We made it to May! Anderson Cooper had a baby and we’re totally not not crying. An aquarium in Japan is looking for your help to keep its eels happy during lockdown, click here for instructions on how to smile and wave at them!
It's May 1st. The time...News O'Clock
Check out the full episode transcript here:
Casey Rackham: Apparently eels get sad if they can't see other humans, which honestly, same. If you're stanning North Korea's Kim Yo-jong, maybe don't. And The Last Dance is like an oasis in the desert for sports fans. We have Bleacher Report's Master Tesfatsion with us to discuss the mega popular Chicago Bulls documentary series.
Hayes Brown: The date May 1st, 2020.
CR: The time, News o'Clock.
HB: Hello friends, I'm Hayes Brown.
CR: And I'm Casey Rackham, welcome to News o'Clock.
HB: Happy May Day, comrade.
CR: Happy May Day. I have to ask though, where the hell did April go?
HB: I have no idea, it just vanished, it went poof.
CR: Speaking of May Day, here's to any and all workers from Instacart, Target, Amazon or Whole Foods listening to this, especially those who are on strike today.
HB: Seriously, thank you to all the retail workers who have to go to work still and I for one would feel way better if your companies would just take care of you and keep you healthy and well paid.
CR: Did you ever work in retail, Hayes?
HB: Briefly in college, I worked in the campus convenience store for a little over a year-
CR: Oh God.
HB: ... and I was a terrible employee, I will put that out there just right now. Just I was there, I was checked in some, I was behind the counter reading books while people were in the store. They could have stolen everything and I would have not paid attention or cared to be honest. So that's my retail experience.
CR: I'm proud of you for that.
HB: Thank you.
CR: Your honesty.
HB: How about you, ever any retail jobs?
CR: Oh yeah, I worked at a bakery in Los Angeles throughout like high school I think like since I was 15. And I mean, you know what, it's true. All those rumors about like cupcakes and people in Los Angeles, they're crazy about them. So that was absolutely really tough and high stress.
HB: Oh God, I bet that's the case. Okay, time for the corona update. And today we have three things that you need to know. Number one, the Trump campaign is looking at a novel way to shore up its tanking approval ratings among seniors. Trump has trailed former Vice President Joe Biden, polls amongst people 65 and older lately, especially as the coronavirus outbreak rages on. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the campaign has ordered red Trump branded face masks for supporters, according to people familiar with the matter. Campaign officials have discussed giving away the masks at events or in return for donations, one of the people said. That seems a little counterintuitive, putting Trump on a symbol of the spread of a virus that many have said Trump has made worse, especially when Trump himself has refused to wear a mask despite CDC recommendations. And as CNN's, Andrew Kaczynski pointed out on Twitter, this was literally a gag in an SNL skit at the end of February.
Kenan Thompson: We suggest getting these wonderful Make America Great Again masks from the White House website. It may take a couple of months for delivery because they are made in Wuhan, China.
CR: Oh, okay. Well, I mean, none of this is surprising in the least at all. Also, speaking of masks, I did just watch a video where a woman was wearing a mask and had cut a hole over her mouth.
HB: What? I ... Oh.
CR: So pray for us all.
HB: Number two, pictures and video went viral after anti stay at home protesters in Michigan entered the state capitol building with guns to demand that the emergency order, having people stay at home be lifted. They can do that, by the way, it is illegal there in Michigan, which is completely bonker balls to me, a former Michigan resident. Still, it was wild to see images of folks with very large guns posing inside the capitol. Despite the relatively small group of protestors, Governor Gretchen Whitmer extended the emergency order anyway today. Trump tweeted about this morning, basically telling her, got to give a little and get a little with these gun wielding protestors bad governor lady. If you want to look at the situation, Michigan, I recommend you go back to last Tuesday's episode, Serena Williams is the best, best friend and Kim Jong Un for a discussion of this with a local reporter.
