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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 Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse: A Field Guide to the Most Dangerous People in America, forthcoming from Nation Books this fall, as well as 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)


  • November 13, 2007

    Right-to-Lifers Endorse Thompson — Cynically

    The most cynical group currently operating on the American political stage, the National Right to Life Committee has endorsed the most cynical man to seek the presidency in recent memory, Fred Thompson, for the Republican nomination.

    It is a perfect match, although not one that can be said to have been "made in Heaven." After all, what brings the National Right to Life Committee and Fred Thompson together is the fact that both the interest group and the candidate have sold their souls to the highest bidder.

    National Right to Life gave its blessing to Thompson despite the fact that he has been open during the course of the current campaign about the fact that he does not support what has historically been the highest stated priority of the organization: enactment of a constitutional amendment to ban abortion.

    John Nichols

  • November 11, 2007

    11th Hour, 11th Day, 11th Month

    On the 11th hour of the 11th Day of the 11th month, the guns of World War I fell silent. And a war that should never have been fought – arguably by anyone, certainly by Americans – was done.

    Americans who know their history celebrate Veterans Day not to honor war, but to recognize the soldiers who died and the soldiers who survived the wars of the past – and, hopefully, to ponder the futility of abandoning George Washington's advice to avoid the entangling alliances of distant continents and the mortal combats of the kings and conquerers who intrigues Americans rejected when the United States revolted against monarchy, colonialism and the madness of empire.

    It is in that latter pondering that Americans would do well to recognize the courage of those who opposed the madness that was World War I, a courage born of a concern for America's troops that was not evidenced by their commander-in-chief.

    John Nichols


  • November 9, 2007

    Shame on Clinton, Obama, Dodd & Biden for Skipping AG Vote

    Michael Mukasey was confirmed late Thursday by the U.S. Senate to serve as the nation's 81st Attorney General. This means that, despite the fact refused to commit during the course of his confirmation hearings to abide by the Constitution or to hold the president accountable to the rule of law, the former federal judge will now serve as the country's chief law enforcement officer.

    Mukasey's nomination was cinched when two Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, New York Senator Chuck Schumer and California Senator Dianne Feinstein, decided to accept the nominee's assurance that he would respect a law specifically banning the torture tactic of waterboarding. The assurance was meaningless, as Congress is unlikely to pass such a law and President Bush would veto it.

    But, as bad as Schumer and Feinstein's votes may have been, at least they cast them when the Mukasey nomination came to the Senate floor.

    John Nichols

  • Election 2008 November 8, 2007

    Joseph Biden, Fighter

    At a time when too many Democrats are prone to pulling punches, he knows how to throw them. And he has the bruises to show it.

    John Nichols

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  • November 6, 2007

    House Puts Impeachment On, Then Off, The Table

    The move by Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich to open a House debate on the question of whether to impeach Vice President Cheney turned into a imbroglio for the Democratic leadership of the chamber Tuesday as mischievous Republicans joined dozens of Democrats in rejecting a move to table the resolution.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had thwarted Kucinich's efforts to convince the Judiciary Committee to take up his proposal to hold the vice president to account for lying to Congress and the U.S. public in order to enter into a war in Iraq, and for trying to mislead again in order to start a war with Iran. So the Ohioan used a privileged resolution to bring the impeachment question up before the full House.

    House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, then moved to table Kucinich's resolution. "Impeachment is not on our agenda. We have some major priorities. We need to focus on those," said Hoyer, echoing Pelosi's position that presidential accountability is "off the table."

    John Nichols


  • November 6, 2007

    Judiciary Panel OK’s Waterboarding, Er, Mukasey

    The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday morning approved President Bush's nomination of former Federal Judge Michael Mukasey to replace Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General.

    Mukasey, a radical advocate for expanded executive power, had refused to condemn the torture tactics -- such as waterboarding -- that Gonzales sought unsuccessfully to legitimize.

    The committee voted 11-8 to forward Mukasey's nomination to the full Senate with a recommendation that the former judge be confirmed.

    John Nichols

  • November 4, 2007

    Mukasey Is (Much) Worse Than Gonzales

    George Bush's nominee to replace disgraced former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, retired Federal Judge Michael B. Mukasey, must be rejected by the Senate Judiciary Committee for the same reason that Gonzales should have been rejected in 2005.

    Like Gonzales, Mukasey refuses to accept that the president of the United States must abide by the laws of the land, beginning with the Constitution. In fact, the nominee to replace the worst Attorney General since Calvin Coolidge forced Harry Micajah Daugherty to quit rather than face impeachment is actually takes a more extreme position in defense of an imperial presidency than did Gonzales.

    When questioned by Judiciary Committee chair Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont and Constitution sub-committee chair Russ Feingold, D-Wisconsin, during the key hearing on his nomination, Mukasey embraces an interpretation of presidential authority so radical that it virtually guarantees more serious abuses of power by the executive branch.

    John Nichols