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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 9, 2006

    Lamont’s Winning Message for Democrats

    For whom does the bellwether toll? It tolls for thee, Joe Lieberman – and, more importantly, for the neoconservative vision that you embraced more passionately than other Democrats and most Republicans.

    Lieberman, a three-term incumbent whose defenses of the Iraq War and enthusiasm for a fight with Iran made him the Bush administration's favorite Democrat, lost to anti-war challenger Ned Lamont by a solid margin in Tuesday's Connecticut Senate primary.

    With most of the votes counted, Lamont was leading by a 52-48 margin, a result that just a few months ago would have been unimaginable.

    John Nichols

  • August 8, 2006

    Lieberman, Lamont and the Future of the Democrats

    The last time that Democratic primary voters turned out a nationally-known U.S. Senator because they did not like where he stood on an issue of war and peace was in 1970, when Texas Democrats rejected anti-war incumbent Ralph Yarborough and replaced him with Lloyd Bentsen, a former congressman who favored taking a tougher line against the Vietcong in Vietnam and against student protesters on the campuses of the United States.

    The Texas result was big news nationally, and it played a significant part in the decision of the Nixon White House to try and stir up a "silent majority" backlash to congressional liberals in that fall's Senate races.

    Thirty-six years later, in a very different state, Democratic primary voters may avenge Yarborough's loss and set in motion a backlash of another character altogether.

    John Nichols


  • August 4, 2006

    DeLay, Coulter, Kristol Defend Lieberman

    The polls show Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman is falling far behind anti-war challenger Ned Lamont as the state's August 8 Democratic primary approaches.

    But it's not all bad news for the embattled senator. At least Tom DeLay's rooting for him.

    The former House majority leader from Texas is a Republican who may not agree with the Bush White House's favorite Democrat on every issue but who thinks the Senator is right-on when it comes to foreign policy.

    John Nichols

  • August 2, 2006

    Chuck Hagel: Opposition Senator

    Who is the most outspoken and through-provoking Senate critic of the Bush administration's misguided foreign policies?

    Hint: The boldest opposition voice is not that of a Democrat.

    Over the course of the past week, Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel, a maverick conservative Republican from Nebraska, has scored the administration for its misguided approaches in language far wiser and bolder than the empty stream of rhetoric that continues to pass the lips of his Democratic colleagues.

    John Nichols

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  • July 28, 2006

    The GOP’s Sleaziest Attack Campaign

    How low will Republicans go to try and hang onto control of Ohio, the swing state where their machinations secured the presidency for George W. Bush in 2004?

    Lower than reasonable Americans, no matter what their partisanship, no matter what their ideology, could imagine.

    Gary Lankford, the Ohio Republican Party's recently hired "social conservative coordinator" this week dispatched a mass e-mail to so-called "pro-family friends" that featured his 10-point introduction to U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland, the Democratic nominee for governor.

    John Nichols

  • Campaigns and Elections July 27, 2006

    A Fight for the Party’s Soul

    The Lamont/Lieberman Democratic primary race is a referendum not only on the Iraq War but on a new vision for the Democratic Party.

    John Nichols

  • July 25, 2006

    Bill Moyers for President? Absolutely!

    Molly Ivins is trying to get Democrats excited about the prospect of running Bill Moyers for president.

    "Dear desperate Democrats," the nation's most widely-read liberal newspaper columnist begins her latest missive. "Here's what we do: We run Bill Moyers for president. I am serious as a stroke about this. It's simple, cheap, and effective, and it will move the entire spectrum of political discussion in this country. Moyers is the only public figure who can take the entire discussion and shove it toward moral clarity just by being there."

    Ivins makes a great case for why her fellow Texan ought to be on the ballot in 2008.

    John Nichols

  • July 22, 2006

    Condoleezza “False Promise” Rice

    As Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice goes through the charade of meeting with international leaders to discuss the crisis in the Middle East – while showing her true sentiments with a firm rejection of the "false promise" of a ceasefire – observers of the carnage might reasonably ask: Is there anyone in Washington who wants the killing to stop?

    In fact, there are a few dozen brave members of Congress who have leant their names to a call for halting the violence and allowing diplomacy to replace the bombs and bullets that are ripping apart whole regions of Lebanon, Israel and Palestine.

    Twenty-four members of the House of Representatives have endorsed House Continuing Resolution 450: "Calling upon the President to appeal to all sides in the current crisis in the Middle East for an immediate cessation of violence and to commit United States diplomats to multi-party negotiations with no preconditions."

    John Nichols