CR: Yeah, I mean this is just like all around upsetting. I mean, okay, guns, you're allowed to bring them into the State Capitol. I mean, was anyone there, did the government act in any way to tell these protesters they can't be doing that? Arresting anyone? I mean, I know it's not illegal, but I mean that is very threatening and abrasive to be honest.
HB: Yes, it is. I can't say that I am a fan. Okay, number three, the Senate is coming back to vote on some judges, but turns out according to their chief medical officer, they cannot test all 100 senators in a timely fashion. Testing is still way behind the U.S. despite pledges from the president and the White House that everyone who wants to test can get one. That's still is not the case, except in Los Angeles, which now offers that. But again, not so much in the Senate. Senators will instead have to be tested remotely or if they do get the few number of tests that the Senate medical office has available, it will take days for those results to come in, which does not really seem like we're really on the ball if 100 of the most powerful people in the country can't really be tested quickly for coronavirus.
CR: Okay, that actually is just like wild to me. I am in Los Angeles, but I had a friend who went to go get tested. The day she wanted to get tested, she signed up, was able to go two hours later and then got her results five hours later. So that is truly wild to me, like what is going on?
HB: I wish we had an answer to that. I am pretty sure we will delve deeper into that as the show continues.
CR: All right, it's time for today's good news, bad news. As you might guess from the name, this is where I bring you some of the most aww and some of the most, oh my God, no, stories from around the internet.
HB: Can we get the bad news out of the way today? It is Friday, that's just ...
CR: Oh, oh yes, we can get it right out of the way. Okay, bad news. People out there are actually making viral TikToks, praising the sister of North Korea's leader. Now to be fair, this isn't new. Most of these are just like jokes and people trying to be edgy. People have done this in the past, like making memes, making light of situations. But videos, stanning Kim Yo-jong have racked up a ton of views, which then prompted Jay Xiao, a 21-year-old studying politics at New York University to post a two part TikTok calling people out.
Jay Xiao: I did not know this needed to be said until today, but can y'all not stan possible next in line dictators please?
CR: So her videos have racked up over a million views. She told Buzzfeed News that, "There were people accusing me of being the ruiner of fun. And saying because it's satire, it's somehow above critique. I reject that notion." Okay, I also reject that notion. And by just like making light of these situations, it just becomes like a part of just like, oh, you know, silly people over there, and it's like, no, that's not the case. Actual horrible things are happening.
HB: No people act- people are dying. This is real. Though, I got to say while looking into this, something that came to mind without stanning pretty people standing next to dictators, we wouldn't have Evita.
CR: Oh my God, okay.
HB: Sorry, take it up with Andrew Lloyd Webber, not me, I'm sorry.
CR: Okay, I will, I will. Our next guest, okay. Okay, onto good news. CNN anchor Anderson Cooper's baby announcement is everything you need to make you feel feelings again, which we all desperately need. The little baby was born via surrogate on Monday and yesterday Anderson posted about it on Instagram saying, "This is Wyatt Cooper, he's three days old. He's named after my father, who died when I was 10. I hope I can be as good a dad as he was." He then continued. "My son's middle name is Morgan. It's a family name on my mom's side. I know my mom and dad liked the name Morgan because I recently found a list they made 52 years ago when they were trying to think of names for me." And if all of that hasn't gotten to you yet, please enjoy weeping at Anderson announcing Wyatt's birth on CNN last night.
Anderson Cooper: So that's Wyatt Morgan Cooper, my son. He was seven point two pounds at birth and he is sweet and soft and healthy and I am beyond happy. As a gay kid, I never thought it would be possible to have a child. And I'm so grateful for all those who paved the way and for the doctors and nurses and everyone involved in my son's birth.
CR: Okay, and if somehow you're still not crying, listen to Anderson talking about wishing his family members who've passed could meet Wyatt.
Anderson Cooper: I do wish my mom and my dad and my brother Carter were alive to meet Wyatt. But I like to believe that they can see him. I imagine them all together, arms around each other, smiling and laughing and watching, looking down on us. Happy to know that their love is alive in me and in Wyatt and that our family continues new life and new love.
