The McDougall Newsletter

July 2008

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Vol. 7, No. 07

John McDougall, MD

Comments on My Posthumous Interview with Tim Russert

To my surprise last month’s newsletter (June 2008) caused more of a reaction than any other piece I have ever written.  People either loved it or hated it—nothing in between. By using the untimely death of the “Meet the Press” host, Tim Russert, my words came to life—everybody paid attention, but many people were offended—not by the content, but by the venue—an interview with a dead man.

Comments I received—some from people I personally know and respect—talked of aggravating wounds of fans still in mourning, concerns for Russert’s family, and my disrespect for religious beliefs. The clarity of my explanation of the development of a heart attack was way too threatening for many people—I removed any reasonable doubt—their personal diet is an indiscriminate instant killer.  (Two informative YouTube videos of plaque rupture are found at the end of this discussion.  One shows how heart attacks occur and the other from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine is on plaque buildup and sudden blockage.)

The hundreds of reports that followed his death gave no meaningful answers about the cause. Russert’s family is entitled to know what killed him. At least, the truth may prevent Russert’s son, Luke, from following his dad’s deadly diet. Would you guess losing a son to be more or less painful than my newsletter article? At most, my words could prevent some of the suffering that will follow the 1.2 million heart attacks expected over the next year in the US alone. My intention was to enlighten, not to cause anger or pain.

Once I came upon the idea of a conversation with this former prominent public figure, writing it followed quickly and easily—almost as if it had really happened. Why a posthumous interview?  Because it demanded attention—it was the biggest rock I could find to throw at the biggest picture window in town. I was not to be ignored—not this time—as so many times in the past. All of your responses were heartening and much appreciated. After such strong reaction would I write the same article again? In a heartbeat.


The following comments from readers have been presented to show both viewpoints on my Russert Interview:

I noticed the interview format is a writing technique Dr. McDougall uses often, and it seems to me it's when he's explaining the more scientific/physiological information about his program and how nutrition and the human body works. I think he uses that format to keep the writing interesting and entertaining, rather than like a dry textbook. I noticed it in his Digestive Tune-Up book, the Second Opinion book, and some of his articles like this one. I found the characters in the Digestive Tune-Up book especially humorous and sympathetic. He creates imaginary characters that ask really good questions - better questions than I would think to come up with - but that way you get to the heart of the matter. He also gives them personality. In this case he used Russet's personality and an opportunity to reach a wider audience and teach people. Personally I enjoyed his Russet interview and my opinion is it's not offensive or in bad taste. Speaking as someone who was not really aware of who Mr. Russet was prior to his death, I feel the article paints Russet in a good light, just that what he didn't know is what killed him. I also feel the article does a good job explaining the true cause of Russet's heart disease, better than what the mainstream news has done. CV 

There is very important information in this "interview." However, The interview format is in poor taste. Putting words into the mouth of the deceased is, in my view, disrespectful. I was surprised by your decision to convey your thoughts in this fashion. JDH

It was with great dismay that I read the following article about heart disease and Tim Russert's death:
I can't believe that the author actually put in writing that Mr. Russert had "done nothing wrong," that he "was getting superb medical care" and that "heart attacks can't always be prevented."  I'm very saddened that this type of information is being published and read by the American public.  No where in the article does the author reference the results accomplished through diet and nutrition in regard to reducing and eliminating heart disease....nor is there any mention of you, Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Dean Ornish or Dr. T. Colin Campbell.  I guess, though, that a pharmacist's first thought would be to resort to drugs and, in this case, use the opportunity to sell his book. It must be so frustrating for you to deal with this on a daily basis. VW, RN

I just received and read the article in your most recent newsletter “A Posthumous Interview by Tim Russert, Former Host of Meet Press with John McDougall, MD”. I found it to be incredibly inappropriate and disrespectful. I understand that your point is to promote the vegan diet as a means to prevent heart disease, etc. This certainly could have been accomplished by an article that discusses the topic, even through referencing Russert’s case in particular. However, to write this fake interview comes across as childish and makes light of his death, while at the same time blaming Russert himself, who can no longer respond to such criticism. I can only hope that Russert’s grieving wife and son never see this. If I, a complete and total stranger to Russert, am as offended as I am by this “interview”, I can only imagine what his family would think.I think that a public apology in your next newsletter may be in order, perhaps followed by an appropriate article on the subject of diet and heart disease. Sincerely, AG

