Ad Policy

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)

  • November 3, 2004

    Rove’s Race

    George W. Bush may have secured the presidency this week. But the real winner was Karl Rove.

    The White House political czar has solidified his position as the nation's campaigner-in-chief. Republicans love him, Democrats fear him, and everyone now agrees that Rove is the political genius of the age.

    So, let's listen to Rove.

    John Nichols

  • November 3, 2004

    ‘We Can Wait One More Night’

    Nothing frustrated Democratic loyalists more in 2000 than the sense that their presidential nominee, former Vice President Al Gore, failed to aggressively, and effectively, challenge Republican moves to steal that year's election--and the presidency--in the disputed state of Florida.

    This year, Democrats again find themselves stuck in a close election where the final results of one state's voting could decide the presidency for or against their candidate.

    The difference is that, this time, the disputed state is Ohio, where Republican George W. Bush, the man who elbowed Gore aside in 2000, was maintaining a roughly 120,000 vote lead in the Buckeye state over Democrat John Kerry, out of more than 2.6 million votes cast. Some television networks declared Bush the winner of Ohio last night, others did not.

    John Nichols

  • November 2, 2004

    Bush’s Lone Star Scheming

    The final event on George W. Bush's schedule on the final day of the 2004 presidential election campaign was not a late-night gathering in a "battleground" state such as Florida or Ohio. Rather, it was a Monday evening "victory rally" on the campus of Southern Methodist University in his home state of Texas.

    Texas? After months of focusing on the dozen or more targeted states that supposedly will decide this election, why did the Bush camp decide to finish things off in the one state that ought to be securely in the president's column?

    Because, despite everything that has been said over the past few months, this campaign is not just about battleground states. There is also a national fight to win the popular vote, and Bush's election-eve trip to Texas was an acknowledgment of that fact.

    John Nichols

  • October 29, 2004

    Springsteen’s Political Poetry

    The art of political speechmaking is now so lost to the dark machinations of the spin doctors, pollsters and pundits that most Americans have never heard a live campaign speech of any particular consequence. Perhaps that is why the crowd of 80,000 people who rallied for John Kerry on Thursday in Madison, Wisconsin, fell so completely silent a few minutes into what turned out to be the most poignant and powerful election address of 2004.

    The speaker was not a candidate. Rather, the words that cut through the rhetorical fog were those of a guitar player from New Jersey.

    "As a songwriter, I've written about America for 30 years," explained Bruce Springsteen, after he finished playing the appropriately chosen song, "Promised Land."

    John Nichols


  • Election 2004 October 28, 2004

    Nader’s Flawed Calculus

    From the start of his independent campaign for the presidency early this year, Ralph Nader constantly argued that he would draw as many or more votes from Republican George W.

    John Nichols

  • October 25, 2004

    Political Laughs? Try Fox

    Sorry, Jon Stewart, but Sean Hannity is the king of television comedy.

    Yes, of course, "The Daily Show" is hilarious.

    But the Emmy Award-winning Comedy Central program featuring Stewart's cutting comments on the foibles of campaigners for president and spot-on parodies of network election coverage by his crew of fake news reporters is just too intellectually advanced. If you want to see fall-down funny political humor on cable television, click over to the Fox News Channel and watch Hannity "interview" members of the Republican ticket.

    John Nichols

  • Campaigns and Elections October 22, 2004

    Nader’s Flawed Calculus

    Nader backers support Kerry more than Bush, Nation Institute poll shows.

    John Nichols

  • October 21, 2004

    Losing it

    In Senate races across the country, Republicans are falling behind.

    John Nichols