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Need to Know, July 16, 2010

This week on Need to Know, Alison Stewart interviews Elizabeth Warren, one of the strongest advocates of financial reform, about what the newly passed legislation will mean for banks, commercial real estate and the average American.


Photojournalists Ron Haviv and Jessica Dimmock show us the face of a global malnutrition epidemic. Doctors Without Borders physician Susan Shepherd explains how the billions of dollars in food aid that is sent from the U.S. to starving nations doesn’t always help. And Reverend David Beckmann, president of the faith-based organization Bread for the World, explains how our domestic farm policy may be harming malnourished children in the developing world.

Jon Meacham also talks with Dr. Jerome Kassirer, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, about how the possibly flawed diabetes drug Avandia made it to market, and how other dangerous drugs, such as Fen-phen, Vioxx and now Avandia have managed to skirt regulations and reach consumers.

And resident editorial cartoonist Steve Brodner visualizes Obama’s promises and questions whether President Obama is the same as Candidate Obama.

And watch the individual segments:

Elizabeth Warren on the next real estate crisis

Alison Stewart sits down with Elizabeth Warren, attorney, Harvard Law professor and chairwoman at the Congressional Oversight Panel, in a “Blueprint America” special report about the potential of a national commercial real estate foreclosure crisis, which has already hit Atlanta. Warren also discusses the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency in the financial reform bill passed this week.

Malnutrition, the silent epidemic

Photojournalist Ron Haviv traveled to Bangladesh to document a silent epidemic that may lack the drama to make the nightly news, but has the power to undermine a world’s worth of young lives: childhood malnutrition. Plus: An interview with David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, on whether U.S. food aid policy is working.

Money and medicine: The story of Avandia

Dr. Jerome Kassirer, former Editor-in-Chief at the New England Journal of Medicine discusses the state of the FDA today, and the conditions that make it possible for drugs such as Fen-phen, Vioxx and now Avandia, the latest drug that may be pulled from the market, to ever reach consumers. Jon Meacham reports.

Obama, where art thou?

Editorial cartoonist Steven Brodner provides his visual explanation on promises made, promises broken by President Obama.



  • Sue B

    This makes me mad. Obama hasn’t changed at all. He isn’t who you “thought” he was because YOU never took the trouble to look beyond the McCain adds and find out who he really was/is. I read both his books before he even decided to run. He was NEVER the “antiwar” candidate. He opposed the Iraq war period. He always said he was not against all wars only “dumb” wars. He always supported Afgan war. He was always a pretty moderate democrat. He was always about trying to work across the aisle. Ever hear the “red state blue state” speech that made him famous??? Obama hasn’t changed you just never listened. – signed Proud Moderate Democrat and Obama supporter

  • Robert Broker

    In your informative show this evening the speakers spoke of the Obama Administration’s important initiatives to implement finance and consumer reform in support for improved US attention to nutrition programs around the world, and implementing regulational oversight of pharaceutical industry (not the ‘friendly’ approach of the prior administation). Yet, you then waste time and divert attention with comical commentary on the latest poll. While polls are an issue, facts on the ground support the solid performance of the Obama Administration. Proud of our President!

  • John Wess

    The Tibetans did not evolve. They adapted. Humans adapt. Things and ideas evolve! Go to for more information.

  • donna marx

    This was your best show ever. You help the world and us when you interview Elizabeth Warren and look at children and malnutrition. These reports are reaching the quality that Bill Moyers gave us (as are Meachum’s commentaries). I’m glad you left out predicting news to come and wish you would dump Brodner. If I need comedy instead of deep news I’ll go to Fox.
    Please keep on giving us news that goes beyond what is available on network programs. Bravo!

    gratefully, Donna Marx, Kalispell Montana

  • danny costello

    i also am quite happy with our wonderful president, and I agree with Robert Broker. I appreciate that your program (or as Jon Meacham likes to say, “progr’m”) is doing a service to the nation in illustrating that a person, like Elizabeth Warren, can see, perhaps, no hope in the good she is attempting to do, but will continue nonetheless. I wish we were all so selfless. The report on malnutrition was phenomenal, congratulations. Plumpy Nut in 2016! Having read Michael Pollan’s fascinating book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, it is all too clear that the agricultural subsidies held in place by agribusiness lobbyists are destroying much more than they are helping. A very shocking situation.

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