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John Nichols

National Affairs Correspondent

John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, writes about politics for The Nation magazine 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 the documentaries 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 (The New Press); a critically acclaimed analysis of the Florida recount fight of 2000, Jews for Buchanan (The New Press); and a best-selling biography of Vice President Dick Cheney, Dick: The Man Who is President (The 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, the nation’s 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)



  • March 14, 2006

    Ned Lamont v. Joe Lieberman

    Ned Lamont, the Connecticut cable television entrepreneur whose anger over Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman's support of Bush administration policies spurred him to explore whether to mount a primary challenge to the most prominent Democratic supporter of the war on Iraq, is done exploring.

    Lamont's running, and he's got a message for the globetrotting incumbent who returned from his most recent trip to Iraq with a ringing endorsement of the occupation: "Senator," the challenger said, "stop by Bridgeport on your way back from Baghdad and listen to your constituents..."

    What Lamont thinks Lieberman's constituents will tell the senator when Connecticut Democrats vote in the August 9 primary is that the Bush administration must be challenged, not coddled.

    John Nichols

  • March 12, 2006

    Feingold Moves to Censure Bush

    U.S. Senator Russ Feingold on Monday asked the Senate to officially censure President Bush for breaking the law by authorizing an illegal wiretapping program, and for misleading Congress and the American people about the existence and legality of that program.

    If the Wisconsin Democrat's move were to succeed, Bush would be the first president in 172 years to be so condemned by Congress.

    Charging that the President's illegal wiretapping program is in direct violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) – which makes it a crime to wiretap Americans in the United States without a warrant or a court order -- Feingold argues that Congress cannot avoid facing the fact that fundamental Constitutional issues are at stake.

    John Nichols

  • March 11, 2006

    Port Deal Question: What’s the White House Still Hiding?

    President Bush, after watching his already low approval rating take a dive because of his mishandling of the issue, wants memories of the controversy about whether Dubai Ports World should run six east coast ports to fade away fast.

    Republicans in Congress, well aware that severe damage has been done to the public impression that their party is serious about national security, want the controversy to go away.

    Democrats in Congress, punch drunk from the experience of actually prevailing in a standoff with the White House, appear to be quite willing to pop the champagne corks and declare victory.

    John Nichols

  • March 10, 2006

    Patriot Act Politics

    Rarely has the disconnect between the faith of the American people in the bedrock principle that it is possible to be safe and free and the failure of faith on the part of their elected leaders been more evident than in recent days.

    There is no question that, outside of Washington, concern runs deep about the assaults on basic liberties contained in the Patriot Act. Eight state legislative chambers – in Alaska, California, Colorado Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Montana and Vermont -- and 397 local government bodies in communities large and small nationwide have passed resolutions urging Congress to fix the act so that Constitutional protections are not sacrificed in pursuit of the false promise of domestic security.

    Americans understand and respect Benjamin Franklin's warning that: "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."

    John Nichols

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  • Activism March 9, 2006

    Bringing the War Home

    The antiwar messages most likely to be heard and acted upon by Congressional Democrats and wavering Republicans will come from their hometowns, where a growing number of activists are organizing with an eye toward communicating to Congress.

    John Nichols

  • March 8, 2006

    Vermont Towns Vote to Impeach — UPDATED

    A single Vermont community's call for the impeachment of President Bush turned into a chorus Tuesday night, with town meetings across southern Vermont echoing the demand that Congress act to remove the president.

    Voters in the town of Newfane, where the movement began, endorsed impeachment by a resounding margin. The paper ballot vote was 121-29 for a slightly amended version of the resolution that had been submitted by Dan DeWalt, an elected member of the town's select board. DeWalt's initial resolution declared:

    Whereas George W. Bush has:

    John Nichols

  • March 7, 2006

    What, Then, From Newfane?

    It is appropriate indeed that the first time voters will be offered an opportunity to weigh in on the question of whether to impeach President George W. Bush for high crimes and misdemeanors is at a New England town meeting in a community chartered two years before the Declaration of Independence was drafted.

    After all, in a country founded on the principle that executives -- be they kings or presidents -- must be accountable to the people, patriots have always known that, as George Mason, the father of the Bill of Rights, told the Constitutional Convention of 1787: "No point is of more importance than that the right of impeachment should be continued. Shall any man be above Justice?"

    In Newfane, Vermont, Dan DeWalt, who serves as an elected member of the town's Select Board, has answered that question as Mason intended. "We have an immoral government operating illegally," DeWalt explained, when he proposed that today's annual town meeting vote on articles of impeachment.

    John Nichols

  • March 3, 2006

    Kate Michelman for Senate?

    After Robert Casey, the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination to challenge vulnerable Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, joined Santorum in backing the Supreme Court nomination of conservative judicial activist Samuel Alito, Kate Michelman was not happy.

    After saying she was "sorely disappointed by the lack of commitment to women and fundamental rights by the United State Senate," the former president of NARAL Pro-Choice America ripped into Casey and local and national party leaders who back the socially-conservative Pennsylvania Democrat who is an ardent critic of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that guaranteed women the right to choose.

    "As a Pennsylvanian, I am particularly appalled that local and national Democrats would hand our Senate nomination to someone who openly supports giving Roe an Alito-induced death," said Michelman. "Those whose political successes have depended on the ballots and contributions of pro-choice voters but now facilitate the career of someone who would repeal those rights deserve special enmity."

    John Nichols

  • March 3, 2006

    Ten Against Patriot Act Reauthorization

    When Senator Russ Feingold opposed the original version of the Patriot Act in 2001, the Wisconsin Democrat was alone in his defense of the Constitution.

    This year, as Feingold led the frustrating fight to block reauthorization of the Patriot Act in a form that continues to threaten basic liberties, he left no doubt that he was entirely willing to stand alone once more. To colleagues who suggested that it was appropriate to trade a little liberty for the White House's promise of more security in the war on terror, the senator declared: "Without freedom, we are not America. If we don't preserve our liberties, we cannot win this war, no matter how many terrorists we capture or kill."

    When the key vote came Thursday, Feingold found he was not entirely alone. Along with Vermont Independent Jim Jeffords, eight Democrats joined Feingold in voting "no" to reauthorization. The eight were:

    John Nichols