This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable

Need to Know, September 17, 2010

This week on Need to Know: Afghans are preparing to elect a new parliament this weekend, but even the Obama administration is playing down the vote, and some polling stations won’t even open due to the violence. We bring you a stunning piece of video from a reporter for The Guardian, a London-based newspaper. The reporter, Sean Smith, embedded with U.S. soldiers on the front lines of battle in Afghanistan. Then Jon Meacham talks to Tom Gregg on the Center for International Cooperation about institutional corruption in the government of Hamid Karzai.

Note: If you are outside the U.S., you can watch the show here.

Plus: Need to Know unveils a new segment this week called “The Watch List,” in which we keep tabs on the effects of deregulation, and on the people who are supposed to be watching out for us, but aren’t. Our first installment profiles a Seattle Times investigation by reporter Michael Berens into neglect and abuse in Adult Family Homes, state-licensed residential care facilities in Washington State that house six adults or fewer. Then, Jon Meacham warns of the perils of “superlativism” as the midterms approach. Alison Stewart visits the High Line, a park in New York City. And Andy Borowitz signs off from Need to Know, taking a look back at the best of his prognostications.

Watch the individual segments:
Twenty kilometers a year

Need to Know features a dramatic video report from Sean Smith, a reporter for The Guardian in London, who embedded with U.S. soldiers on the front lines of battle in Afghanistan.
Institutional corruption in Afghanistan

Tom Gregg of New York Universtiy’s Center on International Cooperation speaks with Jon Meacham about the challenges the Obama administration faces in restoring security to Afghanistan.
Cottage industry
An alternative to nursing homes, state-licensed “adult family homes” house up to six seniors in private homes in Washington State. But Seattle Times investigative reporter Michael Berens found the homes rife with abuse and neglect. For more on this story, read the Times investigation.
Jon Meacham on ‘Superlativism’

As the midterm elections near, Jon Meacham cautions us against the belief that everything that happens in our time is the “most” this or the “worst” that, as some pundits would have us believe.
The thin green line

A new report has found that, in spite of the recession, cities are investing in urban parks. Alison Stewart tours one such park — an old elevated rail line in New York City.
Next week’s news: The finale

Sadly, this is Andy Borowitz’s last week on Need to Know. In this retrospective, Andy looks back at the best of his prognostications, and reveals his next career move.