Midday | WYPR

Midday

Lloyd Fox The Baltimore Sun

When the Department of Justice issued its report on the findings of their investigation into the Baltimore City Police Department last summer, it stated unequivocally that the Police Department “engages in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the Constitution or Federal Law.”

What followed after that report was a series of negotiations between the DOJ and Baltimore City Police that resulted in a consent decree that outlined the ways in which the police could address the problems identified in the report.

The consent decree was announced on January 12th, just a week before the Trump Administration assumed power. It called for, among other things, the creation of a Community Oversight Task Force, new procedures for stops, searches and arrests, new directives concerning use of force, and enhanced training for officers. A judge was appointed to approve and oversee the implementation of the consent decree.

Last week, U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar held a hearing at the federal courthouse in Baltimore. Judge Bredar must sign the consent decree in order for it to be in effect. He asked the parties involved, including Mayor Catherine Pugh, about various aspects of the deal, to determine whether or not it is feasible. Signing the consent decree is one thing. Repairing the damage done to the relationship between citizens and the police is quite another. But the consent decree is seen by many to be an important first step in fixing the distrust that exists between the police and in particular, communities of color here in Charm City.

Today, an update on where things stand so far in this lengthy and complex process. Tom's guests today in Studio A are Ganesha Martin,  Chief of the Baltimore Police Department of Justice Compliance and Accountability. Ray Kelly is a community organizer, an advocate, an activist and the Co-director of the No Boundaries Coalition of Central West Baltimore. Kevin Rector covers, among other things, crime and the courts for the Baltimore Sun. We invited the Dept. of Justice to participate in our conversation today and they declined that invitation. We also reached out several times to the Fraternal Order of Police, who did not respond.

Lewis Wallace

What role do journalists play in the so called “post fact”era? It’s no secret that President Trump and his administration have a contentious relationship with the mainstream media. The president routinely calls outlets like CNN and the New York Times “fake news.” Senior Advisor, Kellyanne Conway, famously invoked the validity of “alternative facts” when pressed about inaccurate statements made by the President about the size of the crowd at this year’s inauguration. Another senior advisor, Steven Bannon, called the media “the opposition party,” and urged it to keep its mouth shut.  

So, are we in a “post-fact” era, as some have suggested? Does journalistic objectivity and neutrality mean something different with this President, in this highly segmented media landscape? And how are the notions of objectivity and impartiality being shaped by a more diverse journalism pool?

Photos courtesy Edward Boches; Matt Carr

Last night, the New England Patriots won one of the most exciting Super Bowl championships in football history.  Will any of the ads that aired during the game go down in history?  Do Super Bowl ads even matter anymore? 

These days, a lot of advertising comes to us surreptitiously, often so heavily disguised that we don’t even know it is advertising, sponsored by a corporate entity.

Mara Einstein is Professor of Media Studies at Queen’s College in New York City.  Her latest book is called “Black Ops Advertising,” about why advertisers are becoming publishers, publishers are  becoming advertisers, and how these blurred lines are influencing not only what we spend and where we spend it, but even how we think about ourselves and about the issues shaping our society. 

Edward Boches is Professor of Advertising at Boston University's College of Communication.  He is a former partner at Mullen, a large ad firm, who has created several Super Bowl spots.   He is co-author, with Luke Sullivan, of the new fifth edition of “Hey Whipple, Squeeze This: The Classic Guide to Creating Great Ads”, which updates the popular text with chapters on digital, social and emerging media.  Boches writes the popular industry blog Creativity Unbound and shares his insights and opinions regularly on Twitter.

 

Professor Einstein joins Tom on the line from Argot Studios in New York, and Professor Boches connects from the public radio studios of WGBH, Boston. They're with us for the hour to shed light on the dark art of advertising, and to take your calls, emails and tweets.

photo courtesy cardin.senate.gov

Tom's guest for the hour today is the Senior Senator from Maryland, Ben Cardin

We are two weeks into a Trump administration that has moved quickly to make good on several campaign promises, but which has also retreated from other positions and aligned with policies long held by previous administrations.  Senator Cardin, a Democrat, has served in the U.S. Senate since 2007, and is currently the Ranking Member on the Foreign Relations Committee. He's also an outspoken advocate for the environment, financial ethics, health care reform, and small business development, among a broad range of legislative interests.

