Wednesday, March 13, 2013

AirTalk for Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Contact: Producers Joel Patterson, Jasmin Tuffaha & Anny Celsi



Thursday, March 14, 2013



11:06 –11:20
Topic: OPEN
Guest: TBD

Father Thomas Rausch, Loyola Marymount University (local Jesuit)
Rev. James Martin, S.J., America Magazine (author, The Jesuit’s Guide to (Almost) Everything)

11:20 -11:40
Topic: Should "The Biggest Loser" put struggling kids on national TV? Doctors are raising concerns about featuring children on "The Biggest Loser" reality show. It's the first time the popular weight-loss competition has included overweight teenagers. The producers say it will raise awareness of the epidemic of childhood obesity. Lindsay Bravo, a 13-year old from Fillmore, California, is one of the "Biggest Loser" kids. She said she wants to drop pounds so she can have more friends and stop being bullied. The teens are not being treated the same as adult competitors. They get access to personal trainers, nutritionists and doctors, but will not be subject to elimination as adults are. Still, one doctor was worried by a recent episode showing the 16-year old contestant, Sunny Chandrasekar, celebrating her birthday by eating a mandarin orange instead of any sweets. Is teaching deprivation the best way to achieve long-term health for overweight kids? Should potentially vulnerable teens go through this process on national television? Will it help parents and kids who are dealing with the same issues?

Guest: Dave Broome, Executive Producer & Co-creator, “The Biggest Loser” reality show about weight-loss


Guest: Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, (“YOH-nee”), Medical Director, Bariatric Medical Institute in Ottawa; Board-Certified Physician by the American Board of Bariatric Medicine; Blogs at


11:40 - 12:00
Topic: Can information obtained under “truth serum” be used in court? The idea of using “truth serum” to get a subject to open up and spill the beans goes back to ancient Rome, when people noticed the tongue-loosening effects of wine. But is information obtained under the influence admissible in court? This week, a judge in Colorado ruled that prosecutors could use a “truth serum” – most likely a drug such as sodium amytal – to extract uninhibited testimony from James Holmes. Holmes is suspected of the shooting spree in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater last July that left 12 dead and 58 injured; his lawyers are expected to enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.  The “truth serum” option is being considered as a way to determine whether or not Holmes was indeed insane at the time of the shooting.  But experts question both the legal and the medical validity of the technique.  Starting in the 1920’s, barbiturates such as Pentothal and Amytal were sometimes used by police departments and in courtrooms, but by the 1950’s they had been judged more or less invalid by the scientific community. In 1963 the Supreme Court declared drug-induced confessions unconstitutional and therefore inadmissible. The Holmes case would mirror the 1959 trial of accused killer Raymond Cartier, with a twist: in that case, truth serum was used by the defense to support their claim that Cartier had been insane at the time of his wife’s murder. Does the use of barbiturates to elicit a courtroom confession violate the defendant’s 5th Amendment right to remain silent? Can anything said under such conditions be considered valid - or “truthful?”  Is there any such thing as a reliable “truth serum,” or is this just the stuff of spy novels?

Guest: Laurie Levenson, professor of Law, Loyola Law School and a former federal prosecutor


12:06 – 12:20
Topic: Where does a medal for drone warfare rank?: There’s a new military medal and it’s getting a lot of flak. Last month, former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta last month approved the new Distinguished Warfare Medal, which is awarded to drone pilots and cyber warfare troops that do not directly engage in ground combat.  It’s the first new military medal of this caliber to be introduced since 1944, and would outrank combat-only medals like the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.  Veteran organizations and some members of Congress think that’s just not fair. They’ve asked the Pentagon to downgrade the new medal, arguing that it shouldn’t take precedence over traditional combat awards, which a soldier has to risk his or her life in order to qualify for.  Department of Defense officials say it’s important to recognize the contributions of soldiers operating in what is surely the wave of the future, cyber warfare.  Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who has two Purple Hearts for his service in Vietnam, has ordered a 30-day review of the medal’s ranking and production has been halted in the interim.  Is the new medal fair, or necessary? Should the Pentagon rethink its designation? Does cyber-warfare carry the same amount of risk as traditional combat?

Guest: Lieutenant Commander Nate Christensen, Department of Defense spokesman

VIA ISDN                 

Guest: Joe Davis, Director of Public Affairs, Veterans of Foreign Wars


12:20 – 12:40
Topic:  Serving time...on the jury: To many people, the most disappointing piece of mail that they can find in their mailbox is the one that reads “JURY SUMMONS.”  It can mean taking a day or more off of work, finding a babysitter, and spending hours sitting in uncomfortable chairs in a boring room.  But are we as Americans taking the wrong approach to serving on a jury?  It can be easy to forget how important jury duty is in America. In his new book, Andrew Ferguson explains why jury duty matters. It is a shared tradition that connects people from all races, classes, and backgrounds. What most people see as an annoyance is the only right that shows up in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. And not everyone dreads it - some find jury service a fascinating peek into the inner workings of our justice system. Have you ever served on a jury? Did you find it a tedious duty, or an enjoyable experience? What will you do next time you’re called?

Guest: Andrew Ferguson, author of “Why Jury Duty Matters: A Citizens Guide to Constitutional Action”


12:40 – 1:00
Topic: Bringing Woody Guthrie’s ‘House of Earth’ to life: When songwriter and folk hero Woody Guthrie died in 1967 at the age of 55, he left behind paintings, sketches, journals, and over 3,000 songs. His autobiography, Bound For Glory, was published in 1943, and has become somewhat of a cult classic. But this year, the 100th anniversary of Guthrie’s birthday, his only known novel has been published. House of Earth, a long-lost novel written by Guthrie in 1947, was published on February 5, 2013 by Harper under actor Johnny Depp's publishing imprint, Infinitum Nihil. Guthrie apparently was unable to have the novel published during his lifetime. Johnny Depp and New York Times bestselling author and historian Douglas Brinkley edited and co-wrote the introduction.

Guest: Douglas Brinkley, author and historian, co-editor (with Johnny Depp) of House of Earth, by Woody Guthrie

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