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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)

  • August 27, 2007

    Gonzales Goes But Investigation Must Continue

    Facing the prospect of increasingly aggressive congressional inquiries into his politicization of the Department of Justice, as well as an energetic House push for his impeachment, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has announced that he will resign effective September 17.

    Gonzales, the former White House counsel who made clear during his two-and-a-half-year tenure as the nation's top cop that he served President Bush rather than the Constitution, announced his exit strategy just days before the Congress returns from a summer break during which senators and representatives had gotten an earful about the need to get rid of Gonzales.

    A proposal by Washington Democrat Jay Inslee, a respected former prosecutor, to have the House Judiciary Committee investigate whether Gonzales should be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, attracted 27 cosponsors during the current recess and would have drawn many more with the return of the House in early September.

    John Nichols

  • August 24, 2007

    GOP Attacks John Warner for Failing to Echo George Bush

    Here is how things work today at the top levels of the party of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower.

    One of the Republican party's most prominent senators, a former Secretary of the Navy and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, returns from Iraq with his assessment of the circumstance on the ground. That assessment is based on conversations with military commanders and intelligence personnel who seek him out as one of the truest friends the U.S. military has in Congress, as well as on his own experience as one of the savviest observers of international affairs in Washington.

    On the same day, a magazine editor who has consistently been wrong about Iraq, has no formal or serious contact with military commanders on the ground and is broadly considered to be so biased with regard to developments in the region that his judgment cannot be trusted, pipes up with his latest theory about why the occupation is going great.

    John Nichols

  • August 22, 2007

    Cheney Opts for Monarchy

    Dick Cheney has left little doubt about the branch of government he would prefer to serve in: the monarchy. Unfortunately, as a citizen of a republic that rejected the divine right of kings 231 years ago this summer, Cheney finds himself in the unfortunate circumstance of having to select from one of the three branches of government established by the American Constitution.

    Like many people who cannot get what they really want, Cheney is having a hard time making a second choice.

    Responding this week to a Senate Judiciary Committee subpoena seeking documents regarding the role played by the vice president and his aides in establishing and maintaining an illegal program of warrantless spying on the phone conversations of Americans, Cheney's lawyers made the "case" -- if it the word can be employed so loosely -- that the vice president does not have to comply.

    John Nichols

  • August 20, 2007

    For Rove to Imply He Didn’t Leak Plame’s Identity Is “Nonsense”

    Karl Rove is working feverishly to rewrite history in the few remaining days before he is no longer taking taxpayer money to do the political work of the Bush-Cheney administration.

    The White House political czar, who had never been a frequent guest on the talking-head shows where Washington insiders make news on otherwise slow Sundays, was front and center on NBC-TV's "Meet the Press" and Fox News Sunday. The interviews of Rove by NBC's David Gregory and Fox's Chris Wallace were lousy.

    Obviously hoping to get Rove's help in landing heftier interviews with those who will remain on the administration's sinking ship longer than the man they referred to as "Bush's brain," Gregory and Wallace asked soft questions and then allowed Rove to dodge them. Indeed, when the discussion came close to getting serious about documented examples of Rove's dramatic abuses of his position, the soon-to-be-former presidential aide glibly responded, "nice try," or declared "I'm going to leave it there" -- essentially telling his supposed inquisitors that it was time to move on to the next topic.

    John Nichols

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  • August 19, 2007

    Obama Attacked for Being Right About Afghanistan

    The Republican National Committee has for some time now made itself the mouthpiece for extreme pro-war rhetoric, despite the fact that substantial numbers of Republicans – some of whom sit in Congress – oppose the Bush-Cheney administration's misguided approach to the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. In this context, the RNC spends most of its time attacking Democrats who express sentiments no more radical than those mentioned by mainstream Republicans.

    The current target of the RNC's comically over-the-top wrath is U.S. Senator Barack Obama, the Illinois Democrat who is a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination.

    The RNC is furious with Obama for pointing out the obvious with regard to the worst excesses of the Afghanistan occupation.

    John Nichols

  • August 12, 2007

    Dr. King’s Candidate

    The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. did not make many political endorsements. As the most recognized leader of a civil rights movement that enjoyed support from both Democrats and Republicans at the national level, and as a key player in the often life-and-death struggle to end American apartheid, he tended to stand above the political fray.

    But in the spring of 1966, King traveled to Alabama with the explicit purpose of making an endorsement in the Democratic primary for governor. The man whose candidacy King supported was Richmond McDavid Flowers, one of the first "Deep South" politicians to embrace the promise of the civil rights movement.

    Flowers died last Thursday at age 88. At the time of his passing, Flowers was an all-but-forgotten figure.

    John Nichols

  • August 9, 2007

    AT&T Censors Criticism of Bush

    Telecommunications giant AT&T says no one should worry about their aggressive lobbying to eliminate net neutrality -- the first amendment of the internet that guarantees equality of access to all websites.

    AT&T executives claim they would never interfere with web content.

    When Americans hear this spin, they should hang up on AT&T.

    John Nichols