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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)


  • May 31, 2007

    Meet Fred Thompson: Friend of Felons

    Here is the latest from the front page of the Scooter Libby Legal Defense Trust, the group that has been shaking down Republican donors for the money needed to maintain the convicted felon's silence until an appropriate moment arrives for him to be pardoned by President Bush:

    "Former Senator Fred Thompson, a member of the Advisory Committee for the Libby Legal Defense Trust has graciously offered to host another fund raiser for the Libby Legal Defense Trust. We will be providing additional details in the coming days."

    Thompson's schedule is getting busier and busier these days, as the man who reversed Ronald Reagan's career trajectory by going from the Senate into acting prepared to bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

    John Nichols

  • Activism May 31, 2007

    Cindy Sheehan’s Farewell

    Her unscripted activism was characterized by an element so often missing from politics: genuineness. But we haven't seen the last of Cindy Sheehan.

    John Nichols

  • May 30, 2007

    Dick Cheney’s Dead Wrongs

    Two years ago, on May 30, 2005, Vice President Dick Cheney said of the violence in Iraq: "I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency."

    The comment came in response to a question from CNN's Larry King.

    That's the line everyone remembers from the interview.

    John Nichols

  • May 29, 2007

    Cindy Sheehan Calls It Quits

    The decision of Congressional Democrats to hand George Bush a blank check to maintain a war they were elected to end has frustrated a lot of Americans -- even the until-now indefatigable Cindy Sheehan.

    Sheehan, the mother of slain soldier Casey Sheehan whose 2005 decision to camp out in Crawford, Texas, until George Bush heard her complaints about the war made her a hero to activists around the world, is tired of the compromises that keep the war going. So tired that she is retiring as the "face" of the peace movement.

    Here is what Sheehan, one of the most selfless campaigners this reporter has had the privilege of covering, wrote in her online diary upon the dawning of another Memorial Day with no end in sight to a war that should never have started:

    John Nichols

  • May 27, 2007

    Fighting for Democracy on Memorial Day

    Memorial Day is, as former North Carolina Senator John Edwards reminds us, "a serious holiday." And this year, in particular, it falls at what Edwards rightly refers to as "a serious time."

    John Nichols

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  • May 25, 2007

    John Boehner’s Crying Game

    House Minority Leader John Boehner wept Thursday night, as he delivered the final Republican appeal on behalf of funding President Bush's perpetual war in Iraq.

    This is obviously a serious matter for the tear-inclined Ohio congressman, who last lost his composure during a February soliloquy on the need for "solemn debate" in the House.

    Unfortunately for Boehner, he is seriously misinformed about the issue that is bringing him to tears.

    John Nichols

  • May 25, 2007

    “A Big Mistake” Vote Gives Bush His Iraq Money

    Despite the results of last November's elections, which gave them the authority to check and balance George Bush, and despite polls that show roughly two-thirds of Americans want them to do so, Democrats are not quite ready to say "no" to the president's demand for more money to wage the war that he pleases in Iraq.

    On the critical Senate vote on whether to hand Bush a blank check he sought, 37 Democrats and so-called "Democrat" Joe Lieberman of Connecticut voted with the White House. They joined with 42 Republicans -- including Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel, who talks a good anti-war line but votes with the administration when push comes to shove -- to pass the $120 billion supplemental spending bill.

    Against the 80 votes for perpetual war were 14 "no" votes. Three came from conservative Republicans -- North Carolina's Richard Burr, Oklahoma's Tom Coburn and Wyoming's Mike Enzi -- who objected to the pricey domestic initiatives and policies that were attached to the measure in an attempt to render it more palatable.

    John Nichols

  • May 24, 2007

    Dodd YouTubes Clinton, Obama on War Funding

    Chris Dodd is YouTubing Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama again, and this time it's serious. Indeed, the Connecticut senator is leaving no space for the Democratic presidential frontrunners to continue dancing around the rapidly-developing debate over just how serious Democrats are about forcing President Bush to bring troops home from Iraq.

    Take a look:

    John Nichols


  • May 23, 2007

    Not a “Compromise,” It’s a Blank Check

    The question is not whether House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid flinched in their negotiations with the Bush administration over the continuation of the Iraq occupation.

    John Nichols