KCRW's Press Play with Madeleine Brand

KCRW's Press Play with Madeleine Brand

United States

Madeleine Brand examines the latest ideas and trends that are shaping our world and shaping Los Angeles. Madeleine talks with news makers, big thinkers, and everyday people as we map out our modern world. Monday through Friday, noon-1pm.


Emmy nominee Sterling K. Brown is optimistic about black stories on TV  

Sterling K. Brown won an Emmy for portraying Christopher Darden in “The People v. OJ Simpson.” He’s nominated again for his role as Randall Pearson on “This Is Us.” He joins us to talk about his work.

What does Bannon's departure mean for the White House and right-wing media?  

Steve Bannon was fired today, or quit, or left by mutual agreement -- depending on who you ask. We look at his time in the White House, the right-wing media environment he helped create, and whatever his future may be.

Zealous, terrifying women: Ann Dowd on her Emmy-nominated performances  

Ann Dowd earned two Emmy nominations this year. In “The Handmaid’s Tale,” she plays Aunt Lydia, a religious zealot who indoctrinates the handmaids. In “The Leftovers,” she plays Patti Levin, a cult leader who wants the world to live in perpetual mourning.

Trump's rise and America's fall  

President Donald Trump gave a startling, off-the-cuff press conference Tuesday, blaming “both sides” for recent violence in Charlottesville, and describing protesters opposed to white supremacists as “very violent.” That scene caused some to wonder how we got here.

Trump's off-the-cuff news conference: Alt-left, neo-Nazis and Charlottesville  

This afternoon, President Trump defended his initial response to the violence in Charlottesville, saying he needs all the facts before making a statement. He said there was blame on "both sides." He described some protesters opposed to the white supremacists as “very violent." And he wondered aloud about the removal of confederate statues.

The White House and white supremacy after Charlottesville violence  

It took President Trump two days to directly condemn white supremacists after they rampaged through Charlottesville, Virginia, inciting violence. One woman was killed and two state troopers died in a related accident.

How an amateur cyclist uncovered Russia's massive doping scheme  

Bryan Fogel wanted to find out how Lance Armstrong never failed a drug test despite doping. He found a Russian scientist who told him how to do it to himself. Then he helped reveal a massive doping scandal.

What do North Koreans think about Trump's saber rattling?  

President Trump’s impromptu threat of hitting North Korea with fire and fury on Tuesday launched 48 hours of breaking news coverage: Montages of missiles detonating, and graphics painting Trump and Kim Jong Un as mortal enemies.

Google's diversity problem  

Google has fired engineer James Damore, who wrote an internal memo saying “biological causes” are partially to blame for the low numbers of women in tech. Damore has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board. Google is also under investigation for paying female employees less.

Jeffrey Tambor on how 'Transparent' changed his life  

Jeffrey Tambor is nominated for a third Emmy for his star role in the Amazon show “Transparent.” It’s a nontraditional coming-of-age story about a 70-year-old trans woman named Maura Pfefferman.

Is this the most Evangelical White House ever?  

Pastor Ralph Drollinger runs a weekly bible study in the White House. About a dozen Cabinet members attend, as well as the CIA Director and Attorney General. President Trump doesn’t make it, but he receives a copy of the Pastor’s teachings every week.

Attorney General cracks down on leakers  

Jeff Sessions says the Department of Justice is open for business when it comes to ferreting out leakers, and he says he may also go after the press. He’s also instructed prosecutors to accept fewer plea deals and go for maximum sentences.

What we learn from transcript of Trump and Pena Nieto call  

A transcript of a phone call between President Trump and his Mexican counterpart Enrique Pena Nieto is getting attention today. Trump says the border wall is not the top issue between the two countries. And he asked Pena Nieto to stop saying publically that Mexico wouldn’t pay for the border wall.

Should the U.S. base its immigration system on Canada's?  

The White House wants to cut the number of green cards issued in half, and base immigration on a points system similar to Canada’s.

Are we in a new Cold War with Russia?  

Russia is getting ready to send as many as 100,000 troops to its Western border for military exercises. There have also been diplomatic fights, the expulsion of 755 American diplomats and staff, and sanctions passed by Congress. Some are wondering if this means a new Cold War.

LA 2028: Summer Olympics comes to Los Angeles  

The summer Olympics are coming back to Los Angeles -- 11 years from now. The International Olympic Committee has been talking to LA and Paris for years. Paris will get the games in 2024.

Is Anthony Scaramucci's tirade part of his communications strategy?  

White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci’s profane rant against his colleagues has stunned everyone. We look at his feud with Reince Priebus, and whether this kind of chaos and distraction is what the White House wants. Also, is Scaramucci the ultimate Italian-American stereotype?

Will iPhone manufacturer's $10 billion investment in U.S. come through?  

Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that makes iPhones, is planning to build a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin. But the company has a habit of not following through with big announcements.

Teju Cole on finding meaning in the invisibile  

Nigerian-American writer Teju Cole has a new book out called “Blind Spot.” It features hundreds of images -- spanning from Lagos to Berlin to Brooklyn -- with essays on what’s visible and invisible in the photos.

New comic envisions California seceding from the U.S.  

In the new graphic novel series “Calexit,” an autocratic president is deporting all immigrants. California secedes, but a civil war breaks out within the state, and parts of it are occupied by federal troops. A young Mexican immigrant flees LA and leads a resistance.

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