HB: Babies are the ultimate good news. They are. It's a really cute baby.
CR: This is really good news. It's a cute baby. I'm so happy for him. I mean it is one of these things, how much he's talking about family as new family enters his life. It's just like so many people right now, that's all you can think about. Wishing you could be with them, with parents that aren't near you, with children that aren't near you. I mean, this is just like such a special and unreal time.
HB: Absolutely, and I got to say, this kid is now set for a minute. I mean, Anderson Cooper is doing very well for himself and he has that Vanderbilt money behind him, which [inaudible 00:09:35] will bring up every time I can because it blew my mind when I first learned that Anderson Cooper is a Vanderbilt.
CR: No, I'm glad you did. I forget every time and every time it's fascinating. I love looking at those family trees and all that money that trickles down. Mmm.
HB: Mmm, delicious.
CR: Okay, when we come back, we've got Master Tesfatsion talking about The Last Dance. Stay right there.
HB: Welcome back, it's time for say more.
CR: The sports fans of the world are pretty desperate right now with games and tournaments canceled because of the coronavirus, but there's been a ray of hope for them these last few weeks. The ESPN Netflix documentary, The Last Dance.
HB: To talk about this, we're joined by Bleacher Reports, Master Tesfatsion, who hosts the YouTube show, Untold Stories. Good afternoon.
Good afternoon. How are you guys doing?
HB: Oh, you know, quarantine, but doing okay.
MT: Well, it's miserable here in New York too, so trying to make the most of this.
HB: Absolutely. So The Last Dance wasn't supposed to premiere until June. ESPN pushed the release of the series forward to April when it became clear that sports were done for the next minute. Good idea or absolutely brilliant idea?
MT: Oh man, it is been incredible to watch this. It's literally capturing every generation's attention spans, which is very difficult to do in this time and age. And you're able to capture it on one of the most polarizing, one of the greatest athletes we've ever seen. And there's so many people, I mean, I'm 28 and I caught the tail end of Michael Jordan, when I was like maybe seven or eight. My parents still talk to me to this day about me crying during the '98 finals because everyone knew was going to be Michael Jordan's last run with the Bulls. And I wanted him to win in Chicago, when they lost game five, I was sobbing. Because I knew he would ultimately win it in game six in Utah on the road and I wanted him to win in Chicago with the home fans. I thought that'd be a great moment.
MT: But there's so many people that are younger than me that don't even remember a single Michael Jordan highlight. Don't remember him much, if they're lucky, they might remember him when he had a short stint with the Wizards, when he came out of a second retirement. But other than that, you've typically had to go to YouTube and watch highlights with him. And a lot of it has lacked context and other supplemental interviews and commentary that can fully capture what Michael Jordan was capable of doing in the '90s.
CR: The series as a whole focuses on the last championship year where Jordan was with the Bulls and the '97, '98 season. What is it about this team in particular that makes people so nostalgic?
MT: Yeah, it's the end of that era. It's the same way sports fans have gotten nostalgic about the big three in Miami when it was so polarizing to see the announcement of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosch, linking up in South Beach to create this super team that changed the entire landscape of the NBA. And one of the most notable and prominent super teams that a lot of people who were still alive remember to this day was the Bulls. They captured the heart of America. They captured the world globally. They had so many interesting personalities. When you go from such an ultra fierce competitor, from Michael Jordan, you go from a guy of Scottie Pippen, who literally came from nowhere. You've got a guy in Dennis Rodman and I mean Dennis Rodman speaks for itself.
MT: I mean, nobody else can say the dated Carmen Electra, dated Toni Braxton, and also dyed their hair in so many different colors and also have their nipples pierced. This is a one of a kind person that we're talking about here. Obviously Phil Jackson, who you know is a zen wizard who looks in Native American teachings and a lot of his principles and zen masters, he's described. Steve Kerr, now the coach of the Warriors of this dynasty that we just watched happen. And every single one of those personalities has a special place in someone's heart, whether you're a sports fan or not. And I think that's all coming out right now in this very nostalgic moment that we're ... We're truly, genuinely being able to appreciate what they were able to accomplish in the '90s and almost kind of wondering what that era would have been like if it would have happened during the social media era, where everything is so publicized. You were seeing it in real time where these people were literally living like rock stars in the '90s, which was very, very, very difficult to do.
