You know what would make a good topic for “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!”? A story about a guy who wrote a play with the words “for God’s sake” in it — a play that was to be used by schools in Texas as part of the English curriculum testing — and then the deal falls apart because the writer refused to take out “for God’s sake.”
It’s a true story that’s happened to Peter Sagal, host of “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!”.
The Fort Worth Star Telegram has the story today:
Sagal complained on his blog that the request was irrational and indicative of Texas’ reputation as “the state that’s leading the charge back into the middle ages in terms of educational standards.”
Sagal told the Star-Telegram that he has followed the State Board of Education’s various curriculum debates for years.
“We had a joke on the show about them excising Thomas Jefferson,” Sagal said, referring to a controversy earlier this year in which the state board cut Jefferson from a section on influential philosophers in its social studies standards. The board later put Jefferson back in. After struggling with the issue and getting advice from fans via Twitter and his blog, Sagal decided that whether or not Texas schoolchildren read his play didn’t have anything to do with his difference of opinion regarding other aspects of the state’s curriculum.
“I don’t think I was going to help the cause of improving the education in Texas, if that’s something I could even imagine doing, by keeping my play from Texas students,” Sagal said.
Sagal said he was going to use the money he was to be paid by Texas to help defray the cost of a friend’s treatment for colon cancer.