News Quiz

No. 160: “Put the Dis Back in Description”

“Smelly, Lethargic, Incoherent.” Ads in many papers caution that someone like this is probably … what?

by noon ET Thursday to e-mail your answer to

Wednesday’s question (No. 159)–“Mourning After”:

“After wrapping up his work on the Middle East’s problems, President Clinton headed home to face his own.” That’s the caption to a grim front-page photo in today’s New York Times. Participants are invited to submit a caption sure to appear on the front of any paper the day after the House votes on impeachment.

“Sharing a snack with Rep. Bob Barr, President Clinton expresses satisfaction that his sudden switch in party affiliation resulted in a swift end to impeachment proceedings.”–Jennifer Miller

Washington Post: An emotional but poised first lady announces the death of the president. Although authorities have no suspects, they describe the president’s injuries as ‘small puncture wounds in the head and chest, roughly the diameter of a Size 9 Manolo Blahnik heel.’ “–Kate Powers

“A pensive President Clinton bites his lower lip in the Oval Office after ordering the carpet bombing of Capitol Hill. ‘For us to initiate military action during Christmas would have been highly offensive.’ he said.”–David McShane (Tim Carvell and Jennifer Miller had similar answers.)

“Following the vote to impeach, Vice President Gore jumps up and down and pumps his fist in the air in a private display of grief.”–Andrew Solovay

Boston Globe: Following his impeachment, Bill Clinton meets with colorful, possibly apocryphal, salt-of-the-earth Boston characters.”–Tim Carvell

Click for more responses.

Randy’s Tough Love Wrap-Up

I’ll say it directly: Read the directions. The question called for a photo caption, not a headline. Believing a firm response was demanded, I’ve relegated such inapt answers to Page 2. (Click for some quite amusing if not entirely germane replies.) My actions came without warning but not without repeated provocation. Indeed, as recently as November, I refrained from this course only at the eleventh hour. Eleventh and a half. Undoubtedly my timing will be questioned. So let me assure you that this is in no way intended to deter any proceedings under way in the House of Representatives, no matter how idiotic. May God bless the brave men and women at CNN who will be working so hard and with such pleasure in the coming days. God bless America.

Adam Bonin’s Naughty or Nice Extra

Mark McGwire, Kenneth Starr, Katie Couric, and Garth Brooks all made the list this year. List of what?


The National League of Junior Cotillions’ “Ten Best-Mannered People of 1998.” John Glenn, Chelsea Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Billy Graham, Peter Jennings, and Whitney Houston were also named.

All-Naughty Stalinist Nostalgia Extra

The breakup of the Soviet Union has generated waves of affection for the good old days. Can you match the scary anachronism with the party calling for its revival?

Relic of a Glorious Past

A. Official Anti-Semitism

B. Labor Camps

C. Secret Police

Sentimental Old Fool

1. Gennadi Seleznyov, speaker of the Duma’s lower house

2. Victor Ilyukhin, head of the Duma’s security affairs committee

3. The entire Duma


A-2: Ilyukhin accused Yeltsin and the Jews of genocide against the Russian people. “The large-scale genocide wouldn’t have been possible if Yeltsin’s inner circle had consisted of the main ethnic groups, and not exclusively of one group, the Jews.” (Yeltsin’s frequently shuffled Cabinet, of course, consists mostly of ethnic Russians.)

B-1: Sleznyov suggested that crime could be curbed by reintroduction of hard labor camps that contributed so much to population control under Stalin.

C-3: Last month the Duma voted to bring back the statue of Feliks Dzerzhinsky, the first head of the Soviet secret police. Formerly displayed in front of KGB headquarters, it was toppled in 1991.

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.