Who Said That? with Audie Cornish and Ari Shapiro : It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders : NPR

2021-12-22 06:40:52 By : Mr. Guess Lin

I have been watching all of those 2021 Spotify Wrappeds that I've been getting and my friends have been getting. And a weird thing this year that they do is they take all the music that you've listened to this past year and give you, like, a musical aura, like an emotional energy. And they give you, like, two words for the emotional state of your music listening.

AUDIE CORNISH, BYLINE: (Laughing) Oh, my goodness.

SANDERS: You know that? And it was like, you're angsty and you're this. Like, if you had to do a Spotify Wrapped emotional aura for the year 2021, what would the two or three emotions be?

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Gosh. I mean, I'm thinking it's like agony and ecstasy because this was the year that we thought the vaccine was going to promise deliverance, and then there was delta and omicron. It's like, we thought we'd be able to travel and see loved ones, and then we kind of did, but then new waves - it was a whiplash a year.

SANDERS: I get that. Audie?

CORNISH: You know that gif of the actor Nathan Fillion, where he's sort of like - he's - someone says something weird, and he points like, that's not quite bleh (ph). That's how I felt all year.

AUNT BETTY, BYLINE: Hey, y'all. This is Sam's Aunt Betty. This week, a special year-end game of Who Said That? All right, let's start the show.

SANDERS: Hey, y'all. You're listening to IT'S BEEN A MINUTE from NPR. I'm Sam Sanders. And today on the show, something a little different. To celebrate making it through 2021, we are skipping our usual panel chat and just going right to the fun part. We're going to play an omnibus version of my favorite game, Who Said That?


KANDI BURRUSS: Who had been saying that?

PORSHA WILLIAMS: Who said that?

KENYA MOORE: Who said that?

SANDERS: This is a game where I read three quotes from the week of news, and the guests have to guess who said it. But because this is a very special year and episode, this Who Said That is going to be a special 2021 edition. Today I'll be reading five quotes from the year of important stories from the news, and my guests will try to guess.

Here to play the game with me are, honestly, my favorite dynamic duo to have on this show, maybe ever, all the time, NPR co-hosts of All Things Considered, Audie Cornish and Ari Shapiro. Hello. Hello. Hello.

SHAPIRO: Hi. Let's get on this omnibus, Audie.

CORNISH: Yeah. You don't have, like, theme music for us or, like, the, like, applause special effects.

SANDERS: Wow. We add it in post. Come on.

SANDERS: (Laughter) You are in the studio. You can have all of the NPR employees there clap for you, right?

SHAPIRO: On the other side of the soundproof booth, so you wouldn't actually hear them.

SANDERS: Yeah, yeah. So y'all have played this game before. It's very simple. I share a quote. You tell me who said it or guess the story that I'm talking about. But for this one, the quote could have come from any point throughout the year and any story from this year. OK?

SHAPIRO: Wait. Before we even start, can we guess who one or more of the quotes is going to come from? Like, I don't even know what quotes you've chosen, but I'm going to say one of them is Anthony Fauci.

SANDERS: Oh, you know, last year was - I would say 2020 was his year.

SHAPIRO: Oh. Oh, OK. All right.

SANDERS: 2021 is just like, yeah, sure. All right, Anthony. You're still here.

SHAPIRO: (Laughter) We've heard enough of you.

CORNISH: All right. All right. Enough calisthenics, Ari - OK? - because...

SHAPIRO: Just got to warm up the...

CORNISH: I also don't know anything. I've been in a fugue state for nine months, so I look forward to this.

SANDERS: I will say there's no Fauci in this game.

SANDERS: Sorry to all the - was it Fauci-sexuals? - Anthony...

SANDERS: What was the word for them? Remember?

CORNISH: Yeah. That wasn't the word (laughter).

SANDERS: I forget. Yeah, that wasn't the word. Anyway...

CORNISH: But I remember conceptually what you're talking about.

SANDERS: Yes, yes, yes. Boomer ladies who were in love with that man - it was cute. All right. Here's the first quote. My life now reflects not just the person that I want to be, but the person that I really feel like I am...

