As Russia’s military presence continues to grow in Ukraine, we look at the mindset of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and we discuss the cultural identity of Ukrainians. Also, the death of a 27-year-old assistant camera operator working on a film in Georgia has Hollywood craftspeople up in arms. We also talk about the latest political wranglings in Sacramento, now that Democrats have lost their supermajority. We look at the idea of “peak car,” and we look at the pseudo-science you may run into at your local grocery store.
FROM THIS EPISODE
The tensions have escalated on the Crimean Peninsula in eastern Ukraine, with a major Russian military presence strengthening in numbers and occupying the region’s capital over the weekend. But how does Vladimir Putin rationalize his occupation of Ukraine? To get inside Putin’s head, we called up Kathyrn Stoner, a political scientist at Stanford University and expert in Russian leadership.
To put it in the broadest strokes, the conflict in the Ukrainian is being driven by the clashing views Ukrainians have of their own history and relationship with Russia. We look at the Ukrainian identity.
Robert English, University of Southern California
Sarah Elizabeth Jones was a 27-year-old assistant camera operator and she was killed while working on a film in Georgia on February 20th. Hollywood craftspeople are angry about her death, and an online petition with something like 60-thousand signatures helped convince the academy to add her name to the Oscar memorial.
California Senate Democrats have, at least temporarily, lost two members to corruption charges: Ronald Calderon from Montebello and Roderick Wright from Inglewood. That means the Democrats no longer have their supermajority in the Senate, so they’ll need to get at least some Republican support in order to pass legislation. That hasn’t always been so easy.
Driving to work today, crawling our way along packed freeways, it’s hard to imagine that LA will ever get less congested. But according to people who follow the auto industry, it’s mega-cities like ours that are prompting a change in car culture and getting people to rethink the way they get around. In fact, industry insiders say we may be reaching what they call “Peak Car.”
The same people who scoff at climate change deniers and creationism may be just as guilty of buying into pseudoscience as their conservative counterparts, according to our guest. Writer Michael Schulson says you just have to look to Whole Foods as an example. GMO-free carrots, homeopathic nasal sprays for allergy sufferers, book titles like “The Coconut Oil Miracle” - what are these based on?
Michael Schulson, The Daily Beast
More From Press Play with Madeleine Brand
The decline of American manufacturing During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump called out a steel manufacturer for closing a plant in Indiana and moving it to Mexico. The plant still closed and jobs were lost. We speak with a reporter who spent a year documenting the closing of the plant, and tells the story of one woman who worked her way up to supervisor and then had to train her Mexican replacement.
Why is it so hard to publish stories critical of powerful men? One of the main reasons the Harvey Weinstein stories didn’t get out sooner was that the Hollywood press couldn’t -- or wouldn’t -- publish them. KCRW’s Kim Masters has a story about another big executive: Amazon’s Roy Price.
Can Kevin de Leon unseat Sen. Dianne Feinstein? California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon announced his challenge to Senator Dianne Feinstein. He is capitalizing on a fury in the state against the president, and painting Feinstein as too accommodating of Trump.
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