Thank you for the wonderful Tim Russert piece--it is brilliant and some of your best writing ever; timely and perfectly balanced in tone. Great, great job--both my husband and I love this article. I am a little disturbed at the negative responses among people on the Forum. I wanted to say where I think their misunderstanding is:

1.) They don't understand the needs of good teaching. Both my husband and myself are educators; we understand what it takes to educate people beyond what they already know, and you are doing it brilliantly. For many people the process of learning something truly new is painful and difficult. Sometimes you need to 'shock' your students a bit to get their attention and make the lesson memorable.

2.) They don't understand that public figures are public figures. Many thousands of articles have been published about Bill Clinton; many hundreds about Tim Russert; many of these critical or negative. So why is it not okay for Dr. McDougall to write about these figures? This point of view is just silly.

3.) They don't understand the needs of revolutionary change. You aren't going to change government food policies or people's ideas about food by being polite and keeping your head down. Why isn't this obvious? Why, women would never have gotten the vote if they'd stuck to just asking politely about it. Some of those suffragettes were OFFENSIVE. If they were around today, some people would probably still get the vapors about their behavior. But politeness alone doesn't change anything.

4.) They don't seem to understand good science. They let religious beliefs interfere with seeing clearly. (Religion shouldn't be incompatible with science at all.) In my view, religious fundamentalism of all kinds, Xtian, Islamic, Jewish, etc., is the enemy of progress. The problem is that fundamentalists claim the right to define what God "says". Then they judge everything by their predefined black-and-white logic.

A more moderate, sensible religious view might be: well, God gave us eyes to see and a brain to think and a conscience to use them. So we should do so to the best of our ability. (I would hope this is how most moderate religions view it.)

A skeptical view might be: we evolved eyes, brain, consciousness and conscience and our creative task is to see what good we can do with these. I don't see this view as incompatible with a moderate religious view--both should be open to investigating the truth. I've ranted on unnecessarily long. Once again, great job. I hope you continue to have fun doing this because it's a wonderful service. A

Wow!  Great newsletter!  Using Tim Russert's own books, interviews, and descriptions from his son to analyze his risk factors was brilliant!  SM, MD

Using a fake interview with a dead person is a bit weird. I say this as someone who loves Dr. McDougall dearly. I don't think a fan of Tim Russert's would react favorably to this. I might be wrong (that's happened before) and I'll know soon if I'm right, I forwarded it to someone who liked Russert a lot and is upset by his untimely death. This person is in a position to benefit greatly from adopting the McDougall lifestyle, too, so I sure hope this works. It can't hurt…Well, the verdict is in. The person I forwarded this to is really ticked off, thought it was in poor taste and used bad words.  Maybe I'll let him cool off for a while...... and go eat some potatoes. Mrs. D

Great edition of the newsletter, especially the "interview."  Wow!  As usual, you really lay it all out there.  Powerful video clips too. Thanks for writing about such an important subject with hard-hitting clarity. RB

Heaps of thanks for an eye-opening newsletter.  The posthumous 'interview' with the lately lamented Tim Russert was riveting, captivating, and necessary as a spur to all of us who are loping about with pinhead pustules with hidden agendas. PR

Congratulations on a fabulous and creative job of seizing the opportunity with the Russert interview. JP

I was almost convinced that you actually might have some credibility until I read your June Newsletter in which you interviewed Tim Russert. Did you have some type of authorization from his family? The entire article was in poor taste and lacked any sense of respect. Additionally I would appreciate some reputable references on your web site which are a little more current than the 1980's. As a medical professional who has long been a proponent of complimentary health and preventative health care I would appreciate a little more medical science than just your conjectures from some rat studies. I am afraid your are just trying to make a few dollars on the backs of hard working people. Count me out. MS MD  

(PS from McDougall – you need to read my current writings like the newsletters and star mcdougallers for updated references.)

