News Quiz

No. 297: “Ick”

Fill in the blank as John Christakos, president of Blu Dot Design and Manufacturing, discusses the latest trends in his industry. “We worried people would say, ‘Oh, ick, see the _____________.’ That hasn’t happened.”

Send your answer by noon ET Tuesday to

Wednesday’s Question(No 296)–“Lies! Damnable Lies!”:

“It is simply untrue,” an ABC spokesperson testily announced Monday. What is?

“Barbara Walters does not, and I repeat, does not, already hate the Chinese one.”–Barbara Lippert

“Everything. Every single damn thing.”–Michael J.Basial

“Those are Ted Koppel’s real breasts.”–Chris Merrion

“This sentence. Oooh! Paradox!”–Daniel Radosh

“What’s ABC? Is it on cable?”–Colleen Werthmann

Click for more answers.

Tim’s Wrap-Up

What’s on ABC, folks? Judging by today’s responses, the network’s lineup would seem to consist of Peter Jennings, Sam Donaldson, Ted Koppel, and Barbara Walters, grilling Ellen DeGeneres about her lesbianism while a bare-assed Regis Philbin dispenses cash and prizes. But there are so many other fine programs on ABC to mock. There is, for instance, the increasingly annoying Sports Night, a sitcom that combines the most irritating aspects of David Mamet and thirtysomething. Forthwith, the ABC spokesperson’s remarks, as scripted by Sports Night contributor Aaron Sorkin:

“It is simply untrue.”


“Yes, untrue.”

“Untrue in that none of it’s true, or that some of it’s true?”

“Untrue untrue.”

“Yes, but what I’m saying, what I’m asking, is whether any of it’s true.”




“Date rape is bad.”


Bright Yellow Answer

The rumor that ABC was heatedly denying was that Jamie Tarses, the president of ABC’s entertainment division and New York Times Magazine cover subject, would be leaving the network. In an entirely unrelated development, ABC and parent company Disney have come under fire for a promotion run by their KLOS-FM radio station, in which morning disc jockeys Mark and Brian offered dark gardening implements to callers. The implements were referred to as “Black Hoes.” (I don’t have a joke here; I just wanted to give it more publicity.)

Extra! Extra! Extra

On Monday, readers were asked to try and find a headline even less enticing than the following, from Monday’s Daily Variety: “Dutch regulators issue equal-access guidelines.” Forthwith, the results:

“Schools chief targets pupil achievement”

Chicago Tribune, Aug. 10, 1999

Neal Pollack

“Skating spectacular celebrates Barry Manilow”

Arizona Republic, Aug. 23, 1999

“Districts join to reduce insurance rates”

Arizona Republic, Aug. 23, 1999

“A.M. Rosenthal: On My Mind”

New York Times, anytime

Chris Thomas

“Here’s one from the New York Press that makes my eyes glaze over, though maybe for a different reason than ‘Dutch regulators …’: ‘Who’s Killing the Hamptons?’ I guess the New York Pressis an alternative paper after all.”

Francis Heaney

“Mozart for Baby? Some Say, Maybe Not”

New York Times, Aug. 3, 1999

“Senators Call for Hearings on Accounting Changes”

Wall Street Journal, July 16, 1999

“Area Water Levels Normal; No Restrictions Planned”

Washington Post, Aug. 4, 1999

Tom Williams

“PBS Follows Mark Twain’s Journey”

“Assemblywoman, group focus on Batten disease”

“State legislatures have come a long way in just 25 years”

All from the Staten Island Advance, Aug., 25 1999

Jim O’Grady

“Two Turkish Jews killed in quake”

(This may not be the least enticing headline of the day, but it is certainly the most parochial.)

Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Aug. 24, 1999

Andrew Silow-Carroll

Dog of Flanders answers Cheryl Ladd’s prayers.” (All right, I have to admit: I was a little enticed.)

“Ask the Mayo Dietitian–Migraines and Cheese”

Both from

Greg Diamond


This is my last Quiz as guest host. I now intend to approach the Fox network about starting my own, competing Quiz, ensuring that Randy will never speak to me again.

Lowest Common Denominator

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