John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, writes about politics for The Nation as its national-affairs correspondent. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books, and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.
Nichols is a contributing writer for The Progressive and In These Times and the associate editor of the Capital Times, the daily newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and dozens of other newspapers.
Nichols is a frequent guest on radio and television programs as a commentator on politics and media issues. He was featured in Robert Greenwald’s documentary Outfoxed, and in Joan Sekler’s Unprecedented, Matt Kohn’s Call It Democracy, and Robert Pappas’s Orwell Rolls in His Grave. The keynote speaker at the 2004 Congress of the International Federation of Journalists in Athens, Nichols has been a featured presenter at conventions, conferences, and public forums on media issues sponsored by the Federal Communications Commission, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Consumers International, the Future of Music Coalition, the AFL-CIO, the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, the Newspaper Guild [CWA], and dozens of other organizations.
Nichols is the author of The Genius of Impeachment (New Press); a critically acclaimed analysis of the Florida recount fight of 2000, Jews for Buchanan (New Press); and a best-selling biography of former vice president Dick Cheney, Dick: The Man Who is President (New Press), which has recently been published in French and Arabic. He edited Against the Beast: A Documentary History of American Opposition to Empire (Nation Books), of which historian Howard Zinn said: “At exactly the time when we need it most, John Nichols gives us a special gift—a collection of writings, speeches, poems, and songs from throughout American history—that reminds us that our revulsion to war and empire has a long and noble tradition in this country.”
With Robert W. McChesney, Nichols has co-authored the books It’s the Media, Stupid! (Seven Stories), Our Media, Not Theirs (Seven Stories), Tragedy and Farce: How the American Media Sell Wars, Spin Elections, and Destroy Democracy (The New Press), The Death and Life of American Journalism (Nation Books), Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street (Nation Books), and their latest, People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy (Nation Books, March 2016). McChesney and Nichols are the co-founders of Free Press, a media-reform network, which organized the 2003 and 2005 National Conferences on Media Reform.
Of Nichols, author Gore Vidal says: “Of all the giant slayers now afoot in the great American desert, John Nichols’s sword is the sharpest.” (Photo by Robin Holland / Bill Moyers Journal)
American right wingers, led by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, fell in love with France last month. They got excited because the voters of France turned to the right in May and elected Nicolas Sarkozy as their new president. Sarkozy, an urbane secularist who has appointed a leading socialist and one of the world's top human rights advocates to his Cabinet, is hardly an American-style yahoo conservative.
But Sarkozy has proposed serious assaults on France's social-welfare commitments, and that excited Gingrich and his circle – so much so that the potential Republican presidential contender has recently been writing columns with headlines like "A French Lesson for Republicans."
"I know this will seem strange to those of us who like to make jokes about the French, but the fact is that there is a great deal to be learned from the victory of Nicolas Sarkozy (a member of the ruling party) in last weekend's "change" election in France -- and Republicans had better learn it," Gingrich was busy telling his fellow partisans in May.
The American Civil Liberties Union is right when it says that last week's Senate Judiciary Committee vote in favor of the restoration of habeas corpus protections "signals to the White House and the Republican minority in Congress that this is a real issue."
But that does not mean that renewal of the most basic of our Constitutional guarantees is just around the corner.
The frustrating fight to restore habeas corpus has reached an important milestone. Democrats appear to have signed on for the struggle. But Republicans, for the most part, remain wrong or silent.
The most amusing spin following the vote by a majority of US senators to prepare a "no-confidence" vote against Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was the suggestion that the scandal-plagued Cabinet member had earned something of a reprieve.
Because the Senate did not muster the super-majority of 60 votes needed to schedule the "no-confidence" vote on Monday, the White House and its media acolytes suggested, the tide had turned in favor of Gonzales.
In fact, the decision of seven Republican senators to join their Democratic colleagues in taking steps to signal that the Attorney General did nothing to dampen enthusiasm for holding Gonzales to account.
New York Senator Chuck Schumer has for some weeks been calling for a vote of "no confidence" in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. And it looks like he may get one â€“ or, to be more precise, the start of a process that could lead to one -- on Monday.
But don't bet that the Senate will hold the scandal-plagued Gonzales to account.
In fact, the real issue will be holding senators to account.
Only one in five American voters believe the United States is heading in the right direction, and the overwhelming majority of them have lost confidence in President Bush to right the country's course.
Unfortunately for Democrats, the voters appear to be in the process of losing confidence in the opposition party to do much better than Bush.
According to the latest Associated Press/Ipsos poll, a mere 21 percent of those surveyed said the U.S. was on the right track.