Loved your Tim Russert interview.  I was wondering when you'd be making a comment about this famous fatality.  As soon as I heard of his death, I figured (rightly) what the culprit was and how tragic it was that a simple change of diet could have saved this beloved man. I have a question about the "large bulges inside the arteries," that are "old, large, fibrous, calcified plaques."  You say that they are not fatal, but what effect do they have on a person's life? I've been following your program for several years now after spending a wonderful/life-changing ten days in Santa Rosa.  I suspect that I have those calcified bulges, "stable as a rock."  I'm not worried about them.  I'm just wondering what I can do to compensate for their presence.  Do they restrict my blood flow?  With healthy arteries, is there a natural dilatation that takes place?  Have you written about this subject? Thank you. JB

Dr. McDougall, I forgot to mention — what a great idea to use the interview format! Was it your idea? Best to you, MO

Now you have supernatural powers.  I didn't see that one coming! JH

I am writing because I have followed your plan for years and have had a great deal of respect for you - until today. This ridiculous interview with Tim Russert is soooo unnecessary, sooo over-the-top and so incredibly disrespectful that I am appalled and surprised. Russert was tending to his cardiac condition, albeit, most likely, too little - too late; however, I, too, am a healer and this interview blames the patient, a dead one no less. This blame gets nowhere with those who truly need direction and help. Of course, we need to take personal responsibility for our well-being, but what does it serve you or the community to denigrate a dead man who was, in fact, doing his best as he knew it. The interview is overwhelmingly childish and an apology to your readers and patients is called for, as well as an apology to the Russert family. Also, it's a good idea to get your facts straight before you go ahead and accuse a deceased person of being personally guilt of his own demise. Sincerely, SR, N.D., D.D. CtTFT

This is a great read. It forces one to look at their hardened beliefs.  One comment (I mean no disrespect): You say the stress is good for us — it motivates us. I too have been called an outsider, etc. and I say there is nothing good about stress except to alert us that we are doing something wrong inwardly and/or perhaps outwardly. Why should one need stress to be motivated? Isn't it analogous to being motivated by pain as if one is a slave being beaten to be motivated? I wrote a small handbook on seeing through the stress hoax — it is a hoax! Perhaps as believing we need animal products is a hoax. Thanks again for your insights, MO

Wow! The posthumous interview was a brilliant idea. I am forwarding it to my sickly parents -- perhaps it will motivate them to change. They watch CNN at least 16 hours per day and have no doubt been following all the stories on unfortunate Tim Russert. Thank you for taking the time to write this article. Best regards, DL

Your article is a brave effort to educate the American public—and perhaps a few physicians. I have forwarded it to several people and almost immediately heard from one of them: “Sara - very interesting, and a brave effort on the part of Dr. McDougall.  I will share this with some friends.  Thank you. John. SD

Once again you hit a home run way out of the ball park.  If the investigative journalists don't take up your call, then they are pathetic. Fabulous, well researched, possibly world changing piece. Congratulations. AE

Your posthumous interview with Tim Russert blew me away. Not the information--I've been a fan of yours for years--but the excellent way you presented the information. You are so creative and this piece was done extremely well. There is no clearer communicator of health information in the world today than you are, Dr. McDougall, and I think I'm familiar with all the people who are telling the truth. Thank you for inspiring me even more. I tend to get careless about how much fat I allow in my diet and this article set me back on track. I appreciate you and Mary more than you could ever know. SB

Your Russert interview is dynamite, both brilliant and superb.  It is caring and thoughtful with the wake up call of an earthquake.  I don't see how conventional care will go after you but they will.  Count me as an ally in your defense and feel free to use the enclosed example as proof that your approach works.  Great Job!  Es

The interview is brilliant!  BRILLIANT! NT

50 pounds down on McDougall living, 40 to go.

This is great information, but it was done in VERY poor taste. SG

Thank you so much for the free newsletter! You would be interested to know that the death of Tim Russet was the alarm clock sounding for me. I was very receptive to anything I've read about cardiovascular issues. I've read an Internet article about his death, and it had comments from readers, and one comment said that if Tim only knew the information found in "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease" he would have still been alive. So that started the course I am now on. If that reader only knew how great of impact his comment made. Because is not only me know, but my family, relatives and friends. G.

