The controversy surrounding the Pentagon Papers, and their release to the public was unprecedented in history. Putting it in contemporary perspective, it most closely rivaled that of Wikileaks and the release of sensitive and potentially embarrassing government documents to the public.
The Pentagon Papers basically exposed (or confirmed) a vast series of coverups, deceits and falsehoods during the Vietnam War. The papers were damning to our Foreign Policy, our Military complex and the White House.
Key to the release of those papers was a former Pentagon Official, Daniel Ellsberg, who presented them to The New York Times, where excerpts were published. The resulting storm brought under fire and repercussions, not only Ellsberg and The New York Times, but the whole question of censorship and National Security and the Public's right to know, especially where it concerned the lives of so many of its citizens.
In the end, The Supreme Court sided with Ellsberg and The New York Times. and this broadcast, aired shortly after the decision was given, attempts to cover those bases.
Here is the special program, originally aired on June 30, 1971 from NBC News "The Supreme Court And The Pentagon Papers"