First, a look at a proposed law that would deny federal law enforcement funding to so-called sanctuary cities, like Los Angeles, which protect undocumented immigrants from deportation. Then, how did Los Angeles become the capital of the car chase as entertainment? Next, we track the rise and fall of the paparazzi from a lucrative industry to a fading profession in the age of Instagram. After that, the author of a new book about DNA evidence explains why it’s not the infallible resource we think it is. And finally, in our weekly TV roundup, the end of “America’s Next Top Model” marks the end of a reality TV era.
FROM THIS EPISODE
The Senate votes tomorrow on a bill that would deny federal law enforcement funding to sanctuary cities, which protect undocumented immigrants from being deported. Los Angeles and San Francisco are both sanctuary cities. The bill would also put stricter prison sentences on those who try to re-enter the United States after being deported. The House passed its version of this bill in July, after the death of Kate Steinle, a woman in San Francisco who was shot and killed by an undocumented immigrant. That immigrant had been released from jail instead of handed over to federal immigration officials.
In 1994, 95 million people tuned in to watch O.J. Simpson’s slow-motion police chase live on television. This past weekend, the Los Angeles Times released an investigative report about car chases, which found that the LAPD leads the state in bystander injuries. One in 10 LAPD pursuits results in injury to a bystander. We rewind the clock to examine how the car chase became such a cultural institution in this city in the first place.
Not all car chases involve the police, of course. Here in L.A., it’s often paparazzi speeding after celebrities. A few years ago, California lawmakers even voted to punish photographers who drive recklessly with jail sentences and $2,500 fines. One paparazzo who was prosecuted for speeding after Justin Bieber is now fighting that law in court. Whatever the outcome, however, that’s only one setback celebrity photographers have faced in recent years. Public backlash and social media have eroded what was once an incredibly lucrative profession. But the paparazzi aren’t quite gone for good.
If you watch “C.S.I.,” you know about DNA. Just a few cells from a blood stain, a light switch, even a toothpick, is enough to identify the bad guy, or set the innocent free. At least, that’s how it works on TV. In real life, it turns out that what we think of as infallible evidence may not be so reliable. Madeleine speaks to the author of a new book about the dark side of DNA.
Erin E. Murphy
This week in our Monday TV roundup, the very last episode of America’s Next Top Model will air December 4th, marking the end of a reality TV era. Also, Saturday Night Live is back after four decades on the air, and the presidential race is giving it grist for its comedy mill. Madeleine catches up on these and other small screen stories of the week.