Tom asks Senator Cardin about Russia’s latest moves in Ukraine, the new Trump Administration's stance on expanding Israeli settlements in the West Bank , its new sanctions against Iran,  its feud with Australia, and the impact of its controversial immigration and travel ban. Other issues Tom explores with Senator Cardin:  What will the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) mean for Marylanders? And how would Appeals Court Judge Neil Gorsuch's confirmation as the 9th justice on the Supreme Court impact the nation's most powerful bench?

Those questions and more, plus listener calls, emails and tweets for the hour with Senator Ben Cardin.

FencesMovie.com

It’s Midday at the Movies!  Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have announced their nominees for top honors in last year's filmmaking, and in just a few weeks -- on Sunday, February 26th --  we’ll find out who the 2017 Oscar winners are.  Today, we’ll find out who Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday and Jed Dietz of the MD Film Festival are rooting for.  It’s not an Oscar So White year for nominees, but will black  actors or filmmakers actually take home any statues?  And Jed reports on some of his favorites from last month’s Sundance Film Festival.

Photo by Rob Clatterbuck

Midday theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins us today, as she does each Thursday, with a review of the ambitious new production of Grey Gardens at Stillpointe Theatre.

Inspired by Albert and David Maysles' unforgettable 1975 documentary of the same name, the musical Grey Gardens offers a glimpse  into the poignant lives of Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale ("Big Edie") and her daughter Edith Bouvier Beale ("Little Edie"), played and sung by Zoe Kanter and Christine Demuth, respectively. 

The two women -- an aunt and niece of former First Lady Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis -- famously transformed from edgy, upstart socialites into isolated, hoarding eccentrics by the late 1950s, spending their reclusive existence reliving their pasts and tending a colony of cats in their derelict mansion -- dubbed "Grey Gardens" -- in the posh Long Island beach community of East Hampton, New York.

The 2006 musical had a successful Broadway run, thanks in part to the solid book by Doug Wright and an intriguing score by Scott Frankel (music) and Michael Korie (lyrics). 

Daniella Robinette and Ryan Haase co-direct this new production to take full advantage of Stillpointe Theatre's recently expanded performance space.  

Grey Gardens continues at Stillpointe Theatre through February 12. Ticket information here.

Baltimore City Public Schools

Last week, Baltimore City Public Schools President & CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises announced that unless additional funding is secured for next year’s school budget, Baltimore schools are facing layoffs of more than 1,000 teachers and faculty. Cuts to arts and enrichment programs are likely to come as well, as the system tries to to close a $130 million budget gap. Rising school costs and declining enrollment are not new challenges to city schools, but this year’s shortfall is the largest the district has faced in a long time.

The Baltimore Teachers Union called the layoffs “unacceptable” and Dr. Santelises herself concedes that her plan to balance the budget, will drastically change how the school system operates.

National Press Foundation

Mirroring the nationwide epidemic, the number of opioid addiction and abuse victims in Baltimore continues to rise, and overdose cases crowd the city’s emergency rooms.  Last week, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan appointed a Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force, and proposed new legislation for the General Assembly that would put strict limits on opioid prescriptions and impose tough new penalties for traffickers.  On this month's edition of  HealthwatchBaltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen joins Tom Hall  to discuss the city’s continuing response to the opioid epidemic. 

Dr. Wen answers our questions for the hour,  and takes your calls, emails and tweets about your public health concerns.

Stephen Melkisethian

We begin today with a conversation about the travel ban implemented by President Trump on Friday afternoon. The President blocked visitors from seven predominately Muslim countries, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The initial ban even included those who hold green cards. After a night and day of chaotic events at airports around the world, those holding green cards were allowed to re-enter the US.

Reuters

Today, we begin a regular Friday feature: The Midday News Wrap, in which we'll spend the hour reviewing major local, national and international developments with a rotating panel of esteemed journalists, commentators and community leaders.

Friday marks the end of the first week of the Trump administration, a week marked by a dizzying array of Executive Orders and official memoranda by the President that at times placed him in opposition to his senior team and Cabinet nominees.  Trump showed no inclination to change his tone or style following his inauguration, nor did he show an impulse to modify any positions in the face of clear evidence that he is mistaken.  

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