This interview with Mr. Russert in the newsletter is extremely distastful.  You should be ashamed of yourself! Poor taste!!! MER


This is THE greatest newsletter you ever put out. I have been going over and over the Tim Russet interview with the YouTube visual for the last 2 hours.

It is so compelling (and have heard the lecture twice at the Costa Rica

Adventures) It is exactly the reinforcement that I need right now. MB

Brilliant! I am very proud of you! :>) RC

One of the reasons I found my way to Dr. McDougall is because I interviewed so many doctors and RD's that the "truth" became obvious many years ago. As I remained the only healthy person as I watched my family succumb, sometimes fatally, to disease, I kept coming back to these truths that were so self-evident. When I tried to do the stories that needed to be told, I was often told by management, "they're just quacks," and the interviews died on the editing room floor. While Dr. McDougall has always written some of the most to-the-point newsletters I've seen, the Russert piece really nails it. As a doctor, his words have more clout, and I'm sure hoping this time, the current crop of investigative reporters will do their jobs and get to the bottom of this. But with fewer and fewer media outlets having the bucks to stay alive, and those that survive are fed by the corporate giants, my optimism about that is pretty bleak. Carry on with all your good work and message, Dr. McDougall, and everyone else. Never underestimate your impact! EJJ

Thank G-d for your frank and no nonsense editorial on the sad and untimely passing of Tim Russet!  Those of us following "your way" have come to know on a personal level just how much what you say not only makes good sense, but IS the REAL DEAL!!  I have forwarded this information to my kids and their spouses in hopes that something in it will spark them to "clean it up".  My son in law, 44, has already had a stent put in (2 years ago!) and both his parents died of massive heart attacks at 63!!  I am going to see if I can get him to go to the next advanced study weekend as I see you will be addressing hearts and the medicines that give unrealistic hope.  Thank you for all you do!! Respectfully, MM

I thought your piece about Tim Russert (and Bill Clinton) were excellent and agree that it is strange that not once, other than you, have these issues been raised. Best regards, AD, Ph.D.

Wow! John, this could be the most effective piece you have ever written.  Not only is it re-challenging me to do better, but I am committed to be sure that many of my friends have an opportunity to read it. move late, BB

What a brilliant and clever way to educate the masses -- and medical community -- regarding atherosclerosis. I must say, a pure stroke of genius. Keep up the wonderful work. Warmest regards, GB

As usual, TERRIFIC piece.   That's the Russert posthumous interview.   One of these days someone like him will delve, even lightly, but just maybe in time. As always, I doff my cap to ye. Your friendly Africanist, AG

Using a fake interview with a dead person is a bit weird. I say this as someone who loves Dr. McDougall dearly. I don't think a fan of Tim Russert's would react favorably to this. I might be wrong (that's happened before) and I'll know soon if I'm right, I forwarded it to someone who liked Russert a lot and is upset by his untimely death. This person is in a position to benefit greatly from adopting the McDougall lifestyle, too, so I sure hope this works. It can't hurt…Well, the verdict is in. The person I forwarded this to is really ticked off, thought it was in poor taste and used bad words.  Maybe I'll let him cool off for a while...... and go eat some potatoes. Mrs.

I think mr. russert would very much enjoy the direct interview format. well done. not so sure about some of that video. B

I thought it was very clever. It made me chuckle. It got the point across. Might it offend Russert fans? Maybe. But so would the diet information! C

I agree, in fact I had already emailed Dr. McDougall's interview to Lou Dobbs and Brian Williams. I don't know if they will ever read it, but just maybe they will. I am trying to send it to Chris Mathews as well.  By the way, I'm also using, or I should say my wife is using some of the recipes from the Cancer Project. Thanks. C

After Tim died you were understandably upset about how a person could have a "negative" stress test a month before succumbing to a massive heart attack. John explains all of this very well below in a way that honors what we all appreciated most about Tim Russert. ML

Very good interview! I am posting it on my blog tomorrow. I also posted it on my blog at The Ellsworth American. Thanks, MW

I wasn't necessarily a Russert fan, but I did find the "interview" in poor taste. I completely understand the point Dr. McDougall was trying to make - one that I agree with completely - but it just rubbed me the wrong way. Speaking ill of the dead, I guess? I'm curious if others had this reaction. E

