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The first presidential debate is on Monday, but many critics say that the current debate format has overstayed its welcome. Why not run a crisis simulation instead? Then, a seemingly harmless cartoon character has been co opted by racist elements of the alt-right. We’ll explain the phenomenon of Pepe the Frog. Our weekly movie segment tackles The Magnificent Seven, Storks, Goat and The Dressmaker. Proto pop/punk musician Bob Mould has a show at the Hollywood Bowl this weekend. Mould tells Madeleine Brand about his new record. And finally, the LAPD has a new program to deal with the homeless. It’s called HOPE - Homeless Outreach and Proactive Engagement - and the officers involved have already housed dozens of formerly-homeless people. 

Make presidential debates great again 8 MIN, 21 SEC

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump meet for their first debate Monday night. But many critics of the current debate format complain that voters don’t actually learn much during these debates. One idea to disrupt the debates - make the candidates do crisis simulations to see how they make decisions under pressure.

Lee Drutman, New America

Want to be president? Show us how you’d handle a disaster.

How Pepe the Frog was co-opted by the alt-right 8 MIN, 6 SEC

In an election season that’s been criticized as cartoonish, it must be noted that actual cartoons are also playing a role. For example, Pepe the Frog. Pepe is a cartoon frog with sleepy eyes. He looks stoned and a bit self-satisfied. You may have encountered Pepe the Frog on the internet. It’s where he was born in a stoner web comic more than 10 years ago. But recently, Pepe’s been co-opted by racist elements of the alt-right. Pepe frequently shows up in anti-semitic and white supremacy memes which Donald Trump Jr. has tweeted. Now there is an official Pepe explainer on Hillary Clinton’s campaign website which warns that Pepe is, “more sinister than you might realize.”

Libby Nelson, Vox (@libbyanelson)

How Pepe the Frog went from harmless meme to the alt-right’s mascot for Donald Trump

Movie roundup: 'The Magnificent Seven' and 'Storks' 11 MIN, 6 SEC

We’re on the cusp of the prestige pictures dropping on audiences across the nation - it’s nearly Oscars season after all. Nearly. For now, we’ve got a Western remake, an animated film that doesn’t quite explain where babies come from and a couple indies like The Dressmaker and Goat.

Christy Lemire, What The Flick?! (@christylemire)
Matt Atchity, Rotten Tomatoes (@Matchity)

Pop-Punk pioneer Bob Mould 14 MIN, 11 SEC

It’s tough to imagine Husker Du’s fans sitting in their boxes at the Hollywood Bowl drinking chardonnay. But a lot of them will be there this weekend to see the band’s frontman Bob Mould. He, like his audience, has mellowed a bit. But not that much. If you take a listen to his new album Patch the Sky, you’ll hear the overdriven guitar he made famous back in the day.

Bob Mould, Musician (@bobmould)

BLOC PARTY • BOB MOULD • EZRA FURMAN at the Hollywood Bowl

LAPD's new program to police the homeless with empathy 6 MIN, 28 SEC

Police in LA have often been criticized for their approach to the homeless - rousting them, throwing away their belongings and arresting them for minor offenses. Now the city has a new strategy for policing the homeless. It’s based on compassion. A new team of police officers are acting more like social workers than cops.

LAPD Officer Josh Fillinger and an LAPD mental health specialist look inside a homeless encampment. (Photo: Anna Scott)

Anna Scott, Producer, 'Press Play' (@AnnaKCRW)

A day of compassionate policing with the LAPD

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