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The Daily Need

This week on Need to Know

Peter Sagal

Peter Sagal. Photo: Flickr/kuer90.1

Who the hell is Shelley Lewis? That was the question that greeted me (the aforementioned Shelley Lewis) in a posted comment on the Need to Know website.

Naturally, I fired my press agent immediately.

No, all kidding aside, I’m the executive producer of Need to Know and sometimes when I see a question on our website that I can answer, I just jump online and answer it.  Since we don’t have nice bio pages up yet, a curious person wondering why I would be in a position to know the answer to a question would not know from our website who I am.

It was a totally legitimate question. Although there is such a thing as Google

In any case, because I am in a position to know, let me mention some of the things going on Need to Know this week, on the air and online.

The TV show focuses on joblessness. We meet a Portland, Ore., couple, middle-aged folks, who suddenly find themselves unemployed and in desperate straits.  Sadly, their story is emblematic of the condition for many of their Baby Boomer cohorts. We’ll also meet some young people at the other end of the rat race — the starting line — who are having an awful time trying to get their first real jobs. It ain’t pretty out there.

Luckily we have the always insightful and well-informed Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary under President Clinton to turn to after each story.  We also have Sara Horowitz, founder and executive director of the Freelancers Union, who knows what it’s like as both a worker and a small business owner to struggle through a deep recession. They offer historical perspective and practical advice, and some potential solutions for the future.

I’m also excited to tell you that Peter Sagal, host of the best game show on radio, “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me,” will be joining Need to Know as a contributor.  More on that soon.

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