News Quiz

No. 422: “We Three … Kings?’

“Vioxx is doing well,” said expert analyst Jack Lafferty. And the cognoscenti agree that Vioxx, along with Zocor and Propecia, are primarily responsible for the magnificent triumph. Of what?

Send your answer by noon ET Wednesday to

Monday’s Question (No. 421)—”From TV to Shining TV”:

Complete this remark Attorney General Janet Reno made at Saturday morning’s press conference, while little Elián was on a plane headed for Andrews Air Force Base to be reunited with his father: “One of the beauties of television is that it _______________.”

“Is so beautiful.”—Daniel Radosh

“Lets me leer at the unblemished ass of Rick Schroeder every Tuesday night.”—Charlie Glassenberg

“I’m able to wear the 19-inch model as a beautiful brooch.”—Larry Amoros

“Has so withered the national attention span that in two weeks, people will think ‘Elián’ is a type of bottled water.”—Michael Gerber (Tim Carvell had a similar answer, but Waco.)

“Soothes and forgives, and never asks where you’ve been all night.”—Tim Carvell

Click for more answers.

Randy’s Wrap-Up

It’s all Darwin these days, isn’t it? Consider. Of all the displays of Elián-induced hypocrisy, none was more magnificently shameless than Rudolph Giuliani’s condemnation of the overuse of force—and yet his head did not explode. This from the man who put snipers on rooftops for the World AIDS Day festivities, who has never found any of the NYPD’s shootings of unarmed civilians worthy of criticism, who built a wall—a wall!—around City Hall. And he still lives. He walks among us. (Or drives among us. Past us. Isolated in some bulletproof SUV, with a police escort.) No one dies of shame anymore.

Once, shame was like some kind of virulent microbe, like the plague in the 17th century: You say something fatuous and in a couple of hours your armpits go all lumpy and you drop dead. But with each succeeding wave of plague and fatuity, fewer and fewer people die. It’s evolution: If you’re a microbe, you don’t want to kill your host because then you’d have to find another. (Insert joke about that shnorrer, Uncle Morty.) But modern shame is too weak to kill the mayor. Or maybe there’s some secret Republican antitoxin, developed in that lab that creates the blond hair dye used by all those “Republican strategist” babes on Fox. Because wasn’t this the party for whom family values were paramount? Weren’t they devoted to the idea that parental authority couldn’t be superceded by the government, unless a kid was actually being beaten with a Bible during his home schooling, and then only if it was a severe enough beating to require hospitalization? Or a funeral? What happened to that idea? Why doesn’t the mayor die of shame? Damn lazy evolving microbes.

Must See Answer

“One of the beauties of television is that it shows exactly what the facts are. And as I understand it, if you look at it carefully, it shows that the gun was pointed to the side, and that the finger was not on the trigger.”

Attorney General Reno was, of course, responding to questions about the way in which she extricated little Elián from the home of the distant relatives who’d defied the law for months, preventing him from being reunited with his father.

Still, her confidence in the lux et veritas of television is a little disturbing. Has she never seen Dan Rather? Is she ignorant of Dawson’s Creek?

The Miami Relatives Extra

Little Elián’s and Little Randy’s—a comparison.

  • Little Elián’s: obsessed with Castro’s political problems on a small Caribbean island
    Little Randy’s: obsessed with my Aunt Minna’s marital problems on Long Island

  • Little Elián’s: bullied cowardly U.S. politicians into an inept Cuban policy
    Little Randy’s: bullied my Uncle Milt into joining the family coat business

  • Little Elián’s: battled federal marshals
    Little Randy’s: shopped Marshall Field’s

  • Little Elián’s: threw chairs at departing federal marshals
    Little Randy’s: think hassock in the den needs new slipcover

  • Little Elián’s: nostalgic for Batista regime
    Little Randy’s: nostalgic for Milton Berle

  • Little Elián’s: politics aside, cook a delicious arroz con pollo
    Little Randy’s: brisket! brisket! brisket!

  • Little Elián’s: can’t get onto Andrews Air Force Base
    Little Randy’s: can get a great table for brunch at the Fontainbleu

  • Little Elián’s: pathological belief that distant relatives have a claim on a small child
    Little Randy’s: pathological belief that my great-aunt Minna who I see maybe once a year is entitled to kiss me on the cheek

Daniel Radosh’s Shameless Self-Promotion Extra

You know what would have been a great way to promote a new Web magazine? If the INS agent with the machine gun had had its logo stenciled on his helmet. And if instead of “get the fuck back or I’ll shoot,” he’d shouted, for instance, “” Also, he could have announced free puppies for the first 1,000 visitors. Admit it, you’d visit that site, wouldn’t you? So just pretend all that happened and visit Modern Humorist anyway. Many of your favorite News Quiz participants—and other funny, funny people—are writing for it. Plus, you can still get one of those puppies!*

*Sorry, no puppies available at this time.

Monkey Say, Monkey Die Ongoing Extra

Participants are encouraged to devise the likely last words of Michael, the sign-language speaking gorilla, age 27, who died last week near San Francisco. Responses to run Thursday.

For instance: I am not an animal! I am a … damn!

Common Denominator

Attacking the AG’s appearance.