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John Nichols

National Affairs Correspondent

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)


  • August 8, 2007

    Carl Bernstein: Bush More “Disastrous” Than Nixon

    Carl Bernstein will always be known as the journalist who brought down a president whose disregard for the Constitution and the rule of law disqualified the errant executive from completing a second term in the White House. And Bernstein still gets a round of applause when mention is made of the role he played, as part of a Washington Post investigative team that also included Bob Woodward, in exposing the high crimes and misdemeanors of a president named Nixon.

    But 33 years after Nixon resigned in order to avoid an inevitable impeachment -- on August 9, 1974 -- Bernstein is more concerned about a president named Bush.

    When we appeared together recently at The Aspen Institute's first symposium on the political reporting of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, Bernstein recalled the old stories of when he and Thompson were busy revealing the sordid details of Nixon's presidency.

    John Nichols

  • August 6, 2007

    Bush to Karzai: Will You Just Shut Up About Iran?

    Things got a little testy at the Camp David Summit between Afghan President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan and American President George Bush.

    Karzai, who when he is in the U.S. is expected to act as a puppet of the Bush administration, made the mistake of actually speaking his mind. In a CNN interview broadcast Sunday, the Afghan president said terrorism in Afghanistan is getting worse, that the hunt for al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is at a standstill and, then, he described Iran as a positive player -- "a helper and a solution" -- in the region.

    All of these statements are objectively true.

    John Nichols



  • August 2, 2007

    Broken Bridges, Lost Levees and a Brutal Culture of Neglect

    As rescue workers continued to pull bodies out of the stretch of the Mississippi River that runs beneath the collapsed I-35W bridge in Minneapolis Thursday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters released a $5 million grant to help with cleanup and recovery at the site of the disaster.

    That will barely be enough to cover the expense of extracting the bodies of the drowned and dismembered commuters who were hurtled into the river when the interstate highway bridge they were traveling on buckled and then fell into the river. And it will not begin to pay for the rebuilding of a vital transportation link in one of America's most populous cities -- an initiative that will cost in the hundreds of millions.

    To get the money that is needed to repair the damage, limits on federal aid for infrastructure will have to be lifted.

    John Nichols

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  • July 31, 2007

    Wall Street Journal Gone Wild

    There will be plenty of formal responses to the news that The Wall Street Journal will soon join the "stable" of Rupert Murdoch's "media properties.

    But few will top that of MoveOn.org Civic Action, the grassroots activism wing of the popular internet forum.

    MoveOn will dispatch newsboys and newsgirls to the streets of New York City tomorrow to hand out Murdoched versions of The Wall Street Journal in front of the venerable financial newspaper's Manhattan headquarters.

    John Nichols

  • July 31, 2007

    “The President Cannot Ignore an Impeachment”

    After months of revelations about his ham-handed attempts to politicize investigations and prosecutions by U.S. Attorneys and sections of the Department of Justice he heads, after his repeated refusals to cooperate with Congress and his deliberate attempts to deceive the House and Senate judiciary committees, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has invited impeachment to an extent rarely seen in the long and sordid history of executive assaults on the rule of law.

    And Congressman Jay Inslee is answering the invitation.

    The Washington Democrat moved Tuesday to introduce a resolution that directs the House Judiciary Committee to investigate whether Alberto R. Gonzales, Attorney General of the United States, should be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors.

    John Nichols


  • July 27, 2007

    A Commitment to the Constitution

    The Center for Constitutional Rights, Human Rights Watch and MoveOn.org have launched a vital campaign to put restoration of the Constitution on the agenda for Democratic presidential candidates -- just as the conservative American Freedom Agenda movement has done for Republican candidates.

    CCR, Human Rights Watch and MoveOn have dubbed their initiative the American Freedom Campaign (AFC), and its goal is roughly parallel to that of the American Freedom Agenda movement launched by former Reagan administration lawyer Bruce Fein, former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr, veteran Republican strategist Richard Viguerie and American Conservative Union chairman David Keene: "to build grassroots support to restore checks and balances and reverse abuses of power by the executive branch."

    Like the American Freedom Agenda, which has dogged Republican candidates to sign on for restoration of the Constitution -- with limited success, aside from an enthusiastic endorsement by Texas Congressman Ron Paul -- the CCR/Human Rights Watch/MoveOn campaign will urge presidential candidates to sign its "American Freedom Pledge."

    John Nichols

  • Political Figures July 26, 2007

    Impeachable Offenses

    The burgeoning movement to impeach Bush and Cheney is a rational response at a time when 80 percent of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.

    John Nichols