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FROM THIS EPISODE

There’s an election coming up next week for seven city council seats and three school board seats. We look at the outside money from special interests pouring into the races: where is it coming from, and what’s it meant to buy? Next, we turn to the state capital to look at the showdown shaping up between Governor Jerry Brown and University of California president Janet Napolitano over funding for the UC system. Then, Bill O’Reilly’s Brian Williams moment. And finally, the unbelievable story of how a North Korean dictator kidnapped a South Korean filmmaker in an attempt to build a North Korean Hollywood. And we take a closer look at the work of that kidnapped filmmaker, Shin Sang-ok.

Banner Image: Los Angeles City Hall; Credit: Neon Tommy

Producers:
Christian Bordal
Matt Holzman
Jolie Myers
Anna Scott

Outside Money in Local Elections 10 MIN, 8 SEC

Angelenos hopefully know there’s an election next week. Seven city council seats and three school board seats are up for grabs, and a couple of charter amendments are on the ballot that would move election day to line up with state and national timelines -- a move intended to increase voter turnout. Last time, the rate was just 23 percent of registered voters. Special interests, on the other hand, are clamoring to get involved in the election. From a billboard company to an apparel manufacturer, firefighters and labor groups, money is flowing into these campaigns. What do all these outside parties want?

Guests:
David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times (@DavidZahniser)
Vanessa Romo, LA School Report (@vanromo)

A Showdown Over UC Funding 7 MIN, 44 SEC

University of California President Janet Napolitano says she’ll hold off on raising tuition for the next six months. But it’s only temporary relief. Napolitano says costs will go up after that, possibly as much as 28 percent over the next five years, unless the UC system gets more taxpayer dollars. Governor Jerry Brown, on the other hand, says Napolitano needs to freeze tuition and cut costs if she wants more government funding. The conflict came to a head in Sacramento recently, with lawmakers calling on both sides to do some explaining.

Guests:
John Myers, Los Angeles Times (@johnmyers)

More:
Can UC Answer These 5 Big Questions About Its Spending?

Bill O’Reilly’s Brian Williams Moment? 8 MIN, 41 SEC

Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News show is the top-rated cable show. But now O’Reilly’s been accused by the liberal magazine Mother Jones of inflating his wartime experience in Argentina during the Falklands War. In the magazine, David Corn wrote that O’Reilly has repeatedly claimed to have reported from the Falklands war. O’Reilly says he reported on the war but from Buenos Aires, 1,200 miles away. Today, new allegations have come out about O’Reilly embellishing his reporting career. Another liberal publication, Media Matters, says O’Reilly has repeatedly lied about being present when an associate of Lee Harvey Oswald committed suicide. What’s the merit of the allegations, and how much do they matter?

Guests:
Tom Rosenstiel, Executive Director, American Press Institute (@tbr1)

A Kim Jong-Il Production 15 MIN, 41 SEC

The movie The Interview is not kind to North Korea’s current dictator. In the movie, Kim Jong-un is enamored of James Franco’s TV host character. But the idea of a North Korean dictator obsessed with Western show biz isn’t entirely fiction. Kim Jong-un’s father, Kim Jong-il, was obsessed with movies. He had his own personal collection of thousands of American films and wanted to build a North Korean film industry that would rival Hollywood. So he kidnapped one of South Korea’s most-famous directors and his actress wife to force them to make films for him. The strange episode is chronicled in a new book, and we hear from the author.

Guests:
Paul Fischer, author, 'A Kim Jong-il Production' (@twocents77)

Shin Sang-Ok 6 MIN, 29 SEC

After hearing about how North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il kidnapped filmmaker Shin Sang-Ok to make films in the north for a decade, we take a closer look at the director’s work. Shin was a prolific and popular filmmaker in South Korea in the 1960s. His studio made more than 300 movies. He died in 2006 at the age of 80. What are his movies about, and why were they important?

Guests:
Goran Topalovic, New York Asian Film Festival (@goranfilm)

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