Friday, February 18, 2005

Wait, Wait...I Have No Idea

Last night we attended a live taping of the NPR quiz show "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" with our friends Tara and Jason. It was a fun and interesting experience -- though disillusioning at times. For one, it became very apparent that they heavily edit contestants' answers to make them seem less moronic.

If you haven't heard the show, listeners call in and answer relatively easy questions about current events. If they get at least two out of three answers correct, they get to have NPR personality Carl Kassell do their outgoing message on their answering machine.

When you listen to the show on the radio, you sometimes hear the contestants struggle to get the right answer. But it's nothing like listening to their unedited ramblings. One guy couldn't seem to remember the name of the retirement program that Bush wanted to partially privatize (Social Security). In another case, the answer was clearly "North Korea," but a woman had no clue. When prodded that it was a country that recently claimed to have nuclear weapons, she declared "South Korea!" Painful.

I'm not sure what to deduce from this. But maybe, contrary to expectations, NPR listeners are actually the STUPIDEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD.