00:00:00 | 3:02:50




Twenty-five years ago today, Rodney King’s brutal beating by the LAPD was caught on video. What’s changed since then when it comes to police brutality and how the media covers similar incidents now?

Also, how has social media influenced the national conversation about race?

Next, the latest on the Apple v. FBI conflict and more.

After that, hear from the real-life reporter who inspired the new Tina Fey movie Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. And finally, a primer on the craziest ballot proposals of 2016.

Police Brutality and Rodney King, 25 Years Later 9 MIN, 53 SEC

Remember when Rodney King’s brutal beating by the LAPD was caught on video? The nine minutes of grainy footage put an angry national spotlight on how the LAPD treated black people. The department has been through many reforms since then, but distrust between police and communities of color persists. Violence caught on camera has played a bigger and bigger role in that.

Darnell Hunt, UCLA Bunche Center for African American Studies (@BuncheUCLA)

The Power of Hashtag Activism 8 MIN, 20 SEC

Technology has changed the way police incidents are captured, viewed and shared. But how has social media been used to shape the national conversation that follows? For instance, Black Lives Matter is now a household phrase. How did that come to be? In what ways have the activists behind the movement used online media to try to effect real-world change?

Deen Freelon, American University’s Center for Media & Social Impact (@dfreelon)

Web Roundup: Apple v. FBI 8 MIN, 36 SEC

The battle between the FBI and Apple continues, and now Congress has gotten involved. We get the latest on that conflict, plus more tech news, in our regular Thursday web roundup with Xeni Jardin.

Xeni Jardin, BoingBoing.net (@xeni)

The Real-Life Reporter Behind 'Whiskey Tango Foxtrot' 13 MIN, 34 SEC

Tina Fey’s character in her new film, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is based on the real-life journalist Kim Barker. She served as the South Asia Bureau Chief for the Chicago Tribune From 2004 to 2009. During that time she covered the war in Afghanistan and also reported from Pakistan. She wrote about her experiences in her book The Taliban Shuffle, which came out in 2011. It’s a darkly comic memoir recounting life in the so-called “Kabubble,” the Kabul enclave of journalists, government officials, NGO workers, fixers and others brought together by war. Eventually, Tina Fey convinced Paramount Pictures to option the memoir.

Kim Barker, author, 'The Taliban Shuffle'; ProPublica (@kim_barker)

The Craziest Ballot Proposals of 2016 7 MIN, 6 SEC

California voters could be in for a bumper crop of ballot measures in November. One quippy Democratic campaign strategist said, “The voters pamphlet is going to look like the Encyclopaedia Britannica.” There are initiatives on gun control, minimum wage, taxes on cigarettes, and shrinking public pensions. Also, millions of dollars will be spent on a measure to legalize pot. The pharmaceutical industry has already put $40 million into defeating an initiative that would limit how much the state can pay for prescription drugs, and the plastic bag industry is spending millions to defeat a bag ban. But for every measure that makes it onto the ballot, there are many that never get that far. We get a rundown on the craziest proposals of 2016.

Hillel Aron, LA Weekly (@hillelaron)

Subscribe to the 5 Things To Do newsletter

Never miss the best of what to do with your free time.


More From Press Play with Madeleine Brand


Latest From KCRW

View Schedule


View All Events


Player Embed Code