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Too Crowded In The Situation Room? How Public Opinion Influences Presidential Decision-making

Published February 17, 2023 at 8:59 AM PST
Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images
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WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 08: The exterior of the U.S. Capitol building is seen at sunrise on February 8, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Too Crowded In The Situation Room? How Public Opinion Influences Presidential Decision-making

POTUS Decisions and Media 2.17.23

The Chinese spy balloon was a media sensation, with the public and media following its every move from when it was first sighted over Montana until it was shot down off the coast of South Carolina. Other objects would be downed in the coming days, putting the Biden administration's handling of the situation under scrutiny. It wasn’t just Republicans who had an opinion–citizens across the country expressed their alarm and confusion, amplified by a 24-hour news cycle. With all of that noise, how does an administration make tough decisions? How much of Biden’s handling of the balloons was in reaction to public opinion, and when else in American history has this happened?

Joining us to discuss are Timothy Naftali, director of the undergraduate public policy program at NYU, and Tim Groeling, professor of communication at UCLA. 

Microsoft’s New AI Search Engine Is Having Some Wild Convos. Is The Tech Really Ready For Human Interaction?

AI Chatbots Are Coming 2.17.23

Lots of folks have been chatting it up with Microsoft’s new A-I powered search engine. The Bing chatbot launched last week and remains the talk of the tech town. It takes searching to new heights in many ways, but there’s no question the technology is in its early stage. A recent (often hilarious yet troubling) piece from New York Times tech columnist Kevin Roose details his two-hour exchange with the search engine, which he said left him “deeply unsettled.” It’s capable of long open-ended text conversations which winded from sharing fantasies of spreading misinformation to its desire to become human. And at one point, the chatbot even declared its love for Roose and told him to leave his wife. Wild stuff. Today, we discuss how people are responding to the chatbot so far and what all this says about the future of AI and our interaction with the technology. Joining to discuss is Khari Johnson, senior writer at Wired covering artificial intelligence and Jonathan May, research associate professor of computer science at USC.

Pet Cafes, Spas & Dog Beaches: How Do You Baby Your Pet & What Are The Best Places To Take Them?

Babying Your Pets 2.17.23

Humans have always had strong connections with animals, through herding and even domesticating them, it has allowed for people to have deeper bonds with our furry friends. Dynamics have certainly changed though, with places like Los Angeles having pet-friendly spaces that allow animals to get pampered as much as children nowadays. Whether you enjoy a nice beachfront or grab a cup of coffee with your dog, the places to treat your pets have expanded.

Today on AirTalk, we discuss this growing trend of business appealing to pet owners and adults uniquely babying their pets with Lindsay Mehrkam, associate professor of psychology at Monmouth University.

FilmWeek: ‘Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania,’ ‘Emily,’ ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ & More

FW Reviews 2.17.23

Larry Mantle and LAist film critics Tim Cogshell and Lael Loewenstein review this weekend’s new movie releases in theaters, streaming, and on demand platforms.

Sequels That Are Better Than The Original

Sequels Better Than Original 2.17.23

One of the biggest films of the year is “Top Gun: Maverick,” nominated for six Academy Awards including best picture. It is also the film credited for bringing audiences back to theaters after the low of the pandemic. The film grossed $1.48 billion and is now the eleventh highest grossing movie worldwide. This is even more surprising when you take into account that “Top Gun: Maverick” is a sequel. Sequels and reboots often have a stigma around them as many never quite measure up to their predecessor. But “Top Gun: Maverick” has proven that sequels can be just as good as (and in its case far better than) the original. Larry Mantle sits down with FilmWeek critics Tim Cogshell and Lael Loewenstein to share some of their favorite sequels that outshine the first installment.

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