Wow! Your article on Tim Russert is EXCELLENT, and SCARY! Thank you so much! The video is awesome. Did you send your article to Brian Williams and other news media? Take care, LS

Great article with the Tim Russert interview..   I passed it along to many others including several MD's in hopes that they will question their own diets. JC

Your mock Tim Russert interview was brilliant. I will be passing it along to everyone I care about. Many thanks, BP

The newsletter is fantastic. I loved the Tim Russert piece--They should run that in the NY Times and the Washington Post. The day Russert died I said to my husband, “They need to call John McDougall and he can tell them exactly why Tim Russert died.” Thanks for the great recipes from Celebrity Chef weekend--they sound yummy. CB

I thought your Tim Russert 'interview' was excellent and creative. MS

Excellent job on the Russert article in the latest newsletter. Your Q & A presentation was the perfect choice; easy to read and entertaining. My husband, Jim, and I will be coming to September’s Advance Study.  Looking forward to seeing you! W

I am sure that you will be criticized for your interview with Tim Russert, but I admire you for the guts you have in telling it like it is. How many Americans could be saved by a simple diet change?  Countless numbers. I believe that one day the Lord will have an accounting of those who could have made a difference and didn't. DP

That was a superbly crafted posthumous interview with Tim Russert. Thanks for being. Cheers, E

I have been receiving your e-mails for some time now but I was shocked when I read your posthumous interview of Tim Russert. This was just the most insensitive article the Russert family could ever read.  (I hope they don't!)  While I agree with the health facts about heart disease, it was crude to mention all the "unclean" meats in such a nasty way that Tim may or may not have eaten in his lifetime.  We must be kind in trying to encourage people toward a better lifestyle--even doctors don't know good nutrition.This article also promoted spiritualism - communicating with the dead and expecting an answer.  The dead sleep in the grave and know nothing that is going on on this earth or under the sun.  They await the return of Jesus when the dead in Christ will arise first, then those who are alive in Christ will be caught up and meet them in the air with Jesus where they will be with him in heaven.  Why would Jesus say he's coming again if all of the saints are already in heaven? This latest article makes me want to consider unsubscribing to your newsletter but I will wait for an apology which I expect many readers will want also. NS

I just read the July newsletter article on Tim Russert and while what you said is all true, I was really offended by the format you chose to present it. I don't think it was in good taste. CA

I just read your letter/interview with Tim Russert and I laughed/cried. The sad part is where you hit the nail on the head "The question is: even if you had known better, would you have changed?" With my WOW NOW System, where we teach people how to go about healthy eating, we find this to be the case. Even when presented with evidence and understanding, some won't make the change, even to save their life.  I love what I do and I am often called outspoken, direct and honest as I share with passion my message of health and life. Traits you and I share! LOL I make no excuses and call it as I see it, with compassion and love. It is always nice to know that we are not alone! There are others fighting the same fight, walking the same path and setting the same example. Thank you for your courage, humor and example. Love ya!! S

Your interview with Tim Russert  is the most creative and acutely interesting form of education I have ever seen. My heart felt congratulations. You did it again. Ever so appreciative. H


From the moment I heard of Tim Russert's death I wondered about his diet.  He was 58 and I, 53 (54 as of yesterday) - a little too close for my comfort.

Thank you for your interview.  I hope it makes an issue of diet over meds.  I will see that those I know will read this.I took the time to view all of the video clips that you included with your interview.  Thanks for your newsletter.  Your Celebrity Weekend I am sorry I missed. JB

I have always found the information in your newsletter very helpful. However, I think the article about Tim Russert is in very poor taste with a VERY high yuck factor. You are better than this. NW

Your posthumous interview with Tim Russert was outstanding and so needed. A photo of Russert and his family in Italy, just days before his death, evidenced how sick he was. He looked awful - puffy, tired and strained. Here we have the brightest lights in journalism, privy to the latest information in so many arenas, and self-care appeared at the bottom of their priority list.   Hopefully, someone there will read your article and give pause. I'm in the process of writing Andrea Mitchell of NBC to share not only my grief at Russert's untimely death, but to encourage reflection on how her colleagues are caring for themselves. His loss might resurrect attention on the relationship between nutrition and disease.  As always, the very best to you and Mary and thanks for all you do. JI