SANDERS: ...Which is not perfect, but somebody who tries very hard and cares very much about being honest and authentic and accountable. Any guesses? I can keep going.

CORNISH: Wait. There's more to the statement?

SANDERS: A celebrity who rekindled an old flame this year.

SHAPIRO: Oh, what - is it...

SHAPIRO: Is it Ben Affleck?

SANDERS: Yes, it is Ben Affleck. It's Ben Affleck. And let me finish this quote.

SHAPIRO: Am I misremembering, or was there a Bennifer moment in the last time that we did Who Said That?

CORNISH: There was. There was.

SHAPIRO: (Laughter) I can't believe it. Audie, were you just giving me that? I feel like you should have been all over that.

CORNISH: Well, I think, also, maybe I only pay attention to the Jennifer part of Bennifer.

SANDERS: No, so I will finish the quote from Ben. He says, it's hard to say who benefits more...

SANDERS: Yes - without going into gossipy detail. I could just say that I feel great about being very healthy. And it is a good story. It's a great story. And, you know, maybe one day I'll tell it. I'll write it all out, and then I'll light it on fire. That man is in love. So that was Ben Affleck talking to Wall Street Journal magazine about his relationship with J.Lo.

CORNISH: (Laughter) The perfect venue for that conversation.

SHAPIRO: Did it move the markets? - is the question.

SANDERS: Exactly. And as you both recalled, we talked about Bennifer 2.0 for about a month straight on this show when it happened because I was obsessed. It was the perfect bit of lovely nostalgia in this year of darkness. I liked it.

CORNISH: Also, this year of nostalgia - let's face it. I mean, so much of what we took in - A, so much of what we took in in general - right? - we're getting towards the end of streaming options, but what they're starting to feed us now are more nostalgia-based items, whether that's "Friends" or in a way "Dune" - right? - like, it's just a lot of reliving certain...

SHAPIRO: "Sex In The City."

CORNISH: ...Ideas - Sex "In The City."

SANDERS: Oh, you're right. The pop culture aura of this year is existing IP.

CORNISH: I mean, not wrong.

SANDERS: Everything old is new.

SANDERS: Here's the next quote. Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine.

SANDERS: I'm begging of you. Please don't hesitate.

SHAPIRO: Well, Audie, I feel like I should give you this one.

SHAPIRO: Yeah, she recorded that Instagram video. She was getting her shot.

SANDERS: Yeah, Dolly Parton - that was her singing about getting her vaccine. She sung it to the tune of her classic, "Jolene."

DOLLY PARTON: (Singing) Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine. I'm begging of you, please don't hesitate.

SANDERS: This happened in March, when the vaccines were starting to get rolled out and everyone was really excited about them. She was getting her first dose of the Moderna vaccine, a vaccine that she helped create.

SHAPIRO: Which she gave a million dollars to help fund. Yeah.

SANDERS: She gave a million dollars to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which worked with Moderna to develop the vaccine.

SHAPIRO: With a public radio connection.

SANDERS: Yeah, because she is cool with Jad Abumrad's dad...

SANDERS: ...Who was a doctor.

SANDERS: She also said at the time, quote...

PARTON: Don't be such a chicken squat. Get out there, and get your shot.

SANDERS: I mean, this really was her year. This was Dolly's year, wasn't it?

SHAPIRO: Isn't every year her year? I feel like...

CORNISH: No, this is significant.

SHAPIRO: ...We've been saying this is her year for a while now.

CORNISH: I mean, people - I think just the other day, Jennifer Aniston was kind of complaining a little bit about people reacting to her being pro-vaccine. And Nashville, country music - despite her legend status, it can be quite inhospitable if you kind of go in the opposite direction of whichever way the audience winds are blowing. So it's actually no small thing that she's done what she's done and become essentially the country's fairy godmother in the process.

CORNISH: So to me, there's a little bit of extra applause here in underscoring what she's done.

SHAPIRO: She's always been so judicious with where and when she takes a stand, and so the...

SHAPIRO: ...Fact that she decided to do it in this case is significant.

SANDERS: She's our queen. And then it's like, you compare her to other celebrities and their vaccine behavior this year - I'm thinking about Nicki Minaj - it's like (laughter)...

