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.
FROM THIS EPISODE
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
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.”
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.
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.
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)
More From Press Play with Madeleine Brand
Inside the Walmart that's now a shelter for migrant children President Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy has led to more than 1300 kids being separated from their families at the border. Many of those kids end up in government shelters. A Walmart in Brownsville, Texas has been converted into a shelter called Casa Padre. We learn what life is like inside. We also speak with a man who quit his job at an Arizona shelter after being forced to tell kids they can’t hug.
What the AT&T and Time Warner merger means for Hollywood A federal judge Tuesday approved the merger between AT&T and Time Warner. This rebuffs President Trump’s efforts to block the $85 billion deal. This new AT&T-Time Warner company would own CNN, the library of HBO, and wireless and satellite TV services across the country.
What it takes to make a living in the WNBA The LA Sparks are considered one of the top teams in the WNBA. Nneka Ogwumike is a power forward on the team. She says the pay is so low that many women play abroad in the off-season. She herself plays in Russia in the winter.
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