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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 28, 2007

    Mike Huckabee’s Religious-Test Campaign

    This is supposed to be Mike Huckabee's make-or-break night.

    The former Arkansas governor has emerged as the potential "Jimmy Carter" of the 2008 presidential race – a virtual unknown from the south who, with little money and few national endorsements, uses a breakthrough win in the Iowa caucuses to go national. Huckabee is now statistically tied with the GOP frontrunner in Iowa, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

    A strong performance in tonight's CNN/YouTube Republican debate could give Huckabee, who must rely on free media to offset Romney's self-financed "money-is-no-object" campaign, the boost he needs to take the lead.

    John Nichols

  • November 25, 2007

    Australia Exits the Coalition of the Willing

    President Bush recently traveled to Australia to thank conservative Prime Minister John Howard for making that country a member of the "coalition of the willing" U.S. allies in the occupation of Iraq.

    Bush's trip was supposed to shore Howard up as national elections approached. Instead, the president planted what turned out to be a political kiss of death on his most willing accomplice.

    When the votes from Down Under were counted Saturday, it was instantly clear that the vast majority of Australians are no longer willing to participate in the American president's misadventure in the Middle East.

    John Nichols

  • November 23, 2007

    States of Play: 41 Days to Iowa, 46 to New Hampshire

    The date for the New Hampshire primary has finally been locked in: January 8.

    That's five days after the Iowa caucuses.

    So, in less than 50 days, the two contests that are most likely to define the 2008 presidential competition will be done.

    John Nichols


  • November 21, 2007

    Scott McClellan = John Dean?

    Scott McClellan's admission that he unintentionally made false statements denying the involvement of Karl Rove and Scooter Libby in the Bush-Cheney administration's plot to discredit former Ambassador Joe Wilson, along with his revelation that Vice President Cheney and President Bush were among those who provided him with the misinformation, sets the former White House press secretary as John Dean to George Bush's Richard Nixon.

    It was Dean willingness to reveal the details of what described as "a cancer" on the Nixon presidency that served as a critical turning point in the struggle by a previous Congress to hold the 37th president to account.

    Now, McClellan has offered what any honest observer must recognize as the stuff of a similarly significant breakthrough.

    John Nichols

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  • November 20, 2007

    Hurricane Katrina Blows Apart New Orleans Politics

    For almost a quarter century, New Orleans government reflected the racial makeup of the city. As such, the city council had an African-American majority.

    Not anymore.

    Anyone looking for evidence of the extent of the racial reconfiguration that occurred after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005 got it over the weekend. Run-off elections on Saturday reversed much of the political progress made by African-Americans in the decades since the civil rights movement opened avenues of advancement for people of color in the southern city.

    John Nichols

  • November 16, 2007

    Clinton Plays the Gender Card for a Win

    Hillary Clinton, who joked about taking the stage wearing "an asbestos pantsuit" Thursday night, won what could turn out to be the critical debate of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

    To suggest otherwise would be to underestimate the power, the authority and, yes, the intangibly presidential quality of Clinton's response to a question posed mid-way through the Las Vegas debate by CNN's Campbell Brown.

    Brown asked about a speech the New York senator recently gave at her alma mater, Wellesley College in Massachusetts. Clinton had told the Wellesley crowd, "[In] so many ways, this all women's college prepared me compete in the all boys' club of presidential politics."

    John Nichols

  • November 15, 2007

    Questions for Each of the Debating Democrats

    The Democratic presidential debate that will be held tonight in Las Vegas promises several things: Attacks on Hillary Clinton by challengers who recognize that she remains the clear front-runner in a race that could be decided in two months, meandering ruminations by CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer that will take up more time than candidate answers and another great one-liner from Delaware Senator Joe Biden, the one candidate who has come to recognize the value of adding genuine comic relief to an otherwise stilted discourse.

    But what about the questions? Will there be a further parsing of New York State Department of Motor Vehicles regulations? More inquiries about Halloween costumes and UFOs? Another round of hedge-fund roulette?

    Here are some questions that ought to be asked of each of the candidates:

    John Nichols

  • Election 2008 November 15, 2007

    Carter Speaks His Mind

    A conversation with the former President on Jonathan Demme's new film, Jimmy Carter Man From Plains, and the difficulty of talking about Israel and Palestine.

    John Nichols

  • November 14, 2007

    Barney Frank: Clinton “Best Equipped” to Advance Gay Rights

    Both openly-gay members of Congress have now endorsed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.

    The New York senator secured the support of Tammy Baldwin, the Wisconsin congresswoman who is the only out lesbian in the House, months ago. And this week Clinton gained the enthusiastic endorsement of House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, the only out gay man currently serving in the chamber.

    Frank specifically hailed Clinton's support for gay and lesbian rights in announcing his decision to back the woman who current leads in national polling on the Democratic race and who is the front-runner in most early caucus and primary states.

    John Nichols