SHAPIRO: Whose cousin's friend's balls...

SANDERS: ...There were such highs and lows.

SANDERS: Nicki Minaj's cousin's friend's...

CORNISH: Did you just give away your next quote?

SANDERS: No, I wanted to have two vaccine quotes, but I can only do one, but I said, we're going to make a coda - Nicki Minaj being foolish about the vaccine and the Met Gala. We first found out that Nicki Minaj was an anti-vaxxer when she couldn't attend the Met Gala because she wasn't vaxxed.

SHAPIRO: Well, she was doing her own research, right?

SANDERS: Exactly. And she goes on to explain that the vaccine caused her cousin's friend in Trinidad to become impotent and that parts of his body became swollen and caused his wedding to be called off. I think that was a different problem. Just saying.

SHAPIRO: I think the, like, government of Trinidad went and researched that.

SHAPIRO: And then they said - yeah.

SANDERS: They were like, Nicki, no. Nicki, no.

SHAPIRO: We have been unable to track down Nicki's cousin's friend.

TERRENCE DEYALSINGH: As we stand now, there is absolutely no reported such side effect or adverse event of testicular swelling in Trinidad or, I dare say, Dr. Hinds, anywhere else?

AVERY HINDS: None that we know of.

DEYALSINGH: None that we know of anywhere else in the world.

SANDERS: Yes. What I want is for Dolly Parton to call up Nicki Minaj and say, get it together. We are two divas who need to be on the right side of history.

SHAPIRO: I'm not sure Nicki would find Dolly persuasive on that point.

CORNISH: Yeah, I have a hard time picturing Dolly sending a gather yourself text.

CORNISH: That seems like a bit of a stretch.

SANDERS: True. True. All right, who got that point?

CORNISH: Oh yeah, that was me. I was like, wait, are we still playing the game? I, at this point...

SANDERS: I will say that this whole episode is the game, as I...

CORNISH: Oh, right, right, right.

SANDERS: Per my last email, Audie (laughter).

CORNISH: Right, there's a format to this show, you call it. Interesting.

SANDERS: Coming up - more of our year-end game of Who Said That? with NPR's Ari Shapiro and Audie Cornish. Here's a hint for the next quote. We're going to need a smaller boat.

SANDERS: All right, here's the next quote. And this is about a big story from the news this year, so tell me what the story is about. We are all, in our own little way, that ship.

SHAPIRO: Oh, was that this year, the Suez Canal?

SANDERS: Yeah, the Suez Canal ship.

SHAPIRO: God, that feels like a lifetime ago.

CORNISH: That - wait, that was within this calendar year?

SANDERS: Yo, it's cray-cray (ph).

SHAPIRO: This says more about 2021 than any analysis we could offer.

SHAPIRO: That was this year?

CORNISH: The what is time joke - yeah, for real.

SANDERS: So that quote comes from cartoonist Chaz Hutton. He made a cartoon about this ship stuck in the Suez Canal that went viral on Twitter. The ship is called the Ever Given. It blocked the Suez Canal for six days in March. It stopped worldwide shipping, and, according to The New York Times, it froze nearly $10 billion in trade a day. The ship was one of the largest container ships ever built, and I don't know how no one predicted this. Like, come on, ship people. This is, like, your No. 1 job. Don't get stuck.

CORNISH: Well, what I remember is that that's also when we started talking about the supply chain in our news stories.

CORNISH: And - but it was very vague. It was like, this could affect the supply chain. And you could hear the listeners' eyes glaze over because it was...

CORNISH: Yeah, it was like, oh, this far-off concept that's never really going to affect us or might not affect us for many months. And now here we are...

CORNISH: ...Just kind of with a greater understanding of that in general. But yeah, that's what I remember from that story - supply chain.

SHAPIRO: And also infrastructure because...

SHAPIRO: ...As the ships get bigger and bigger, the canals stay the same size, and you have less and less room for error. Yeah.

SANDERS: And apparently the ship is back. The Ever Given is back, and I think it's going to go through the Suez Canal again soon, if it hasn't already. And it's like, y'all, don't...

