NPR Game Show Brings on Sen. Mark Warner, He Says Teenage Justin Bieber Fanatics, Tea Party 'Equally Informed'

Sen. Mark Warner is running for re-election this fall, and despite having an (undeserved) reputation as a pro-business Democrat, he’s no fan of the Tea Party. Apparently, they’re dummies.

NPR’s game show “Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me!” interviewed him briefly on February 22 -- let's make the geeky millionaire Democrat look cooler -- and when comedian Alonzo Bodden compared the Tea Party to devoted fans of troubled teen idol Justin Bieber, Warner shot back they’re “both about equally informed.” Here’s the setup:

PETER SAGAL, host: No you've been in the Senate since 2009, right? You were elected in 2008. And you've really become known, I think, in the Senate for your work on one specific issue, and that is trying to deport Justin Bieber.

(LAUGHTER)(APPLAUSE)

PETER SAGAL: Obviously you're riding a popular wave. Could you tell me how you became interested in expunging this menace to everything we hold dear?

MARK WARNER: I was going to work and doing a radio show, and...

PETER SAGAL: Always a mistake.

(LAUGHTER)

MARK WARNER: And it was out of Virginia Beach, where we've got the Navy and lots of stuff, and I'm talking about the Navy, and I'm talking about the budget and these things. And I've done the show before. And the guy goes, well, Senator, you know, what do you think about this thing about deporting Justin Bieber? And I said I don't know as a senator, but as a father of three daughters, 19 to 24, I'll sign the petition.

(LAUGHTER)

MARK WARNER: And I, you know, went to a hearing, gave a speech, and I came into the office a couple hours later, and the whole place was exploding, and they were going oh Senator, Senator, we've had more press in three hours on Justin Bieber than five years trying to work on the budget.

(LAUGHTER)


PETER SAGAL: Everybody wanted to know.

MARK WARNER: Everybody wanted to know.

PETER SAGAL: You know, this could be, I'm just saying, you're one of 100. This might be your ticket to prominence, convene a committee of some kind, the Committee for Investigation of Canadian Activities, and this would be awesome. You can drag up witnesses and say are you now or have you ever been a Belieber. (LAUGHTER)  I'm telling you, this would be awesome.

ALONZO BODDEN: I somehow think going up against millions of Beliebers is scarier than the Tea Party.

(LAUGHTER)

PETER SAGAL: Now you're...

MARK WARNER: They're both about equally informed.

(APPLAUSE)

PETER SAGAL: Oh, fighting words.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis