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Media Consolidation/Plant-Based Diets

John Nichols returns to about the future of newspapers in light of the latest merger between the two largest chains in the country, Gannett and GateHouse. Also, Washington Post reporter and former meat-eater, Courtland Milloy, tells us how much his health improved when he turned to a plant-based diet.

John Nichols is the National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation magazine. In addition to that work, he has also written extensively on media issues with co-author, Robert McChesney, including Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America, The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution That Will Begin The World Again, and Tragedy & Farce: How the American Media Sells Wars, Spins Elections, and Destroys Democracy.

“Bob McChesney and I have proposed that at the local, state or national level governments create a tax credit, a tax benefit, where you can deduct from your taxes your subscriptions to a local newspaper or to a local website, your support for a non-profit, community focused news generating institution. People ought to be able to take it off their taxes. We basically have a democracy tax credit of maybe a hundred, two hundred bucks… This model can work.” John Nichols, author of “The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution That Will Begin The World Again”

Courtland Milloy is a columnist for the Washington Post. In his career he has covered a wide variety of topics, local crime, politics, foreign policy, lifestyle and many more. These days he’s writing a lot about health, his own and that of the friends and family around him. He’s written a number of columns on the topic, which started with one entitled I Will Eat Healthier. And This Time I Mean It.” 

“When I look at the outrage over what’s happening in the Amazon with the fires to make more land to grow more cattle so the U.S. can have bigger steaks… there’s an outcry over that. People are seeing global connections and understanding food sustainability. And I think that along with renewed activism around climate change (and) the growth of urban gardening… people are starting to link the worst parts of our diet with some of our worst behaviors.” Courtland Milloy, columnist for the Washington Post on the value of plant based diets


  1. Afdal Shahanshah says:

    I foresee a problem with Nichol’s tax credit idea being letting the state decide what counts as a news organization and what doesn’t. We already have what are effectively CIA adjuncts smearing small progressive outlets as fake news as the Washington Post did in 2016 without a retraction to this day. And if the government doesn’t implement some kind of rules defining what a news organization is, then anyone could get a tax break funding things that are blatantly neither news or journalism (such as James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas). Is this the kind of power we want in the US state’s hands?

    We could just enforce anti-trust and repeal the 1996 Telecommunications Act… But it’s important to understand how that act was ever passed in the first place. It had very little pushback from the public because the public had no idea what was going on at the time–the bill received some of the weakest media coverage of any bill in Congress. I forget where I heard this recently, but I believe the figure was a grand total of 20 minutes of coverage across the entirety of television news in the time between the bill’s introduction and passing. So you see how the press used the power it already had in order to deregulate itself. How do you stop that? Perhaps what we really need is to deal with the root of the problem this time, which is capitalism. A profit-seeking, top-down press run in the interest of bosses is always at odds with objectively informing the public. Begging a “philanthropist” to come in and keep local communities informed on reality is very naive. Do you think Jeff Bezos, who bought out and saved the Washington Post when it was in financial distress, lets the paper talk about Amazon abuses? Did Hearst have the best intentions when his yellow journalism manufactured the Spanish-American War?

    I think one critical aspect missing from this conversation with Nichols is the state’s role in destroying the free press. People looking for more on this perspective should check out the work of Mark Crispin Miller. Chris Hedges did a wonderful interview with him last year on his On Contact show.

  2. Don Harris says:

    Thank you for acknowledging there are not enough philanthropic billionaires to solve the problem with media consolidation.

    But there are enough ordinary citizens.

    Just 10% of voters that vote in presidential election cycle (6% of eligible voters) investing 100 dollars would total over 1 billion dollars and very close to the 1.4 billion it would cost to buy the Gannett newspapers.

    You Ralph, could set up a non-profit corporation selling shares for 100 dollars each to buy up media that you and a board elected by the shareholders would control. Shareholders would have to be citizens and no one person could own more than ten shares.

    The shares could only be sold for 100 dollars as the purpose of owning shares is to own the newspapers/media and not to make money on the buying and selling of the stock.

    If you had started this corporation when I first contacted you about it when you discussed a/the Time Warner merger you might have already raised enough money by now to buy the Gannett newspapers.

    Maybe you should get started on it now so that the next time such an opportunity opens up you/we will be ready.

    We could even discuss it when you have me on the radio hour to discuss One Demand, an opportunity to remove the big money from our political process you have failed to take advantage of since 2015.

