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Need to Know, October 1, 2010

This week on Need to Know: There’s the campaign, and then there’s the shadow campaign. A Supreme Court ruling has unleashed a tide of special interest money in this year’s midterm elections — and the vast majority of it is hidden from public view. In this week’s edition of The Watch List, we tell you what you need to know about the new rules, and talk to Peter Stone of the Center for Public Integrity about how the influence of money is warping this year’s crucial House and Senate races.

Then: Dr. Emily Senay examines two conflicting reports about the use of mammograms in breast cancer detection, and tells us five things we need to know about how the controversy affects health policy. Jon Meacham talks to Daniel Ellsberg, the man behind the release of the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago, who was dubbed “the most dangerous man in America” by Henry Kissinger. And as a new film about the origins of Facebook generates buzz, we explore what it takes to disconnect from the social network — and what happens to those who get sucked in.

Watch the individual segments:
The shadow campaign

In this week’s edition of The Watch List, Need to Know examines changes in the campaign finance laws that are resulting in floods of corporate money flowing to campaigns — without knowing exactly where it’s coming from.
Five things you need to know about mammograms

Dr. Emily Senay tells us what we need to know about two new studies on mammograms, and what the controversy means for health policy. Dr. Senay is also taking reader questions this week about mammograms and breast cancer detection.
Peter Stone on big money in the midterms

Need to Know’s Jon Meacham interviews Peter Stone of the non-partisan Center for Public Integrity on the influence of money and corporations in this year’s midterm elections.
The most dangerous man in America
Need to Know’s Jon Meacham speaks with Daniel Ellsberg about his decision to release the Pentagon Papers, the subject of a new documentary on the PBS series P.O.V.
Joe Pantaliano: Fighting the stigma

An actor with 80 films and a longstanding role on “The Sopranos” to his credit, Joey Pantoliano has made a documentary about coping with mental illness — his own and others’.
Anti-social behavior: The Facebook exodus

How do you get off Facebook? Need to Know profiles one New Yorker trying to disconnect from the site, and talks to three men in Rotterdam who run a company that will remove you from it altogether.


  • LeeM

    It is disingenuous, even a little deceitful, for Jon Meacham to use his intro to the Daniel Ellsberg segment to take a cheap shot at Wikileaks, then not even ask Ellsberg his opinion of Wikileaks. Meacham, of course, knows that Ellsberg would have strongly defended the contribution of Wikileaks in carrying on his own work as a vital whistleblower against government wrongdoing. Meacham keeps the Ellsberg interview within the safe confines of a movie review of the upcoming POV documentary film on Ellsberg as “The Most Dangerous Man in America.” Ellsberg has strongly endorsed what Wikileaks is doing, but from Meacham’s interview, we might have concluded that he disapproves of its activities. Meacham tried to suggest that Wikileaks is in some kind of crisis because a top spokesman, Daniel Schmidt, has left and criticized Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. In fact, Schmidt also states, “There needs to be a thousand Wikileaks.” Need to Know is doing some good journalism. I look forward to a full hour on unemployment next week and hearing Robert Reich’s take on it. But Meacham continues to remind us why some think he was PBS’ conservative alternative to Bill Moyers and David Brancaccio.

  • Ilektra

    If I may add to this, Daniel Ellsberg has supported the Wikileaks release of the documents and videos both on DemocracyNow! and on NPR…

  • Liz

    Did anyone recall the name of the book that was suggested at the end of the program by the male anchor? I didn’t write down the name and can’t seem to find it in the episode details. Thanks for the help!

  • Shelley Lewis

    It’s called Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus by Rick Perlstein

  • Michael Ingraham

    Don’t you think that the “Need to Know” website would feature the books mentioned on the program? By feature, I mean a reference, a link, a node for books recommended, or just plain something! I want to thank Shelly Lewis for her response to the question, but who the hell is Shelley Lewis? And why can’t knowledge lead to wisdom instead of to mere glib reference. Even Wikipedia has references, yet it too gets flogged? Come on, Internet-Arm-of-”NTK”, get with it and stop being so glib. Feed us the information… we WANT you to filter, but not to the point that you prevent obtaining of wisdom. Hey.. get with it… Hey!

  • Gill

    Thank you. I also came looking for this information.

  • LPW

    NTK website definitely needs link to recommended books!