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FROM THIS EPISODE

President Obama appointed Ron Klain, a veteran political operative, as the so-called Ebola czar today. Does Klain’s lack of healthcare expertise matter? Then, we get a rundown of highlights on the Nov. 4 California ballot. Next up, we get an explainer on “Gamergate,” a controversy over the harassment of women who criticize the male-dominated world of online gaming. In our weekly film segment, we hear about the latest box office offerings including Fury and Birdman. And finally, why are clowns so scary?

Banner Image Credit: George F

The New “Ebola Czar” 7 MIN, 33 SEC

President Obama appointed Ron Klain as the administration’s so-called Ebola czar today, putting him in charge of coordinating the government’s response to the virus. Klain served as chief of staff to Vice President Biden and former Vice President Al Gore, but doesn’t have a healthcare background. Is that a problem?

Guests:
Charles Ornstein, ProPublica (@charlesornstein)

Sizing Up California’s Ballot 7 MIN, 12 SEC

On Nov. 4, California voters will go to the polls to decide state, congressional, and local races, along with a handful of propositions. We hear about some highlights, and why we should get to our polling places on election day.

Guests:
Raphael Sonenshein, California State University, Los Angeles (@SonensheinPBI)

Why #Gamergate Isn’t About Games 11 MIN, 21 SEC

Feminist Anita Sarkeesian was scheduled to give a speech at the University of Utah this week on misogyny in video games. But the talk never happened. The school had received multiple threats on Sarkeesian’s life, and she cancelled the event after learning there were no plans to increase campus security. We hear about how the incident fit into a bigger harassment campaign known as “Gamergate.”

Guests:
Xeni Jardin, BoingBoing.net (@xeni)

Birdman, Fury, and More 10 MIN, 51 SEC

On Friday, we talk movies in our weekly film roundup. On the docket this week: Birdman, Fury, The Book of Life, and more.

Guests:
Mark Ellis, Schmoes Know (@https://twitter.com/SchmoesKnow)
Grae Drake, Rotten Tomatoes (@graedrake)

A History of Scary Clowns 8 MIN, 50 SEC

The new season of the FX series American Horror Story: Freak Show adds the homicidal Twisty to the canon of terrifying clowns. Professional clowns are not happy about it. We hear about the long history of scary clowns in pop culture, and the psychology behind why they freak us out so much.

Guests:
Linda Rodriguez McRobbie, freelance writer and journalist (@LinRod)

More:
The History and Psychology of Clowns Being Scary

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