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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 21, 2007

    The Call to Impeach Gonzales

    Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has lied so many times and in so many circumstances that he now finds himself lying about the lies.

    All of his deceptive statements have been uttered in an official capacity, many of them under oath.

    But as lawless as his language has been, the actions of the attorney general may well be the more serious of his high crimes and misdemeanors. Indeed, the worst crime of Alberto Gonzales may be that -- with the revelations about his ghoulish visit to the sickbed of his Constitutionally-inclined predecessor -- this attorney general has actually forced millions of Americans to wrap their heads around the notion John Ashcroft may have been, at least by comparison, a good guy.

    John Nichols

  • May 20, 2007

    Who’s Afraid of Jimmy Carter? George Bush

    How touchy is the Bush administration about criticism?

    Very touchy, indeed, especially if the source of that criticism is a certain former president.

    When Jimmy Carter, whose approval ratings dwarf those of George Bush these days, gets to talking about what's wrong with the current president the White House spin machine goes into overdrive.

    John Nichols


  • May 17, 2007

    GOP Senators to Gonzales: Go Already!

    "The president still has full confidence in Alberto Gonzales," says White House spokesman Tony Snow.

    Yikes! The president still has confidence.

    Even Snow, whose willingness to explore the outer limits of spin is well established, can't pretty this mess up.

    John Nichols

  • May 15, 2007

    The Old Time Hypocrisy Hour

    The various and sundry Republican presidential contenders will be stumbling over one another tonight--as they debate in South Carolina--and in the days ahead to curry favor with the religious right by expressing their sorrow at the passing of the Rev. Jerry Falwell.

    It's not that most of the Republican candidates really cared much for Falwell. Aside from Kansas Senator Sam Brownback, the most seriously evangelical of the bunch, none of the GOP runners really qualifies as a Falwell follower in the classic sense.

    But the Republicans who would be President care for those whom Falwell claimed to speak for, the millions of fire-and-brimstone Christians in states such as Iowa and South Carolina who are expected to participate in next year's caucuses and primaries. It may be true that Falwell had ceased to be a definitional figure on the Republican right some years ago--perhaps even before he blamed the 9/11 attacks on pagans and feminists.

    John Nichols

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  • May 14, 2007

    Hagelberg! Bloomha! For ’08! Maybe

    "This country is in trouble. The world is in trouble. And we need some new, fresh, independent ideas to lead this country forward."

    Sounds a like the opening line from a presidential campaign announcement speech. And it may just be.

    Or, perhaps, it is a line from a vice-presidential campaign announcement.

    John Nichols

  • May 11, 2007

    A Browner Shade of Blair? Or Better?

    LONDON -- Prime Minister Tony Blair will not step down until late June. But, with his announcement that he is leaving politics after ten years as the leader of Britain's government, the national media has already shifted over to speculation about the past-his-sell-by-date prime minister's determination to make a fortune on the international lecture circuit -- "The Blair Rich Project," the BBC has dubbed it -- and on his successor.

    Blair's slow exit strategy should benefit his long-time man in waiting, Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, who will spend the coming week's campaigning for a coronation.

    Brown hopes to secure the Labour Party leadership without a fight and then assume the prime ministership on Blair's exit. If he does so -- as is likely -- it will be the end of one of the most extended periods of understudy in British political history.

    John Nichols

  • May 9, 2007

    Feingold Rejects Compromise, Pushes Exit Strategy

    Fifty-seven percent of Americans say that Congress should not compromise with President Bush in the Iraq War funding fight. That's the number that, according to a new CNN poll, wants Congress to give Bush another bill with a withdrawal timetable.

    Unfortunately, not all the Democrats on the Hill want to push back quite that hard. There is serious talk of giving Bush a substantial portion of the money with no strings attached and then returning to the issue later this year.

    Such a move would highlight the failure of all the major players to step up to the challenge the Iraq imbroglio poses.

    John Nichols

  • May 7, 2007

    Voting About Issues That Matter

    EDINBURGH -- The Scottish rock group The Proclaimers sang a quarter century ago: "I cannot understand why we let someone else rule our land."

    Last week's elections for the Scottish parliament suggest that a good many Scots are struggling with the same concern.

    For the first time in history, the Scottish Nationalist Party [SNP], which has campaigned for the better part of a century on an independence platform, is the largest party and its leader, Alex Salmond, is expected to head the new government.

    John Nichols

  • May 6, 2007

    Not Quite a French Poodle

    PARIS -- During the campaign for president of France, Socialist Sègolene Royal's supporters derided conservative front runner Nicolas Sarkozy as "an American neo-conservative with a French passport."

    The line Royal and her backers pushed as she struggled to close the gap in the final sprint to catch up with Sarkozy was that the conservative would abandon France's traditional stance as an independent player on the international stage and make the nation little more than an American puppet-state.

    The charge was always something of stretch. Sarkozy may have been more comfortable than Royal when it came to speaking of "friendship" with the US, but he always explained that friendship did not require "submission."

    John Nichols