HB: So you made the point just there that even though this is a Michael Jordan documentary, it focuses a lot on the people who were around him. I got to ask though, who do you think that history has been less kind to, Dennis Rodman or Scottie Pippen?
MT: Yeah, that's a good question. I think I would probably say Scottie, just because he was essentially always in Michael Jordan shadow. With Dennis Rodman, I mean he was able to establish his own personality, his own identity, through his trials and his own tribulations. Even as crazy as going to North Korea to go play basketball with a dictator. Where Scottie Pippen, he was Michael Jordan's right hand man. Essentially he was Robin of this entire era that happened. And so being able to dive deep into how great Scottie was and how hard he had to work just to get to the point that he was at, because he was a very raw player. But what I mean by raw, it that they're just very athletic, but in terms of the skill sets and in terms of the fundamentals and the intangibles, they need some work. They need some coaching. They need to be pushed to reach out their full potential as we can all relate to throughout our entire careers.
MT: And with having said that, we know a lot of people who don't live up to their potentials despite the amount of talent that they may have. However, Scottie Pippen was able to live up to his potential. Because Michael Jordan pushed him, because Phil Jackson put them in a great situation and because he was surrounded with so much talent that the athleticism was able to live up to the potential that a lot of people around him expected. But once that era with the Bulls ended, he went to the Blazers and wasn't exactly the same person. Then he kind of bounced around from different teams and then ultimately retired. For him, he's kind of bounced around and done some broadcasting here or there, but he hasn't been able to establish himself in his own identity in the same way that Dennis Rodman has. So I would say Scottie Pippen, for sure.
CR: So Ken Burns recently criticized the series for having Michael Jordan's production company involved saying, "I find it the opposite direction of where we need to be going. If you were there influencing the very fact of it getting made, it means that certain aspects that you don't necessarily want in aren't going to be in period." So what do you think about that criticism?
MT: I think as someone who's currently in Hollywood writing scripts and also someone who is a sports journalist, I think Ken Burns' criticism is fair. Essentially you would want an objective piece in a documentary and you're always going to be wondering what was left on the cutting board that Michael Jordan was not comfortable with sharing. But here's the thing, it's Michael Jordan, there was no other way this was going to happen. Michael Jordan either had to be involved or he wasn't. Adam Silver at the time was the head of NBA Entertainment during the late '90s when NBA camera crews got the approval from Michael Jordan, Phil Jackson, and the Bulls to have all access cameras available throughout the entire season. And that was the one stipulation of which had to be set because otherwise Michael Jordan would not have done this. And so I get where Ken Burns is saying, but I say to every rule there's an exception and I'll make an exception for Michael Jordan. I think everyone will.
CR: Fair. So talking about what might be on the cutting room floor, do you think there's something that should be in the documentary but probably won't be?
MT: I'm not sure, I'm not sure. The perspective and angle they'd been taking, I've heard from a lot of casual fans who are Michael Jordan fans or know of Michael Jordan, obviously, but aren't big sports fans. That the cutting back and forth and flashbacks has been kind of confusing. Where to me, I'm seeing a lot of perspective and context that I feel ultimately at the end of this will be tied together because you can't describe the last season that this team was together without establishing how this team came together and how they're at the position that they're in right now. I mean, I think his retirement was something that I hope that they may touch on and discuss, but I don't know the way and the direction that they're going, that they're going to have time or room or space to discuss that.
