PATT MORRISON SCHEDULE
Friday, January 6, 2012
CALL-IN @ 866-893-5722, 866-893-KPCC; OR JOIN THE CONVERSATION ONLINE ON THE PATT MORRISON BLOG AT KPCC-DOT-ORG
1:06 –1:30 - OPEN
1:30 – 1:58:30
Money, money, money: that’s what it takes to run for office and what many make when they get there
Nearly half of the members of Congress are millionaires. And according to recent articles published in The New York Times and The Washington Post, the median net worth for members of Congress in 2011 ($913,000) is over nine times the median net worth for the average American ($100,000). The New York Times reports that “the median net worth for Congress members jumped 15 percent between 2004 and 2010,” held steady for the richest 10 percent and dropped 8 percent for all other Americans. The wealth gap between members of Congress and the average American has some concerned about their ability to relate to the issues most citizens are grabbling with like unemployment, health care and the cost of education. Congress members make about $175,000, but seem to acquire wealth while in office. How does the office become lucrative for candidates and should it? Are Congress members too focused on their bottom line and not connected enough with the average American’s? Does a potential candidate have to have vast economic resources to run for office? Does our current political system make it impossible for a person of humble means to acquire a position in Congress?
Daniel Newman, president & co-founder of MapLight; MapLight is a nonpartisan research organization the reveal money's influence on politics
Representative from the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit research group.
2:06 – 2:30
Access to porn in libraries: What’s the line between censorship and free speech?
Back in November, a homeless man at the public library in Laguna Beach was accused of touching himself in a not-so-appropriate way while looking at internet porn at the library. The fact that he even had access to porn in a known public institution focused on tenets of learning, reading and the inclusion of both children and adults came as a shock to some. Yet librarians, aware of protecting free-speech rights, have said they are obligated to provide internet access, even when the patron accesses porn. In the case of porn access at libraries, what constitutes free speech protection, and what constitutes censorship? In 2003, the Supreme Court upheld a law that public libraries receiving certain types of federal funding have the authority to filter out pornography and obscene material considered damaging to minors. Yet privacy filters may block out other content, such as access to websites with the words “breast cancer.” According to the American Library Association, librarians have the authority to intervene when patrons are viewing what may be deemed as inappropriate content by either tapping someone on the shoulder or making that person leave the library outright. Do you think librarians should take a more active role in limiting access to online content, including porn? What about the possible use of privacy screens, or a separate monitored room for adults?
Eugene Volokh (VAH-luhk), law professor at UCLA School of Law specializing in free speech and criminal law
Barbara Jones, director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom
2:30 – 2:50
Midseason TV heats up this winter
Patt previews the new television offerings of 2012, and it’s an interesting mix, spanning everything from Broadway musicals to prison mysteries “Lost” producer J.J. Abrams, returns with another unusual series called “Alcatraz,” a suspense-filled drama about mysterious events that unfold on the infamous prison island. Dustin Hoffman stars in a new HBO drama called “Luck,” fashioned by “Deadwood” creator David Milch, about the world of horse racing. Fans of the Tom Hanks show “Bosom Buddies” will probably enjoy the new sitcom “Work It,” about two men who dress as women in order to remain employed. “Glee” fans might also appreciate Steven Spielberg’s “Smash,” which follows the cast and crew of a fictional Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe. Other new shows that appear to be gaining traction are “Awake,” “Touch,” and Showtime’s “House of Lies.” What new shows are you most looking forward to watching? How do you rate the 2011-2012 TV season overall?
Robert Thompson, trustee professor of Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University, where he is also the founding director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture
2:50:00 – 2:58:30
“Downton Abbey” returns to PBS for season 2
Although not new, “Downton Abbey,” one of the most critically acclaimed shows on television, returns with its second season premier this Sunday. The PBS British period drama follows the staff and inhabitants of the country house Downton Abbey and has been compared to series like “Upstairs, Downstairs.” Americans kicked out King George III, so why do we love all that lord and lady stuff? PBS is hoping the show will attract new viewers and “re-brand” public television a bit more like the top-tier programming on commercial channels like HBO and Showtime. Why are American audiences so enthralled with shows about class relations and why, with the exception of films like “The Help,” don’t you see more of that in American pop culture?
Julian Fellowes, creator and writer, “Downton Abbey”
David Schmid, associate professor of English at the University of Buffalo, where he teaches Cultural Studies, Popular Culture, 20th Century and Contemporary British and American Fiction
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