January 19th: What's On Today's Show : Blog Of The Nation On today's Talk, we'll explain the difference between vulture capitalism, venture capitalism, private equity and more; have an exit interview with It's Academic host Mac MacGarry; talk about second opinions; and talk with Elmore Leonard about Justified.
NPR logo January 19th: What's On Today's Show

January 19th: What's On Today's Show

Seeking a second opinion is standard medical advice, but it isn't always clear how to proceed. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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Seeking a second opinion is standard medical advice, but it isn't always clear how to proceed.


Venture Capitalist, Vulture Capitalist: What Does It All Mean?

Rick Perry and other GOP candidates attacked Mitt Romney in recent weeks as a "vulture capitalist" who destroyed jobs. The charges center on his work at Bain Capital, prior to entering politics. During the 1990s, Bain Capital, a firm Romney co-founded, grew into one of the nation's largest and most profitable private equity funds, firms that use cash from wealthy investors and institutions to buy up companies and turn a profit. Romney says he created 100,000 jobs while at the firm, but his opponents argue that figure excludes the many workers who were laid off after their companies were acquired by Bain Capital. Guest host John Donvan talks with NPR's Marilyn Geewax, Eileen Appelbaum of the Center for Economic Policy Research and Steven Davis of the University of Chicago about how private equity firms work and why this form of capitalism can help or hurt companies.

It's Academic Host Mac McGarry Puts Down The Grab Bag

For 51 seasons, the TV quiz show It's Academic has given smart high school students in the Washington, D.C. area a place to shine. The show first aired in D.C. in 1961 and lead to similar programs in several other cities. It pits three teams of competing students against each other in the atmosphere of a sports game, complete with cheerleaders and all. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, New York Sen. Charles Schumer and political commentator George Stephanopoulos are among the notable contestants on various versions of the show. The Washington, D.C. program is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running quiz program in television history and was hosted since the beginning by quizmaster Mac McGarry. McGarry stepped down last year, and will officially pass the baton to the show's new host this weekend. Guest host John Donvan talks with McGarry about the show's evolution and talks with listeners who competed on high school quiz shows in their towns.

Seeking A Second Opinion

Dawna Harwell's doctors saw a number of tumors in her pelvis and told her it might be ovarian cancer. She found a second opinion and, after a series of tests, learned it was not ovarian cancer, but a rare form of lymphoma. Six-months after chemotherapy, she got a clean bill of health. Doctors sometimes misdiagnose medical conditions and patients can benefit from a second opinion. It can be difficult for patients to determine when — and how — to ask for one. For doctors who are asked to give a second opinion, it can be an opportunity to provide the patient with new information though, in some cases, it may be a waste of time and resources. Guest host John Donvan speaks with Dawna Harwell about her experience getting a second opinion, and with Laura Landro of the Wall Street Journal and Dr. Leonard Lichtenfeld, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, about when and why people seek second opinions.

Elmore Leonard On 'Justified'
Elmore Leonard has a massive list of successful crime novels. Many have been made into movies. These days, the 86-year-old writer stays busy still writing and taking on the role of executive producer of the FX series "Justified," which is based on one of his short stories, "Fire in the Hole." The TV show has garnered solid reviews and been recognized with a number of awards. Season 3 premiered this week and Elmore Leonard joins guest host John Donvan to talk about how he crafts his stories and characters and appeals to both viewers and readers.