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FROM THIS EPISODE

Today we start with a political twofer: Donald Trump is now the established front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, and Jeb Bush dropped out despite his massive super PAC. Could the influence of super PACs be overblown?

Then, will Trump be able to keep his momentum for Super Tuesday on March 1?

Next, Compton has a long history as an agricultural horse town. We hear from a Compton rodeo rider and a historical expert.

After that, a discussion of the new book West of Eden.

And finally, what can be done to make Hollywood more diverse?

Banner image: Poster for Fire on the Hill

Producers:
Matt Holzman
Anna Scott
Jolie Myers
Christian Bordal
Laura Swisher

Twilight of the Super PAC 9 MIN, 17 SEC

Donald Trump is now the established front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination after yet another win last night, this time in the Nevada caucuses. He often says he is self-financed. It’s true he’s spent some of his own money, around $17 million. But a lot of his money comes from small donors, and Trump has minimal super PAC support compared to his rivals. The pro-Jeb Bush Right to Rise super PAC raised more than $100 million, far more than any of the others. But it couldn’t get him out of single digits in most states. Does this mean the influence of super PACs is overblown?

Guests:
David Frum, The Atlantic (@davidfrum)

Super Tuesday GOP 8 MIN, 18 SEC

As we just heard, Trump continues to dominate the GOP race even without much super PAC money. We’ll find out if he’ll be able to keep this momentum going next Tuesday, Super Tuesday. That’s when voters from around a dozen states head to the polls.

Guests:
Reid Wilson, The Hill (@PoliticsReid)

Compton's History as a Horse Town 8 MIN, 56 SEC

Yesterday, L.A. County supervisors voted to renovate Magic Johnson Park in South L.A. The park is near Compton. It’s 104 acres and the county plans to spend $135 million making it over. But some residents are unhappy about part of that plan, a new equestrian center. They say they don’t want to live next door to horses, even though neighboring Compton has a long history as a horse town, a history that continues today. Right in the middle of the rough city immortalized by NWA, Compton’s historic agricultural district is alive and well.

Guests:
Rachel Surls, Cooperative Extension (@RachelSurls)
Tre Hosely, Rodeo Rider (@LT_Hosley)

'West of Eden' 14 MIN, 12 SEC

The history of Los Angeles is a history of the families that shaped it. Oral historian and author Jean Stein tells the stories of five families who shaped our city in her new book, West of Eden, including her own family, the Steins. Her father was Jules Stein, founder of the media giant MCA in the 1920s. The Dohenys, the Garlands, the Warners and the Selznicks round out the cast of characters in West of Eden. Stein’s works, few but incredibly influential, tackle similar themes: The cult of celebrity, the loneliness of fame, and the tensions between West Coast and East Coast ideas of success.

Guests:
Maria Russo, New York Times Book Review (@mariarussonyt)

West of Eden

Jean Stein

Oscar Diversity 10 MIN, 31 SEC

The Oscar nominations are once again shining a spotlight on the lack of diversity in Hollywood. Not surprisingly, the author of a damning new report by USC Annenberg calls the business a “straight, white, boy’s club.” The question is: What can really be done about it? Variety asked a lot of people that question and printed a five-point plan called “Oscar & Diversity: 5 Ways to Fix Hollywood’s Imbalance.”

Guests:
Tim Gray, Variety (@timgray_variety)

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