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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)


  • 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

  • July 25, 2007

    Clinton, Kissinger and the Corruptions of Empire

    Of all the corruptions of empire, few are darker than the claim that diplomacy must be kept secret from the citizenry.

    This hide-it-from-the people faith that only a cloistered group of unelected and often unaccountable elites – embodied by the nefarious and eminently indictable Henry Kissinger – is capable of steering the affairs of state pushes Americans out of the processes that determine whether their sons and daughters will die in distant wars, whether the factories where they worked will be shuttered, whether their country will respond to or neglect genocide, whether their tax dollars will go to pay for the unspeakable.

    It allows for the dirty game where foreign countries are included or excluded from contact with the U.S. based on unspoken whims and self-serving schemes, where trade deals are negotiated without congressional oversight and then presented in take-it-or-leave-it form and where war is made easy by secretive cliques that are as willing to lie to presidents as they do to the people.

    John Nichols

  • July 24, 2007

    Cindy Sheehan: “Challenge the Status Quo”

    Fresh from being arrested on Capitol Hill, along with 45 other activists demanding that Congress get about the business of impeaching George Bush and Dick Cheney, Cindy Sheehan has determined that she can no longer count on others to stop the war in Iraq or hold a lawless administration to account.

    So she has announced that she will, indeed, challenge House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's bid for reelection next year.

    It is a bold gesture, rooted in the deep frustration of the nation's most prominent anti-war activist with Pelosi's hyper-cautious approach to her duties as both the leader of the congressional opposition to an unpopular president and as a sworn defender of the Constitution.

    John Nichols


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  • July 21, 2007

    President Cheney — Officially

    Presuming that he could be distracted by a colonoscopy, George Bush on Saturday arranged to briefly transfer the authority of the presidency to Dick Cheney.

    Surely, Cheney, who has not exactly been without presidential authority for the past six-and-a-half years enjoyed the irony.

    But not everyone was thrilled by the prospect.

    John Nichols

  • July 18, 2007

    Republican Hypocrite Caucus Keeps George Bush’s War Going

    A night of debate about the war in Iraq yielded two results:

    1. Limited progress on getting an honest up-or-down vote on whether to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq on a schedule that might finish before the end of George Bush's presidency.

    2. Confirmation that many Senate Republicans who delight in holding press conferences to talk about what's wrong with Bush's war are, in fact, the primary facilitators of that war's continuation.

    John Nichols


  • July 17, 2007

    Harry Reid Finally Starts to Fight Smart

    Harry Reid is finally coming to the realization reached months ago by the American people: That Democrats in Congress have been played for suckers by the Bush White House and its Republican allies on Capitol Hill.

    The Senate Majority Leader's recognition of the realities of Washington in the Bush era--as evidenced by his decision Monday to set up a scenario that could clarify the role played by Republican senators in maintaining the president's exceptionally unpopular approach to the Iraq War--holds out the prospect that the politics of the debate over ending the occupation could change radically in the weeks to come.

    Make no mistake, such a shift is necessary.

    John Nichols

  • July 13, 2007

    Cheney’s Actions Put Impeachment on the Table

    Four more members of the U.S. House signed on this week as cosponsors of H. Res. 333, the measure that outlines articles of impeachment against Vice President Dick Cheney for actively and systematically seeking to deceive citizens and Congress about an alleged threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and an alleged relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda and for openly threatening aggression against Iran.

    Congressman Bob Filner, the chair of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, added his name, along with another veteran Democratic representative from California, Sam Farr.

    The additional cosponsorships from Washington Democrat Jim McDermott, a Vietnam-era veteran who has been one of the House's sharpest critics of the war in Iraq, and Virginia Democrat James Moran bring the number of supporters for the articles to 14, including sponsor Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio.

    John Nichols