Hoping to Book GOP? NPR Game Show Mocks Paul Krugman's Internet Savvy

Patrick Gavin at Politico captured the host of NPR’s “Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me” game show lamely trying to claim it’s unfair and silly that they have a leftist image, so Republicans won’t come on his show for a few laughs (unlike both Bill Clinton and Al Gore). Peter Sagal was not asked whether he repeatedly earned his reputation with “jokes” like smearing George W. Bush as a White House drunk and mocking Mitt Romney with doggy-car-carrier and zombie gibes.

This Saturday, almost as if he was starting a campaign to book Republicans, Sagal mocked liberal New York Times columnist Paul Krugman for being extremely wrong in predicting the Internet’s future:

PETER SAGAL: Carl went back into the news archives to find more. This was from Paul Krugman back in - the economist of course - back in the mid-'90s.

CARL KASELL, NPR NEWS ANCHOR: "By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet's impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machines."

PETER SAGAL: Now, to be fair to Mr. Krugman, he was just bitter because he had paid $50 to become a premium member of Porn By Fax.  (Laughter)

MO ROCCA: It's fax with three Xs at the end.

In an interview with Vulture, he claimed a major Republican pol would be a "dream guest" for him. Never mind the Cheney-as-Grim-Reaper joke, that he lives in Karl Rove's backside or playing along as David Axelrod "joked" that socially conservative Miss California Carrie Prejean was tried out for White House dog.

And if you buy that "dream guest" bluster, I have some shorefront property in Nebraska for you:

VULTURE: Is there a dream guest for you? Someone you've been trying to get that you think you never will?

SAGAL: I would love to get more Republicans on the show. One of the things I really envy about Jon Stewart is how many times he's able to get Republicans on his show. And that's to his credit: He's seen as somebody who will talk fairly with everyone, who's interested in everyone. And I am, too! But because we're NPR, and we have that reputation — which I think is unfair, both specifically to us and nationwide — and because it's silly, I think a lot Republican people [won't come on]. I've been really eager to get a major Republican politician on the show, but circumstances are such that it's getting harder and harder to do that these days.

VULTURE: Well, they're not super well-known for their humor.

SAGAL: I would love it — I would love it — if John Boehner would come on our show and be charming and funny in a way that we haven't seen. I would love that. If he told some jokes about his skin color, and people understood that he could do self-deprecation, and then went on his way and thought, That was a good experience. I was able to show a side of myself I don't normally do. That would be awesome! That would be awesome for the country.  But the person we really want on the show, who we'll never get, is George W. Bush.

This is a smug little show made by and for liberals. Pay no attention to the spin that 's intended to sway people who haven't heard of this "joke" parade.

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