: She does.


SAGAL: We found that out this week that she apparently is very good at doing impressions.

ROCCA: That's cool.


SAGAL: A former assistant to her majesty revealed that the queen is has, quote, "a wicked sense of humor" and is a great mimic. And, you know, you think about it and when you realize how little she has to do in terms of her job, it's easy to imagine her walking around Windsor Palace saying "You talking to me? You talking to me?"


SAGAL: Of course, because she's the queen, it would be like "You talking to us? Because we're the only person here. You talking to us?"


ROCCA: I bet she has a mean Freddy Mercury.

SAGAL: Or maybe she's really bad at it and because she's the queen, no one tells her.


SAGAL: So it's like "guess who I am: Get these mother-bleeping snakes off my mother-bleeping plane."



ROCCA: Well what if she does impression you don't want to hear? "Who am I being now? Princess Margaret."


ROCCA: That sounds just like your Princess Anne.

SAGAL: Oh now, I will do Helen Mirren's in "The Queen."


SAGAL: Roxanne, you're familiar with Chinese knockoffs of handbags and sunglasses. Well they're doing more audacious this time. They've made an exact replica of what?

ROXANNE ROBERTS: Is this a fashion item?

SAGAL: It is not. It's bigger than that.

ROBERTS: Is this a building?

SAGAL: It's bigger than that.

ROBERTS: A city?

SAGAL: Yes. It is an entire Austrian town that they have created a knockoff of.


SAGAL: Halstatt is a quaint, scenic alpine town of 900 people in Austria, but now there are two of them.


SAGAL: Chinese developers spent a year secretly photographing the Austrian town, and now they have built their own replica in Southern China. It's an exact copy, down to the statues and flowers.

ROCCA: Oh my gosh.

SAGAL: If you woke up there, you'd think, "I'm in Austria." And then you'd think, "Why is everybody in Austria Chinese?"


ROBERTS: But why? It's hanging there, why?

SAGAL: Well, for a tourist thing. It's sort of this beautiful picturesque alpine village.

ROCCA: Oh, I thought it would have like a terra cotta goat herd.

SAGAL: Something like that.


SAGAL: It's hard to capture everything of the original Austrian Alps spirit. For example, their version of the "Sound of Music" is hard. You can't really have a family singing group when everybody only is allowed to have one kid.


SAGAL: It's a problem.

O'ROURKE: And what are they doing for anti-Semitism?

SAGAL: That would also be a problem.


ROCCA: Yeah, where do they escape to at the end?

SAGAL: I know.


O'ROURKE: Tibet.

ROCCA: Tibet, they go to Tibet.

O'ROURKE: Tibet.

SAGAL: The songs would change. It would be like "Do, a name, a Chinese name, Fa, another Chinese name."


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