Press Play with Madeleine Brand-logo

Press Play with Madeleine Brand


Host Madeleine Brand looks at news, culture and emerging trends through the lens of Los Angeles.

Host Madeleine Brand looks at news, culture and emerging trends through the lens of Los Angeles.


Santa Monica, CA




Host Madeleine Brand looks at news, culture and emerging trends through the lens of Los Angeles.




Why does NFL have few Black head coaches, even with Rooney Rule?

Today nearly 60% of NFL players are Black, only three head coaches are Black, and zero team owners are Black, according to a Washington Post investigation. Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes could end up spending 20 years behind bars — if he’s convicted for his role in the January 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection. Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday signed a bill that would make it easier for farmworkers to vote in union elections, though he originally opposed it. Critics review the latest film...

Abigail Disney comes out against her family’s company for pay inequity

Abigail Disney, the great niece of Walt, has spent years calling out the company for not paying its workers a living wage. She co-directed the new documentary called “The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales.” Hurricane Ian is the first major storm to hit the Tampa Bay area in more than a century. Like many coastal regions, its population has rapidly grown. Explosions on the Nord Stream pipelines have disrupted natural gas supplies to Europe. Meanwhile, thousands of military-aged men are...

What happens if you ignore subpoenas from Jan. 6 Select Committee?

Wednesday was supposed to be the next January 6 insurrection hearing, but the U.S. House Select Committee postponed it due to Hurricane Ian threatening the Florida coast. What to expect when lawmakers reconvene? America often thinks of itself as a hero during World War II. But its culpability during the Holocaust is the subject is a new PBS documentary. Sometimes black market dealers buy blocks of restaurant reservations. So some establishments now have memberships for booking ahead.


Bad Bunny’s music is political force, connects with LGBTQ audiences

Bad Bunny’s latest music video focuses on Puerto Rico and its people’s ability to preserve amid chronic power outages five years after Hurricane Maria. Giorgia Meloni is likely to become Italy’s first female prime minister and the country’s first far-right leader since World War II. Her coalition won the most votes over the weekend. An Arizona judge has ruled the state’s Civil War-era prohibition of abortions can be enforced. It’s the latest state to restrict access to the procedure. The...


Defiant protests sweep Iran over Mahsa Amini’s death, hijab laws

Protests are raging in Iran and across the world this week in response to 22-year-old Mahsa Amini’s death in police custody. She was arrested for not properly wearing her hijab. Wednesday night’s debates were heated between LA County sheriff candidates Robert Luna and Alex Villanueva, plus mayoral hopefuls Karen Bass and Rick Caruso. Nearly a year has passed since cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot and killed while filming “Rust.” The incident is still under investigation. Critics...


What’s driving more Venezuelan migrants to US?

More Venezuelans are fleeing their home country to the U.S., and they’ve become pawns in a political fight between Republican governors and Democratic mayors. When seeing a doctor, each diagnosis, procedure, and service has a code. Those labels and classifications affect what insurance will pay for, but they haven’t kept up with transgender care. During one of Donald Trump’s recent rallies, he appeared to embrace QAnon, a fringe movement that combines conspiracy theories, putting Trump at...


COVID brain fog: Can’t drive, can’t read, how to recover?

Brain fog is one of the most misunderstood long-haul COVID symptoms, according to science writer Ed Yong. It makes planning and concentrating nearly impossible. The ACLU is suing the LA County Sheriff’s Department over what it calls “barbaric” and “medieval” conditions at the county jail system’s Inmate Reception Center. The new CNN documentary series, “The Murdochs: Empire of Influence,” is a result of a long New York Times investigation into media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s rise to...


China’s ‘zero-COVID’ policy: How long can it go on?

China is still enforcing strict COVID-19 restrictions, including lockdowns that force millions of people to stay in their homes for days on end. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis flew about 50 migrants seeking asylum to Massachusetts. Can politicians be prosecuted for this action? Penny Wolin photographed intimate portraits of people who lived at Hollywood’s St. Francis Hotel in 1975. Now they’re published in a book called “Guest Register.” Queen Elizabeth was beloved in Britain, but as the...


Fentanyl-laced pills can look like anti-anxiety meds. How to protect teens?

Teens are typically looking for anti-anxiety or ADHD pills, or lower-strength opioids, but many illicit, fentanyl-laced pills on the market that resemble legit drugs, says one professor. The LA Sheriff’s Department raided County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s home as part of an investigation into a contract awarded to a nonprofit run by one of her friends. Critics review the latest film releases: “See How They Run,” “The Woman King,” “The Silent Twins,” and “Moonage Daydream.” Whether they’re...