MT: Because Michael Jordan leaving basketball to go play baseball after his father's passing, to me, and to a lot of people, it's still one of the most fascinating moments of an athlete's career. Where you always want to tell people, stick to sports, stick to sports. But the reality is, no one sticks to sports, no one does. Society and sports rub or intersect or collide every single day. And so you were seeing in that moment when Michael Jordan's father was murdered and him ultimately deciding that there's other things more important to him than the game. And him going to play baseball because his father was a big baseball advocate. And Michael Jordan actually started playing baseball because of his father and the attachment that he had to his father, those kinds of things I would love to hear. But I don't think they're going to find time in this to discuss that.
HB: Okay, one last question for you. On your show, Untold Stories, you have former athletes on spilling tea. So I have a hypothetical for you.
MT: What's up?
HB: After a lengthy negotiation between you and Michael Jordan's publicist, you come to an agreement. You can ask him one question and one question only, but Jordan can't dodge it, can't say, no comment. He has to give you an actual answer. What would that question be?
MT: Michael Jordan, why did you say fuck them kids? What made you say, fuck them kids? I need to know, tell me the story. I want to have animations behind that whole thing. I want you to smoke a cigar as you talking to me, we playing pool. Hell, I'll even gamble with him because I know Michael Jordan loves to gamble, I love the gamble. We could play some money. We could play $100 a ball if we want to, but I need him to answer the question. What made you say fuck them kids?
HB: Fair answer. Wow, that's a great answer.
CR: Well, Master, thank you so much for joining us. If listeners want to find more of your work, where should they look?
MT: You can check me out on Bleacher Report. You can follow me on Twitter at Master T-E-S. Master T-E-S. And you can find me on Instagram, Master underscore Tesfatsion. Spell my last name, T-E-S-F-A-T-S-I-O-N. Again, on Instagram Master underscore Tesfatsion. On Twitter, Master T-E-S.
CR: Awesome, well, thanks so much for joining us.
MT: Appreciate y'all for having me.
HB: It's time for the list. Because if you know Buzzfeed at all, you know how much we love lists. And today semi keeping in theme with a Michael Jordan interview from earlier, we've got six items you can only get at McDonald's outside the U.S. that we want to try immediately.
CR: Man, I love McDonald's. That's all I have to say about this. Their fries are the best. I grew up eating it all the time. My sister and I used to have to like sneak McDonald's that we'd just eat it in the car, in our parents' driveway because my dad's like a big health nut.
HB: Oh, jeez.
CR: So I'm all about talking about this.
HB: Amen. It's my absolute guilty pleasure. I know it's trash, but it's so good. It just makes me happy and I know that they have all the chemical additives for that, but I don't care. Okay, without further ado, here's some amazing things available around the world that we'd love to try someday. Number one, the McSpicy Paneer in India, which is fresh fried cheese and a spicy breaded coating and lettuce and tandoori style sauce on a sesame seed bun.
CR: Number two, the Fillet-O-Shrimp in Japan.
HB: Number three, the brekkie burger in Australia, which has a hash brown, cheese, bacon and egg on it.
CR: Number four, cheesy fries in Spain.
HB: Mmm, and number five, the BFF fries from the Philippines. So called because you're supposed to share them with a friend because they're extra, extra large. I would not share.
CR: Ha-ha. And number six, Matcha McFlurries from Singapore. Oh my God.
CR: I got so mad when I saw that because I was so upset that I couldn't have it.
HB: America can barely keep any McFlurry machine running, so odds are even if we had them here, you still would not have tried one.
CR: I'm not joking. My dad, when we were in elementary school, the only thing he would let us get was a fish filet because he was like, it's healthy fish, which is so untrue.
CR: But anyways, I loved it. I know, I was like the only kid who could get the chicken nuggets, which is fucked up.
HB: It absolutely is.
CR: Anyways, I do want to try the Fillet-O-Shrimp like really badly. I bet that's super good.
HB: Right, it's Japan. So it was probably like fresher than it would be here, so that's really nice.
CR: Exactly, exactly. I would say that would not have it in the U.S.
