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On Capitol Hill, hearings have begun into what Republican Congressman Peter King calls the "radicalization" of American Muslims. In Los Angeles, a local imam and an orthodox rabbi warn the hearings could make the threat of terrorism worse rather than better. Also, the death penalty was abolished yesterday by the Governor of Illinois. What about California under Governor Jerry Brown? On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, at a crucial moment in the effort to restore federal funding for public broadcasting, NPR appears to have shot itself in the foot for a second time. Is there real evidence of biased news reporting or administrative incompetence? Is taxpayer money needed to perpetuate reliable coverage to compete with the commercial focus on opinion and commentary?

Banner image: Peter King (R-NY), Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, gavels to order the first in a series of hearings on radicalization in the American Muslim community, March 10, 2011. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Making News Sardine Die-off 5 MIN, 52 SEC

An estimated one million fish apparently have swept ashore in Redondo Beach's King Harbor by abnormal currents on Tuesday. In the relatively small marina, scientists say their number exhausted the available oxygen in the water. Some 35 tons of dead fish have already been removed from the surface, but there's still a layer some two feet high lying on the bottom. Seth Lawrence, who lives on a boat in King Harbor, cares for the creatures at the Santa Monica Aquarium, which is run by Heal the Bay.

Seth Lawrence, King Harbor resident

Main Topic Terrorism and Stereotyping in Southern California 14 MIN, 4 SEC

As he opened his hearings on what he calls the "radicalization" of Muslims in the US, New York Congressman Peter King responded to critics who call it a "witch hunt," saying that "to back down would be a craven surrender to political correctness… Despite what passes for conventional wisdom in certain circles, there is nothing radical or un-American in holding these hearings." In the latest edition of the Jewish Journal, two local leaders take strong exception to King and warn that his hearings could "exacerbate" the reality of the terrorist threat rather than remediate it.  They are an unusual pairing: Imam Jihad Turk and orthodox Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky.

Yosef Kanefsky, B'nai David-Judea
Jihad Turk, Bayan Claremont Islamic Graduate School (@jihad_turk)

Reporter's Notebook Will Illinois' Direction on the Death Penalty Impact California? 5 MIN, 50 SEC

Yesterday Democratic Governor Pat Quinn made Illinois the sixteenth state without capital punishment. He said there is no way to design a "perfect" system without the flaws that can lead to discrimination and wrongful convictions. There are 712 prisoners on California's death row, waiting for a federal judge to decide if the death penalty can be administered humanely. Mike Farrell, a self-described "actor, activist, writer and biker," leads the group Death Penalty Focus.

Mike Farrell, Death Penalty Focus (@DPFocus)

Main Topic Public Broadcasting in the Cross Hairs 26 MIN, 50 SEC

npr.jpgRepublicans in Congress have de-funded public broadcasting, and the cuts include $94 million the Corporation for Public Broadcasting gives to public radio stations, which then help to fund NPR. Two embarrassing incidents have made NPR's struggle to get the money restored more difficult than it had to be.

Jill Drew, Columbia Journalism Review
Alicia Shepard, National Public Radio
David Boaz, Cato Institute
Eric Alterman, The Nation
Maxie Jackson, National Federation of Community Broadcasters


Warren Olney

Katie Cooper
Sonya Geis

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