  3. David Faubion says:

    The media monopoly wants our undivided attention. Viewers feed The beast. Therefore our fight for tax credits for our community media will be a long drawn out struggle.

  4. Roy Tuckman says:

    In the download the corporate commentary is interfered with by a rebroadcast of the introduction to the show.

  5. Eric Bernhoft says:

    Ten years ago I was in agony with feedback-loop neuralgia. The only thing which I hadn’t tried was a vegetarian diet, so I dropped meat and dairy cold-turkey (pun intended) and within three weeks the pain VANISHED. My vegetarian doctor at the time said that she was thrilled, but her management forbade her from advocating a vegetarian diet to her patients (this was confirmed by another vegetarian doctor a couple of years later). After a few weeks I absent mindedly grated some Parmesan cheese on a plate of pasta and the pain crept back. Since then I have simply associated meat and dairy with pain, so it was easy for me to stick with my new diet. Since then I have come to realize that nearly all chronic illness is a result of inflammatory elements of the diet which include nearly all processed foods; refined sugar is among the most inflammatory of food items and it is as addictive as heroin. I know, because I wet on a sugar fast and it resulted in a week-long bout of flu-like symptoms.

    I cringe when I think of all the lies I’d been told about nutrition over the years; it was all in the interest of selling products.

  6. Susan M Priano PhD says:

    So much of this information is ages old. Please interview the multitude of doctors speaking out against the Standard American Diet (SAD), obesity, diabetes type 2 epidemic and the health benefits of the ketogenic diet or intermittent fasting. I saw with my own eyes weight loss, and cognitive improvements in my mother with mild cognitive impairments. Dr. Fung calls out the industry for mistreatment of diabetes and has reversed Type II with diet and fasting. Mary T Newport MD reversed the effects of her husband’s early Alzheimer symptoms.
    Some of the stellar MDs include:
    Dr. Phinney, Perlmutter, Jason Fung, Peter Attia, David Ludwig, Robert Lustig, Ken Berry, Longo, Dale Bredesen, Eric Westman, etc. Gary Taubes (journalist) has been trying to teach this for years.
    The sugar industry was exposed as acting like big tobacco by researchers at University of California San Francisco. Marion Nestle is an authority on food politics.

    • JoAnn Farb says:

      Wow — your list of stellar MDs (except for Dale Bredesen — who although he contradicts himself at times in his book, if you look closely at his patients who have reversed dementia — they are eating mostly a plant-based diet!) is pretty much a roll call of the doctors actively discouraging people from adopting plant-based diets! (and some of them are well known as champions of research that is funded by meat industry money.)

      While it’s true that keto and other low-carb diets can have some benefits as compared to the SAD diet (by eliminating PROCESSED carbs, lowering total calorie intake, and reducing the thing (carbs) that allows us to SEE that insulin resistance exists (but it’s FAT that is causing the resistance — and once fat consumption is low enough eating complex carbs no longer triggers the dysfunctional blood sugar response.)

      Here are just a few of the growing numbers of doctors who actually are practicing consistent with the best published nutritional science: Ayesha Sherzai, Dean Sherzai, Joel Fuhrman, Ted Barnett, Baxter Montgomery, Michael Greger, Lori Marbas, Michael Klaper, Pam Popper, Milton Mills, Alan Goldhammer, T Colin Campbell, Dean Ornish, Caldwell Esselstyn, Kim Allen Williams, Joel Kahn, Robert Breaky, John McDougal, Thomas Campbell, Neal Barnard,

  7. Carla says:

    Coutland Milloy forgot to mention that the vegan diet has to be very low-fat. Some vegans eat too many nuts, oils, etc. and end up with health problems. I was listening to a radio show on WAMC a while back where ex-vegans were upset about the diet because they still developed health issues.

    The vegan diet works best for your health (especially your liver and blood) if you eat low fat or just raw fruits and vegetables. The liver is a filter and fat clogs it up. When the liver is clogged, it is difficult for the heart to pull blood up from it. It’s the difference between sipping water through a straw or sipping a milkshake from a straw. I doesn’t matter if the fat comes from animal fat or plant fats, it still causes a fatty liver. Also when the blood has more fat in it, it becomes thicker. The thicker the blood, the less oxygen in the body. This allows pathogens can prosper in the body.

  8. Dale West says:

    A great resource to introduce socially responsible veganism is – goveganworld.com