HB: No, I know, fish product. I'm sorry, I know it's safe. I know it's just a fish stick and it's fine. But fish products at fast food places just are weird to me. I wish it wasn't the case. But no, the McSpicy Paneer though from India, it sounds so good. McDonald's briefly, I remember last year had a thing where they brought over some international items, but it didn't compare. McDonald's, if you're listening, please focus on these items on this list for when we can go outside again, so that we can get all of these six things. Thank you, McDonald's Corporation.
CR: Okay, we have time for one more thing because we can't let you go until we've discussed this. Hayes, the eels are sad.
HB: What? The eels are sad.
CR: Yes. There are Japanese eels were getting sad because of the coronavirus.
HB: That is literally the most I've ever related to eels, but you got to give me more than that.
CR: Okay, okay. So there's an aquarium in Tokyo, the Sumida Aquarium where they have a bunch of garden eels. They normally live in the sand and when they poke their little heads up, they see people. But with everything shut down, they're not getting any face time.
HB: Oh, so they're like forgetting the people. I mean, some would say that falls under nature is healing.
CR: No, not this time. Because the eels' keepers need to be able to take care of them and that's hard if they're hiding every time they see people now. So these are just very shy eels.
HB: So what's the solution here?
CR: Here's the solution, Hayes, the aquarium is encouraging people to call the eels.
HB: Just ring the eels up for a quick chat?
CR: Basically, yes. They put out a request on their Twitter account for people to call the eels, smile at them, and wave. Then that you'll see this through five tablets that have been set up outside their tank.
HB: That is both adorable and ridiculous.
CR: Very correct. The aquarium's suggestion that people dial an eel went viral in Japan with the hashtag, please remember humans.
HB: Put that the planet's gravestone. Wow. Would you dial one of these eels? Is that appealing to you?
CR: I would dial one of the eels because we're separated by like many countries and oceans and a FaceTime. So I would do that. I mean, the way I think of eels is when I was on a family vacation with my parents and I'm not a big beach person. And the fourth Harry Potter book had just come out. So I was reading it and my mom kept getting mad that I wouldn't get in the water and I was just reading when everyone else was hanging out. So then she made me go in the water and then a tide hit me and I fell under the water and an eel came up right to my face. So I mean, they're not my favorite, but I've recovered a little bit since then, so I'll call them.
HB: That's fair. Plus I'm pretty sure, look at the pictures. These are some really cute eels. They're like little tiny guys going boop out of the sand. So yeah, you know what, I would dial an eel.
CR: Yes, they just want friendship right now. And you know, aquariums are the best and the worst, let's not forget the worst. But right now the eels need our help. Listeners, if you want to call up an eel, you can do so from Sunday through Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM Tokyo local time. We'll put a link to the aquarium's instructions in the show notes, but sorry, Android users, the eels are accepting calls from iOS users only right now.
HB: That's it for this week. We'll be back next week with more of whatever life feels like serving up to us all.
CR: And remember if you come out of all of this with a new novel written, good job. Now stop listening if that's you. Okay, everyone else, I hope you're ready to bully the shit out of the finished novel people.
HB: News o'Clock is produced by Dan Bowza, Alan Haburchak and Sylvia Obell.
CR: Special thanks to Tracy Airs, Mangesh Hattikudur, Samantha Henig and Patrick McMenamin.
HB: Be sure to subscribe to News o'Clock on the iHeart radio app, Apple podcasts or wherever you go for your sound stories. Also, maybe follow us on Twitter. We're @newsoclock, all one word. And we have loved some of the shout outs we've already gotten there. Thanks to @ResJudiGator for noticing my animorphs reference yesterday.
CR: Yes. Also, thanks to chunk monster for pointing out that us using the name corona update instead of Rona Roundup was a bit of a missed opportunity. We have now taken this under advisement.
HB: And lastly, before the weekend, please take the time to leave us a rating and a review, help us figure out what you'd like about the show versus what you love about the show. Also, please tell your friends about us and make sure you all set your alarm so you never miss News o'Clock.