SHAPIRO: Much like "Tiger King," it will return for a second season.


UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: When you think you've seen it all, you haven't quite seen it all.

SHAPIRO: Our attention will be riveted once again.

SANDERS: I will say, all this supply chain stuff - it's changed the way that I behave. Like, I am in the process of getting Christmas gifts for people, and I'm only getting ones that I can go pick up in the store. I'm not having anything mailed this year. I'm scared. I'm scared.

CORNISH: Oh. I've been doing subscriptions here and there for people for things, which I think are kind of nice. But, yeah, for sure. The idea that, like - do you want to contribute to this problem or are you worried about the problem or...

SANDERS: Yeah, well, and - also it was a good moment for Americans to realize that all this stuff isn't that easy. I think we got really used to telling Jeff Bezos to get it to our house the next day.

SANDERS: And it's like, actually, a lot goes into these things.

CORNISH: Yeah. Yeah. And also, I think that one thing that's been - I'd like to underscore in these stories I don't hear enough is that it's often not that you won't get what you want, it's that you won't get it in the exact way you want exactly the day you want...

CORNISH: Which is - we're spoiled. Like, we're spoiled consumers.

CORNISH: So it's kind of like, what? I'm not going to get that water bottle in teal? Like, that's not an empty shelf, you know what I'm saying?

CORNISH: Like, countries have really seen inflation and empty shelves. And we ain't seen it yet, but the dialogue is such because everyone's so used to getting what they want almost immediately.

SHAPIRO: I just think it's so interesting to pull back the curtain and see how the sausage is made, because we do take so much for granted. But when you actually think about like, well, what happens when stuff gets to the Port of Los Angeles...

SHAPIRO: ...Or the Suez Canal or - like, it's actually really interesting, and there are a lot of good stories in there.

CORNISH: And what happens is people. Soylent green is people is the joke, right? Like, the supply chain is people...

CORNISH: And all - it's like, people have to work at the warehouse. People have to drive the truck. People have to work the extra hours. And let's face it, we have all assumed that that stuff just kind of happened.

CORNISH: It's like, oh, I don't know, automation. No, it's actual people who no longer want to work overtime...

CORNISH: ...Without a mask with bosses that don't treat them well. So I want an - I'm super interested in 2022, like, what that - will the market respond to that?

SANDERS: Yeah. I remember when the supply chain issues began early in the pandemic, when no one could get their hands on a Nintendo Switch.

SHAPIRO: Well, in the early, early days...

CORNISH: (Laughter) I thought you were going to say toilet paper.

SHAPIRO: ...It was toilet paper, yeah, and Clorox wipes.

SANDERS: I still don't have a Nintendo Switch, but I have a lot of toilet paper.

SANDERS: Just saying. All right, here's...

CORNISH: You win. You just won the game with that quote. That better make the edit. That was perfect.

SANDERS: Coming up - Italian villas, HBO's "Succession" and arguably the biggest story of the year.

SANDERS: All right, here's the next quote. "The only thing I can see that's good about going to prison is that I'm going to be able to work out a lot and do a lot of yoga and detox."

SHAPIRO: I have no idea.

CORNISH: Wait, question - is this...

SANDERS: This person was part of a group of people - oh, go ahead.

CORNISH: Fiction or nonfiction person?

SHAPIRO: I have a guess.

SHAPIRO: I have a guess.

SANDERS: Go ahead. Go ahead.

SHAPIRO: Is it the January 6 insurrectionist?

SANDERS: Yes. This is Jenna Ryan. She was one of the people who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6 of this year. And she was talking on her TikTok about what she was going to do for her only 60-day prison sentence.

JENNA RYAN: Hopefully they have, like, some protein shakes and some protein bars, I think, because you don't want to eat, like, green bologna. That's what they have to eat. So I'm going to end up losing weight in prison.

SANDERS: She was sentenced on November 4 to 60 days in custody. And the judge, Christopher R. Cooper - he said, quote, "You've been very upfront that you feel no sense of shame or guilt. You suggested antifa was somehow involved. And perhaps most famously, you said that because you had blonde hair and white skin, you wouldn't be going to jail." The judge said, think again (laughter).