‘California Soul’: Journey from drugs to jail to restaurant co-ownership

With inflation and concerns about crime, this election cycle doesn’t bode well for Biden and Democrats, while Republicans are in a good position to win November races, says TIME Magazine’s Molly Ball. Fred Franzia, who created Trader Joe’s “Two Buck Chuck” discount wine, died on Tuesday at age 79. He said no wine bottle should cost more than $10.


Cannabis black market poses threat to CA rural communities

The consumer price index has risen by 8.3% since last August. It comes as the cost of important essentials such as food, medical care, and rent increases. The iIllegal cannabis market is taking over rural California and crippling local farmers. It’s also brought environmental destruction and worker exploitation. Director Jean-Luc Godard died at the age of 91. The French New Wave pioneer revolutionized the conventional form of film. The Players Choir is a group of singing and dancing NFL...


LA mayoral candidates’ USC controversies: Are voters paying close attention?

In the race to become LA’s next mayor, Congresswoman Karen Bass and businessman Rick Caruso are trading barbs over their history with scandal-plagued USC. Donald Trump’s lawyers are still trying to block the FBI from using classified documents seized from Mar-a-Lago as part of their criminal investigation. This month’s heat wave broke temperature records across the American West, and now the top of Mount Shasta is largely brown. It used to have almost year-round snow cap. Queen Elizabeth...


At the unveiling of Michelle Obama portrait, artist was startled and tearful

New York-based artist Sharon Sprung shares her process of painting former first lady Michelle Obama’s official White House portrait. At the U.S. Open, Novak Djokovic didn’t play at all due to COVID-19 vaccine rules, Serena Williams lost in the third round of three sets, and new young players stepped up. “Clerks” grossed $3 million at the box office, but director Kevin Smith says he didn’t get rich off of it. He also explains how a heart attack turned around his life, and weighs in on...


More heat waves, more AC demand: How can CA power grid handle it?

As a heat wave continues in California, policies about air conditioning access are distorted, says a USC professor. And 20% of LA households don’t have AC. To quench thirst in this heat, Good Food’s Evan Kleiman recommends agua fresca, an iced drink made of water and minced or pureed fruit or vegetables, sweetened with sugar, and seasoned with lime or lemon juice. Due to drought, vital agricultural products — corn, wheat and tomatoes — are seeing the lowest yields in years. What does this...


Amid extreme heat and drought, PG&E faces more pressure to fix its system

California is loaning ​​PG&E more than $1 billion to keep the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant running. The utility company’s equipment sparked the 2018 Camp Fire. New Omicron-specific booster shots are now available at some LA locations and should provide increased protection against infection and hospitalization. A federal judge in Florida on Monday appointed a so-called “special master” to pore over thousands of documents the FBI seized from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. “House of the...


Curriculums need a ‘refresh’ to fight COVID learning losses

U.S. school kids lost two decades of reading and math progress, largely because of COVID-induced remote classes, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Around 80% of high schoolers get fewer than eight hours of sleep per night, and research shows they need more to maintain good mental health. A new California law mandating later school start times might help. Critics review the latest film releases: “Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul,” “Burial,” “The Invitation,” and “Gigi...


Biden’s student loan forgiveness: Unclear how many will benefit

Critics of Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan say it’s unfair to people who already paid off their debts, and that it could add to already surging inflation. A declining fish population in the polluted Gulf Coast spurred clashes between Vietnamese fishermen and KKK members after the Vietnam War. It’s the focus of Kirk Wallace Johnson’s new book. To celebrate the last breath of summer, try picking your own fruits and vegetables from local farms. There’s still time to enjoy berries,...


Heatwaves are ‘more dangerous than we realize,’ says scientist

Triple-digit temperatures can cause cramps, exhaustion, and heat stroke for vulnerable individuals. A research scientist gives tips on protecting yourself and your neighbors. To address drought, some people are proposing a giant pipeline to ferry water from the Mississippi River over the Rockies and through California’s parched deserts. If the CDC greenlights a new COVID booster, people could start getting shots after Labor Day. But “demand is really weak and tepid,” says one science...


NASA aims to send Americans back to the moon. Worthwhile?

NASA’s new moon rocket, Artemis 1, was expected to launch today, but the space agency scrapped the unmanned mission. It’s expected to try again on Friday. The Justice Department on Friday released a redacted version of the affidavit that supported the search warrant for the FBI’s raid at former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home Tech mogul Barre Seid quietly gave $1.6 billion to Marble Freedom Trust, which is run by Leonard A. Leo, who used to be the executive vice president of the...


CA could pay you thousands to go electric after new gas car ban

The California Air Resources Board is expected to finalize Gov. Newsom’s order that bans the sale of gas-powered cars by 2035. People will still be able to buy a used gas car here. When Rapid City got a new conservative school board, a principal preemptively banned Dave Eggers’ “The Circle.” The author uncovered an atmosphere of fear among teachers. School boards nationwide are now a battleground for the nation’s culture wars. One of the biggest groups leading the charge is Moms for...