Your interview with Tim Russert is a classic. I have already forwarded a copy to my e-mail list. RA

I found your article “A Posthumous interview by Tim Russert” amazing and so affirming of the changes we have made and are making to live a healthy life. Thank you for your expertise, excellence and education that you have provided us with. We will be forever grateful! Warm regards, CF

Great newsletter on Tim Russert. Just a week before he died I watched him on his show and thought, wow, here's a guy that won't be around much longer. Very sad. K

Bravo on your treatise of the creative interview with Tim Russert, in the New York Times, which I read daily. Let's face it...he was fat. Probably obese. He ate horribly. His doctor's explanation of what happened was a joke, even to me, a reasonably knowledgeable layman. I still agree with your view on the importance of what we put in our stomachs. No debate there. I know how you feel about exercise, and much of your thinking I can concur…HK

So very valuable!  Your idea, just like your Bill Clinton letter, is such an effective way to get the message across. You are my medical "god here on earth." So many thanks to you, and to your wife.  Your efforts are appreciated, and are saving millions of lives -- millions of family members are affected. Too bad that such an intelligent person, like Tim Russert, was not able to ask this important health question, and get the simple answer. Again, I thank you, so very much, for your intelligence and efforts! RB

Thank you, I will give it a real try.  BTW, I loved the Russert "interview" -- a bold approach, but effective, at least here! PM

Thanks for printing the  "interview" with Tim Russel.  I loved Tim Russelts show and really enjoyed his news casting.  I am one of the viewers that will definitely miss his work on television.  Thank you so much for printing this information.  I am going to mail it to all of my relatives--especially the ones that still eat S.A.D but think that they are eating healthfully!  This is how my husband died as well. I also think it would be most helpful if Tim's doctor would have put more emphasis on Tim's diet when being interviewed by Andrea Mitchell.  The doctor certainly cited stress as one of the culprits.  Why not pinpoint the major culprit and use this as a learning experience for the American public--don't eat the S.A.D. There are a lot of stress factors that most people in America really can't control, but diet is something that everyone has total control over. Could it really be that simple?  YES!!  LB

I read the article in your last newsletter concerning a Posthumous Interview with Tim Russert.  I thought that this unique presentation was extremely informative.  I have read many of your articles concerning diet, cardiovascular problems and many other ailments.  This article really pulled all key aspects of your numerous articles together in an outline fashion conhttpcerning diet, heart attacks, CAD, etc..The heart attack suffered by Tim Russert struck close to home because of the similarity to the coronary event that I experienced about 21months ago.  Like Tim I was 58 when I suffered a heart attack, also in the anterior portion of my heart, no previous warning as with Tim, all physicals were normal as with Tim, followed an exercise program as with Tim, cholesterol & blood pressure were under control as with Tim and paid no attention to diet as with Tim.  After hearing about Tim Russert's heart attack I realize even more how extremely lucky I was to have survived. I am so grateful that God let me survive the event that I experienced and soon afterwards directed me to an article by Dr. John McDougall in a Bottom Line's publication.  KC

When news commentator Tim Russert died suddenly two weeks ago, I was shocked and saddened. My husband and I looked forward to watching Tim on NBC and MSNBC. He was as sharp as a tack and was so pleasant and fun to listen to. We were living in Florida in 2000 when Tim got us through election night with his “white board.” Then we moved to Ohio and there was Tim again, explaining the election in 2004 in terms we could all understand. I’ll miss his enthusiasm. I was hoping you would comment about his death from heart disease in your newsletter. The format you used of a posthumous interview certainly caught my attention! Thanks again for your article. SJ

Your article in the new newsletter, interviewing a posthumous Russet is masterful. RO

I'm a subscriber to your newsletter. I get a lot of useful information from it. However, I thought your posthumous "interview" with Tim Russert was in poor taste. You've got a good message and you tell it well in your own words. Please stay away from the cheap gimmickry. AB

I am still grieving Tim Russert. I appreciate both your article on him, and your compassion for Mr. Clinton. So many people took that too politically. I also think he has many excellent qualities. (I just emailed authors my comment, "What Does This Say About Our Values? That more people - and more viciously - condemned President Clinton for making love than they did President Bush for making war.") Anyway, I appreciate some compassion shown two great people who ate poorly. VP

I didn't get to see this until just now as I have been on a long-awaited vacation with my family and only sporadically in touch with e-mail. But I must tell you that this 'interview' is more than brilliant. There are no adjectives that could do justice! CC Ph.D.