CORNISH: I'm feeling a little sheepish because I originally thought that quote was Tom from "Succession."

SHAPIRO: Oh, that's why you were like, is this fiction or nonfiction?

CORNISH: Yeah. Yeah. I was like...

CORNISH: ...I know this one.

SANDERS: Also, while we're on it, best show of the year. My favorite...

SANDERS: ...Visual consumption of this year is...

SANDERS: Oh, it's - because here's the thing.

SANDERS: "Succession" works once you realize it's actually a sitcom. It is a sitcom because the stakes actually never change. No one wins or loses. They stay there and they just kind of perform comedy for you.

SHAPIRO: Tell that to Jeremy Strong.

SANDERS: Yeah, Jeremy Strong would disagree. But, like, it's kind of like "Arrested Development" just with better cinematography.

CORNISH: Actually, that's what people thought it was going to be, and I think it actually became something a little bit different. But I do hear what you're saying. I've heard a very similar sentiment, but as a critique - that in a way, it's, like, a series of sketches...

SANDERS: It's a bunch of sketches with great writing.

CORNISH: Yeah. Yeah. I don't know how I feel about that, but...

SANDERS: Nothing happens till the dad leaves. And if they don't get rid of the dad, it's just - the stakes never change because he won't lose.

SHAPIRO: Fun fact - I actually went to college with Jeremy Strong. My husband and I did plays with him.

SANDERS: Was he crazy back then, too?

SHAPIRO: Well, it's funny. I went to that Al Pacino master class that is mentioned in the profile - this is the New Yorker profile that got all the attention - everybody in Hollywood rushing to Jeremy Strong's defense. So it talks about this Al Pacino master class. This was at Yale in, like, the late '90s. But I didn't know the backstory, which - you're going to have to read the New Yorker profile. But when I saw that, I was like, oh. I had no idea that that's what this was about.

CORNISH: So when you were there, you weren't like, why is Al Pacino here?

SHAPIRO: No. It was like...

CORNISH: That never occurred to you in your brain or were you like, I'm at Yale.

SHAPIRO: Everyone at Yale was a little bit like, who wouldn't want to come talk to us?

SHAPIRO: This school has an inflated sense of self.

CORNISH: I think that says more about Yale then it does about Jeremy Strong or Al Pacino.

SANDERS: I will say, seeing celebrities come to Jeremy Strong's defense, I'm just like, there are better things for them to do with their time, power and visibility. And I felt the same way...

CORNISH: Oh, I don't think so. I mean, these - look at the actors who were even doing - these are people who also are very into the, like, craft sentence caps of acting. Do you know what I mean? And I think the response on their part - and I'm not defending, like, super-famous celebrities, but I think some people looked at this New Yorker profile and thought that it was actually poking fun at people who take craft seriously. And there is a lot of actors right now who are facing a marketplace that they're not clear needs them - right? - because are we going back to the movies or not? - and that also, like, the work you do get to do, is it in front of a green screen swatting at imaginary flying things, or is it acting?

SANDERS: Yeah, but here's the thing. It wasn't just taking the work seriously. All of his co-stars said in so many words, we can't stand him, and he makes it hard for us.

CORNISH: That is not true.

SANDERS: So there's a way to be a method...

CORNISH: I spoke - that is not true.

SHAPIRO: I read it more as, I worry about his well-being. I read it more as, like, we're concerned for his well-being.

SANDERS: Oh, that's such - that is such shame. That is such concerned trolling.

CORNISH: No, that is not true. First of all, that quote is from Brian Cox, who, if you know, his memoir came out this year. And that man does not mince words about anybody for any reason on anything. So I don't really think that's a good message.

SANDERS: See, Kieran Culkin, though, said in that profile, this is not helpful to me. What he does does not help me. And then there was that one part where Shiv - whoever plays Shiv told him to, like, F off in the middle of, like, the script read. I just feel like they all hate him.

