News Quiz

You say D’Amato

No. 128: “You Say D’Amato” By Randy Cohen

Fill in the blank as Elizabeth Birch, executive director of the Human Rights Campaign, America’s largest gay and lesbian lobbying organization, defends its endorsement for the New York Senate race: “We have to admit that very few gay and lesbian New Yorkers know of Sen. D’Amato’s ____________.” by noon ET Thursday to e-mail your answer (

Responses to Tuesday’s question (No. 127)–“To Sir, With Love”:
Who said this about what? “I’m at your mercy. Please don’t torture me any longer, sir.”
“It’s a subtitle from the overseas release of every Sam Peckinpah film.”–Deb Stavin“Bertie Wooster goes too far with a certain rubber and stainless steel device in Jeeves Goes S/M. Very good, sir.”–Jonathon Snow“Clare Quilty, on being shot by Humbert Humbert, more or less. I quote from Chapter 35 of Lolita: ’[E]very time I got him with those slow, clumsy, blind bullets of mine, he would say under his breath, with a phony British accent … “Ah, that hurts, sir, enough! Ah, that hurts atrociously, my dearfellow. I pray you, desist.” ’ I’m not sure what the news peg is, but merely by using the word Lolita, ‘News Quiz’ increases its daily hits by 700 percent.”–Daniel Radosh“Me, to my grandfather while he’s busy explaining at length how Martin Luther King Jr. was a Communist.”–Doug Strauss“Mike Tyson, as the Nevada State Athletic Commission disciplined him by gently tickling the soles of his feet with a feather.”–Jennifer Miller (Douglas Wolk had a similarly Tysonian answer.) Click here for more responses. Randy’s Wrap-Up
Given the opportunity to bash junk culture, News Quiz respondents were all over the lot, launching scattershot attacks on various forms–Felicity, Michael Bolton and Kenny G, late Hemingway, Holy Man, Antz, and A Night at the Roxbury. (Click here.) No target received even two votes. We failed to achieve a consensus of disdain.
Loathing is a powerful political force, but it must be focused if it is to go from quirky preference to actual power. Maybe this is why the Republican right has flourished for the last decade–they hate so well, finding vituperative common ground on matters of race, religion, and sexual orientation. Any serious effort at social change will have to do equally well at harnessing rage. It’s not 1968. Nixon’s dead, Kissinger’s frail. But can’t the torch be passed? Can’t we all just not get along, with the same thing at the same time? After all, why have a Rupert Murdoch if you’re not going to use it?
A Heavyweight with a Heavy Heart Answer
As Jennifer Miller and Douglas Wolk know, Mike Tyson said it to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, hoping to persuade them that by “lifetime ban for biting off a guy’s ear,” it really meant “you can have your license back in a year or so if you show up at the hearing in a suit.”
When asked about the August traffic accident after which he allegedly kicked one man in the balls and punched another in the chest, Tyson said he didn’t remember hitting anyone. But he did say: “I was irate, crazy, mad. I really said some bad things to those people. They were afraid of this big black guy using street vernacular. It was a big ugly scene. If he says I did it, maybe I was unconscious of doing it. I’m sorry.” Well, as long as he owns up to it.
The commissioners–and they’re all honorable men–voted to restore Tyson’s license to box in Nevada.
Augmented Questions Extra
(Final sentences added by News Quiz.)
“The cow is quick. The cow is intelligent. The cow has learned to recognize our truck. The cow will not be voting for Sen. D’Amato.”–Raman Kumar Sharma , New Delhi animal control officer“The government may or may not receive requests, and it may or may not study them, depending on whether it receives them or not and depending on what they are founded on. But, of course, I will say nothing until I know what the facts are based on. There’s a lot about Señor D’Amato we just don’t know.”–José Maria Aznar , Spain’s prime minister, taking a hard line on the Pinochet extradition

“He did not meet one of the medical criteria that was established for participation in our study. But we’ve been able to replace him with a very smart cow.”–Dr. Charles Czeisler , explaining why John Glenn’s official designation on his forthcoming space shuttle mission will be “luggage”

Randy Cohen writes News Quiz for Slate.

Disclaimer: All submissions will become the property of Slate and will be published at Slate’s discretion. Slate may publish your name on its site in connection with your submission.