Bravo on your Russert article! Regards, DC

WOW! Great job on that interview. I especially liked your comments on stress and exercise. I hope that you will make it to Oprah's show. DN

Your "Posthumous Interview with Tim Russert" was out of place and extremely tactless. I am a 73 year old vegan (5'8 and 130 pounds), and I am not religious. Nor do I watch CNN or "Meet the Press", but prefer my news from New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian and BBC World News. However, I have seen clips of Russert's most famous

interviews over the years and liked his style. Considering the loss in the TV News commentaries field, and the genuine grief among his peers, not to mention his family -  and I understand he was a  real family man - I find your e-mail extremely inappropriate and rash. As a vegan - mostly raw food - I agree with all your points, but strongly object to the format you put it in. Sincerely, AE

Your “interview” with Tim Russert is as hard hitting as I’ve ever read. PE

Yes, your Tim Russert interview was fantastic. I have more to say on it after I've read it some more. I've read it three times and each time it has more meaning.  The interview belongs in a book. LM

You know that I respect your work and I also believe that you care about people. As you probably saw from my post, I was surprised when I read this "interview" with Tim Russert. The thing that concerns me the most is that I don't feel you thought of the feelings of the Russett family if they read this, at this point in time. Grieving is an intense and highly sensitive state (especially when the death is sudden) and this just seemed too soon to write something of this nature. People almost always naturally feel a sense of guilt when someone dies, so why put more on them of what "could" have been, when nobody really knows this? Plus, it just seemed like a strange format, especially to people who don't know you or who don't understand vegetarianism. If you don't mind, could you please explain? The post wasn't easy for me to write, and neither is this email. But you've always been honest with me, and I am being honest with you. With complete respect to you and everything you stand for, this article seemed out of context to me. Thanks for listening. Cordially, K

Thank you for the article you wrote about Tim Russert.  Someone needed to say what you said.  In the days after his passing, I was so incredibly frustrated at the news broadcasts and doctors coming on TV saying that he had done "everything right" to help himself.  I wanted to scream at the TV screen!  He did not do what he should have done, and now we've lost a great guy.  :-(

How about the interview posthumously with Tim Russert by McDougall. Fantastic! That should be made into a film, DVD and distributed widely.  HD  MPH, CNS, FACN

Thank you so much for your awesome "interview" with Tim Russert.  Kudos to you for such an informative and cleverly written piece!!!  You did hit the nail on the head when you asked, "if you had known, would you have changed your diet?"  Unfortunately, in many cases the answer is "NO!  I like what I like and you only live once!" Respectfully, JS

The posthumous interview with Tim Russert should be required reading for all obese, sedentary older Americans... Eye-opening. I made the switch from omnivore to low-fat vegan more than a year ago. BD

Thank you for your piece on Tim Russert. As soon as we saw the interview with his doctor, we were anxiously awaiting your response. Excellent. Have forwarded it to everyone we know. LS

Your posthumous interview with Mr. Russert was excellent!  I only wish it could be published in every newspaper and magazine and be read on CNN! J

Your article on Tim Russert in the last newsletter was wonderful and I've been passing it along to many people, who in turn are passing it along.  It was filled with many incredible arguments that are real eye openers. VV

What a clever way to get across a strong, concise, informative message!  I sent it to family and friends.  Thank you again for your work.  You are indeed my hero.  It is very unlikely that Mom Roseberry at age 93, three years on your plan, would still be with us without your work.  This week, she had her pacemaker/defibrillator replaced because her old implant had a used up battery.  I imagine it was not needed.  She is now on no medication other than baby aspirins.  Amazing in the Western diet era. Thank you, sincerely. T

Two More Graphic Examples of Plaque Rupture



You can find additional comments and add your own at my discussion board under the heading, “Comments on the latest newsletter and star mcdougaller.


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