William Heisel who blogs at Antidote, posted the first part of an interview with me here and started off with this lovely introduction. I’d like to think it’s apposite, and that’s the reason it seems so well put to me (although perhaps I just like it because Heisel is so charitable). Either way, it’s always pleasant to have people say nice things about you, and I’m usually overwhelmed with self consciousness when I try to sell myself – so I’m going to push through and paste his description here:
Nathanael Johnson, a Bay Area radio reporter and freelance writer, has made a nice career examining the many ways Americans go overboard – from the food that we eat to the health treatments that we seek. He has written about the Orwellian world of pork farming and the radical raw milk movement for Harper’s magazine. He has written about the surge in “functional beverages” for New York magazine. And he has written numerous features, including an insightful piece on excessive medical treatments, for his day job at KALW News.
In February, the Center for Investigative Reporting’s California Watch published an investigation by Johnson that made the entire state — and large news outlets such as ABC World News with Diane Sawyer — sit up and take notice.
The mortality rate of California women who die from causes directly related to pregnancy has nearly tripled in the past decade, prompting doctors to worry about the dangers of obesity in expectant mothers and about medical complications of cesarean sections. For the past seven months, the state Department of Public Health declined to release a report outlining the trend.
This investigation had all the makings of a blockbuster. Innocent victims. Shocking trends. And the specter of government malfeasance. But it also had something else lacking in most investigations of this scope: a measured tone. Johnson made sure to underscore how few women actually die every year and, by contrast, how many healthy babies go home with healthy mothers.
Nice huh? Thanks Bill!