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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)


  • November 8, 2006

    Tester Takes Montana; Dems Close In on Majority

    Democrat Jon Tester has defeated Montana Republican Conrad Burns, winning the 50th Democratic seat in the Senate.

    The Tester victory by a margin of more than 3,000 votes out of a little over 400,000 cast in Montana assures Democrats an even split in the 100-member Senate.

    Will they get the 51st seat and a clear majority? Probably.

    John Nichols

  • November 8, 2006

    The Senate! UPDATED

    With an early morning win in the tightly-contested state of Missouri and results that seemed to show Montana and Virginia tipping toward them, Democrats ended one of the most intense election nights in recent American history with control of the Senate in their grasp.

    Around 2 a.m., Democrat Claire McCaskill won Missouri for the Democrats.

    As the night wore on, Democrat Jon Tester maintained a narrow but consistent lead over Republican incumbent Conrad Burns in the distant state of Montana. And in Virginia, Democratic challenger Jim Webb opened up a steadily wider lead in his campaign to oust Republican Senator George Allen.

    John Nichols

  • November 8, 2006

    The Iraq War Election

    What is a one-word description for an anti-war Democrat? "Winner."

    Despite all the attempts to spin Tuesday's election results as something else, the single most important message to take away from the voting is this: The American people cast their ballots against the Bush administration's approach to the war in Iraq Tuesday.

    Pro-war Republican majorities in the House and Senate were upset.

    John Nichols


  • November 7, 2006

    Voting Reform Begins with Secretaries of State

    Worried about the integrity of today's election? You should be. The United States has a dysfunctional election system that produces unequal results depending on the state in which one lives, that is vulnerable to intimidation and manipulation, and that does not consistently guarantee that all eligible Americans can vote and have those votes counted.

    The Florida debacle of 2000, the Ohio crisis of 2004 and the dozens of disasters in the primary voting this year have confirmed that the basis processes of our democracy are in need of radical repair.

    But where does the process begin?

    John Nichols

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  • Elections November 6, 2006

    The ‘Off-Year Primary’

    As presidential hopefuls from both parties press their advantage on the platform of the 2006 midterm election, the winners are...

    John Nichols


  • November 5, 2006

    A Referendum on Rumsfeld

    George Bush brought it upon himself.

    He could have seen out the 2006 campaign season without discussing the fact that no one – with the exception of some joker who road out the Vietnam conflict defending Texas – thinks Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is doing a good job. Or, better yet, he could have acknowledged that there may be some, er, problems with Rumsfeld's approach to the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and just about every other responsibility with which he has been entrusted.

    But, no, the president chose the final week of the most critical mid-term election campaign of any president in recent history to declare that he would stand by his Rummy.

    John Nichols

  • November 4, 2006

    Bad News for Bush: He’s Headed for Nebraska

    Two years ago, George Bush beat John Kerry in Nebraska by a 66-33 margin. The Republican president carried all but one of the state's counties, as Republican candidates swept to easy victories in the state's three congressional districts.

    So why has George Bush rushed to Nebraska to campaign on the eve of this year's mid-term congressional elections? Because, amazingly, in one of the reddest of the red states, a Democrat could pick up a GOP House seat. If Nebraska falls it will almost certainly be in the face of a Democratic wave that will sweep in a Congress capable of holding to account a president who has not previously experienced the joys of being checked and balanced.

    That Democrats are likely to take control of the House Tuesday is no longer news. That they might take it with a substantial enough majority to get serious about presidential accountability is what the Bush White House now fears.

    John Nichols