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Opening Panel Round


We want to remind everybody they can join us here most weeks at the Chase Bank Auditorium in beautiful downtown Chicago, Illinois. For tickets and more information, you go to wbez.org, and you can find a link over at our website, which is waitwait.npr.org.

Right now, panel, of course, it is your turn to answer some questions about the weeks' news. Jessi, the company responsible for the Your Baby Can Read products announced it was going bust this week, after people finally realized what?

JESSI KLEIN: Their baby cannot read.

SAGAL: Exactly right.




SAGAL: Since the late 1990s, millions of parents bought this company's videos, flashcards and other products, literally buying into their theory that infancy is the best time to learn to read.

But when the babies in question continued to chew on the Ernest Hemingway novels, rather than enjoy them as literature, many of those parents sued, and this week, the company threw in the baby blanket. One good effect: this will keep them from acting on their plans to expand into new lines such as Your Baby Can Drive.


SAGAL: Your Baby Can Fly This Airplane.


BRIAN BABYLON: Who believes...

PAULA POUNDSTONE: My kids are slackers.

BABYLON: Who believes anything that you buy at 2 a.m.? Like, you know, how does insomnia and, you know, your baby's literacy go together hand in hand?


POUNDSTONE: It's the only time when that would work.

SAGAL: Yeah, then it makes sense.

POUNDSTONE: You got to be up really late and then you go "I think my baby could read."


BABYLON: Yep, and then you buy it. They know what they're doing. Man, it's genius.

POUNDSTONE: Sometimes I roll over in bed when I'm watching at 2 in the morning and I go "Oh my god, my back hurts." And then I go, you know what, my baby could do surgery.



SAGAL: They should have kept it simple. They could have kept their promises more reasonable. They should have sold things like: Your Baby can Vomit and Poop, Your Baby Can Grow Up To Disappoint You.


KLEIN: Or maybe teach it to do the stuff that you clearly, like, can't do. Like Your Baby Can Spot A Scam.

SAGAL: Yeah.

KLEIN: I mean, like that.



(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.