News Quiz

All Preachers Great and Small

Protected from a hostile prosecutor by a rigid exoskeleton called “chitin.’

No. 112: “All Preachers Great and Small” By Randy Cohen
Leading a street demonstration yesterday, the Rev. Benedict Groeschez said, “We want this terrible blasphemy to be removed from public life.” Name the blasphemy.

by noon ET Thursday to e-mail your answer (

Responses to Tuesday’s question (No. 111)–“Nevermore”:
Yesterday in New York, Nelson Mandela did something he says he’ll never do again. What?
“Drank from the ‘coloreds only’ water fountain just outside Rudy Giuliani’s office.”–Jon Hotchkiss“A zany Parent Trap switcheroo with David Dinkins. ‘Hi, I spent 30 years in prison, ended apartheid, won a Nobel Peace Prize, and my ex-wife kills people.’ ‘Hi, I like tennis.’ High jinks, here we come!”–Chris Kelly“Talked publicly with President Clinton about how marrying a ‘strong and very probably bisexual woman’ can make a man’s hair go as ‘gray as a grandma’s.’ “–Bill Franzen“Took the points and laid $400 million in gold-backed treasuries on the football Giants.”–Jim O’Grady“Popped Viagra, then chased a towel-clad Helen Hunt all over Manhattan. Oh, wait. That was Paul Reiser. I always get them confused. Nelson Mandela is the one who was imprisoned for 30 years. Paul Reiser’s the one I would like to see imprisoned for 30 years. Easy mistake to make, really.”– Tim Carvell Click here for more responses. Randy’s Wrap-Up
Based on quiz responses, (click here for further evidence), this is what we know about New York City: It’s an appallingly racist place where the mayor is a petty tyrant, where dining out is a threat to one’s health and dignity, and where purchasing theater tickets involves inconvenience if not outright fraud. You can’t even get potent pornography anymore. Twenty years ago, Johnny Carson’s metropolitan assumptions had New York dirty, loud, and crime-infested, particularly on the subway and in Central Park. These are the same assumptions Jay Leno continues to make but for less creditable reasons. Johnny had his own honest hack’s view; Jay has the derivative hack’s view. Dave’s vision of New York mostly involves spit on the sidewalk, but that seems less a lack of craft than a lack of counseling.
International Answer
Mandela addressed the U.N. General Assembly for the last time as South Africa’s president.
Also at the United Nations Monday, President Clinton received a standing ovation, spoke about terrorism–he’s against it–then went to lunch with Mandela and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Iran’s President Mohammed Khatami told the world body that dialogue is the key to understanding, and then a woman burst past the guards and denounced him as a murderer and torturer. Apparently uninterested in having a dialogue leading to understanding with her, Khatami watched as she was dragged away, handcuffed, and strapped to a wheelchair before being turned over to the NYPD. It’s unclear where he had lunch.
Great Imponderables Extra
“I have named him successor. What was the need for him to challenge me?”–Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Anwar Ibrahim, his former deputy, whom he had had arrested for sodomy
“Why should milk become more expensive? Has the price of cows gone up?”–Aleksandr Lebed , governor of Krasnoyarsk, on the enigma of inflation

“What else are you going to do? Flay him in the marketplace?”–Mario Cuomo on crime and punishment in re President Clinton

Randy Cohen writes “News Quiz” for Slate.

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