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Wait Wait Don't Tell Me-An NPR Reality Check

Wait Wait Don't Tell Me is probably the best radio show on the weekend (at least in San Diego). For those of you who don't know what it is, think of it as The Daily Show meets Jeopardy meets Real Time with Bill Maher. You have got the quiz show of Jeopardy, the humor, wit, and sarcasm of The Daily Show and an intelligent, humorous panel of people like in Real Time.

By listening to the Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, you can learn a good amount of what went on in the world over the past week (some of it you probably didn't want or need to know, but it's funny none the less) while laughing almost the entire hour some shows. Besides providing an hour of infotainment, this show (and the other shows like it) provides an important service to it's listeners, SARCASM.

I might be a little biased (I got a crash course early on in Sarcasm and the like due to my mom being Australian and my dad being the King of BS) but I believe Sarcasm is an important tool for someone to posses. While it can provide entertainment at someone else's expense, possessing it also creates small voice of doubt in our heads, a useful doubt. This doubt causes us to question anything that doesn't sound plausible, or anything that might be too good to be true.

It used to be that on April fool's day, newspapers would go to great lengths to publish satirical stories of aliens landing and the like (think terrible tabloids but more believable) that would be sprinkled in with the rest of their news. As time has progressed, this tradition has become less prominent as people have become more and more dependent on being fed information without question. We, as a general public, tend to take the information that is fed to us without question, especially if we decide a source is trusted. Even growing up in the intelligent, sarcastic household I did, I find myself guilty of this more often than I would like to admit. This belief and following of information closely mirrors the partisan politics we have witnessed in recent history, and our overall rejection of the unfamiliar and outright acceptance of the comfortable can be dangerous.

The ability to question ourselves and others is an important ability to have in life and it is shows like Wait, Wait, Don't Tell me that help to not only lighten the mood of the news and world around us, but help put into perspective the information that we receive on a daily basis.