CORNISH: They don't hate him. Give me a break. I mean, I spoke to J. Smith Cameron, who plays Gerri Kellman on that show. I asked her about this, and she's like, look; he does what he needs to get there. We all have our process. But it's like a - she's like, it's like a theater troupe. But this idea that, like, people shouldn't just get along, be collegial and respect each other, but have to, like, love and like each other and hang out at each other's Italian villas or whatever is, I think, a little bit childish. But, I mean, whatever. It's Twitter. People are like, ha ha, Twitter comments on a New Yorker profile.

SHAPIRO: For the record, you're both invited to my Italian villa.

SHAPIRO: And not just because you're my colleagues.

CORNISH: Oh. OK, but I have to ask, do you actually have one? I feel like...

SHAPIRO: Of course I don't have one.

CORNISH: I got to ask. I got to ask. I mean, you dropped your...

SHAPIRO: Thank you for clarifying that for the listeners.

CORNISH: ...Jeremy Strong story in a very casual way. So I feel like I should ask the Italian villa thing.

SHAPIRO: Thank you for support of public radio. I do not have an Italian villa.

CORNISH: (Laughter) Don't call your congressman yet.

SANDERS: We are going to get to the last quote. I don't know if this game is tied or not. It doesn't matter. Here's the last quote. Ready? And just tell me what I'm talking about. It was a meme stock that really blew up.

SHAPIRO: Oh, yeah. OK. Audie, should we say it on the count of three together?

CORNISH: I have no idea what it is.

SANDERS: No. One of you needs to win.

CORNISH: Oh, my good - was that this year?

SANDERS: GameStonk, as the kids called it. Yeah, that was this year.

SHAPIRO: Again, was that this year?

SANDERS: That's the name of the episode - Was That This Year?

CORNISH: That is the name of this episode.

SHAPIRO: Totally. Was That This Year?

SANDERS: So that quote is all about GameStop stock, which came to be called GameStonk. Remember that? It was so annoying. Any who, that quote comes from one of the moderators of the subreddit WallStreetBets. And you might recall that in January of this year, Reddit users discovered that the company GameStop was in financial trouble. So then some of those users invested their own money to make GameStop's stock price go from $20 to $73. But because many analysts had suggested short-selling GameStop stocks to make a profit off their prices going down, a lot of other folks ended up losing money. And eventually, the WallStreetBets Reddit group had over 2 million members, and I don't even know - none of it makes sense to me.

SHAPIRO: Sam, you're reminding me of - sorry. Go ahead.

SANDERS: I'm trying to finish the quote, but it makes me more confused. The moderators said the massive short contributed more toward the meme stock. I don't know what happened, but for a while, GameStop stock was really hot, and then it wasn't. And some folks made money, and some folks lost money, and the stock market is imaginary.

SHAPIRO: Sam, your remind me of the worst part of this story, which was - for journalists, anyway - the challenge of saying GameStop stock over and over.

SANDERS: Let's do it. GameStop stock. GameStop stock.

SANDERS: GameStop stock. GameStop stock.

CORNISH: It is a verbal road cone, for sure. It's funny. It's like my brain can only hold so much news, and that just sloshed straight out. It's like, I know I spent many weeks talking about that, and now you're telling it to me, I'm like, interesting, even though I bet if you Google, like, my name is on the, like, interviews related to it.

SANDERS: I'm happy to announce the winner of this special year-end edition of Who Said That is - drum roll - Ari Shapiro.

SHAPIRO: Oh, it's such an honor. Happy New Year. Thank you.

SANDERS: Yeah. Audie, how you feeling?

CORNISH: It's good. I mean, I'm glad I could give him that gift.

SHAPIRO: You've given me so many gifts, Audie. This is just the latest.

CORNISH: (Laughter). I have. I have.

SANDERS: Thanks again to Audie Cornish and Ari Shapiro, hosts of NPR's All Things Considered.

All right. This week's episode was produced by Jinae West, Anjuli Sastry Krbechek, Liam McBain and Audrey Nguyen. Our intern is Nathan Pugh. Our editor is Jordana Hochman. And our big boss is NPR's senior VP of programming Anya Grundmann. All right, listeners, till next time, be good yourselves. I'm Sam Sanders. We'll talk soon.

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