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John Nichols

National Affairs Correspondent

John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, writes about politics for The Nation magazine 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 the documentaries 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 (The New Press); a critically acclaimed analysis of the Florida recount fight of 2000, Jews for Buchanan (The New Press); and a best-selling biography of Vice President Dick Cheney, Dick: The Man Who is President (The 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, the nation’s 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)


  • January 19, 2007

    “Cheney Has Stepped Way Over the Line”

    Even historians who are not particularly sympathetic to Jimmy Carter's presidency share the widely accepted view that Carter's vice president, Walter Mondale, was one of the most engaged and effective occupants the nation's No. 2 job.

    So it means something when Mondale says there are limits to what a Vice President can and should do. And it should mean a lot that Mondale is arguing forcefully that Dick Cheney has exceeded those limits with results that are as practically dangerous as they are politically troubling.

    "I think that Cheney has stepped way over the line," Mondale, who during his tenure as Carter's Vice President served as a senior adviser to the President and a prominent spokesman for Administration policies, explained Friady in an aggressive critique of the current Vice President during the opening session of a three-day University of Georgia conference on Carter's presidency.

    John Nichols


  • Ethical Economics January 18, 2007

    The Fair Trade Democrats

    In an interview with Senator Sherrod Brown, Nichols shows that the new Democrats are pursuing a new trade agenda.

    John Nichols


  • January 17, 2007

    Bush Backs Down on Warrantless Wiretaps

    Does it matter that Democrats took charge of the Senate this month?

    George Bush seems to think so.

    In a letter sent today to Senate Judiciary Committee leaders, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales writes that, "the president has determined not to reauthorize the Terrorist Surveillance Program when the current authorization expires.

    John Nichols

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  • January 16, 2007

    Obama Steps Up… And Into the 2008 Race

    With his decision to file the necessary paperwork to launch a presidential campaign exploratory committee, Barack Obama puts an end to speculation about whether he really is interested in being the Democratic nominee in 2008.

    The exploratory committee is political performance art. Obama's not exploring anything. He's preparing a candidacy that, if all goes as planned, will be launched officially on February 10 in Chicago.

    So Obama is running.

    John Nichols

  • January 15, 2007

    Dick Cheney, Scooter Libby and the New Definition of “Honesty”

    Dick Cheney worked in the White House of Richard Nixon, who had to resign as Congress began impeachment proceedings that grew out of his dishonest and disreputable stewardship of the presidency

    Dick Cheney worked with the White House of Ronald Reagan, which was investigated by Congress and the courts for establishing – and then lying about -- a secret plan to violate the law by directing resources to its Iran-Contra co-conspirators in the Middle East and Latin America.

    Dick Cheney worked in the White House of George Herbert Walker Bush, who pardoned former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, Robert C. McFarlane, Elliott Abrams and others who had been indicted, and in some cases convicted, by Iran-Contra prosecutors.

    John Nichols

  • Autobiography and Memoir January 12, 2007

    Newspapers…and After?

    Newspapers may be dinosaurs in the age of new media, but they have enough life to guide--and even define--our politics.

    John Nichols


  • January 11, 2007

    Dr. King and the Media

    MEMPHIS -- The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose legacy has been celebrated this weekend in Memphis by National Conference for Media Reform speakers such as Bill Moyers, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Vermont Senator Bernie Sander, actor Danny Glover and Democracy Now's Amy Goodman, often prodded the U.S. media to do a better job of covering the civil rights movement that he championed in the 195Os and 196Os.

    King recognized that, while ending segregation and creating opportunities for African Americans was his first goal, getting the media to do its job had to be on the agenda.

    The Nobel Peace Prize winner knew that organizing, marching and protesting in a vacuum would not bring change. The American people and their elected representatives needed to know that demands were being made for the redress of grievances.

    John Nichols