Robert Scheer is the founder and publisher of ScheerPost.

Robert Scheer

ScheerPost Publisher Robert Scheer, author of ten books (see below), has built a reputation for strong social and political writing over his nearly 60 years as a journalist. His columns appear in newspapers across the country, and his in-depth interviews have made headlines. He conducted the famous Playboy magazine interview in which Jimmy Carter confessed to the lust in his heart and went on to do many interviews for the Los Angeles Times with Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and many other prominent political and cultural figures.

Between 1964 and 1969 he was Vietnam correspondent, managing editor and editor in chief of Ramparts magazine. From 1976 to 1993 Scheer served as a national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, writing on diverse topics such as the Soviet Union, arms control, national politics and the military. In 1993 he launched a nationally syndicated column based at the Los Angeles Times, where he was named a contributing editor.

A former co-host for several years of KCRW’s political radio program Left, Right and Center, he now hosts Scheer Intelligence, a half-hour KCRW podcast with people who, through a lifetime of engagement with political issues, offer unique and often surprising perspectives on the day’s most important issues.

Scheer’s ten books, including two this decade: The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street while Mugging Main Street, and They Know Everything about You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy.

Scheer was raised in the Bronx, where he attended public schools and graduated from City College of New York. He studied as a Maxwell fellow at Syracuse University and was a fellow at the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, where he did graduate work in economics. Scheer has also been a Poynter fellow at Yale, and was a fellow in arms control at Stanford.

Scheer is also clinical professor in the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism at USC, where he teaches three popular courses on ethics, politics and the media every semester. He is married to author and award-winning journalist Narda Zacchino.

Book Collection

A list of Robert Scheer’s books with summaries from Amazon.

They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy (2015)

They Know Everything About You is a groundbreaking expos’ of how government agencies and tech corporations monitor virtually every aspect of our lives, and a fierce defense of privacy and democracy.

Robert Scheer argues that the information revolution, while a source of public enlightenment, contains the seeds of freedom’s destruction in the form of a surveillance state that exceeds the wildest dream of the most ingenious dictator. The technology of surveillance, unless vigorously resisted, represents an existential threat to the liberation of the human spirit.

The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street (2010)

In The Great American Stickup, celebrated journalist Robert Scheer uncovers the hidden story behind one of the greatest financial crimes of our time: the Wall Street financial crash of 2008 and the consequent global recession. Instead of going where other journalists have gone in search of this story — the board rooms and trading floors of the big Wall Street firms — Scheer goes back to Washington, D.C., a veritable crime scene, beginning in the 1980s, where the captains of the finance industry, their lobbyists and allies among leading politicians destroyed an American regulatory system that had been functioning effectively since the era of the New Deal.

The Great American Stickup is both a brilliant telling of the story of the Clinton financial clique and the havoc it wrought — informed by whistleblowers such as Brooksley Born, who goes on the record for Scheer — and an unsparing anatomy of the American business and political class. It is also a cautionary tale: those who form the nucleus of the Clinton clique are now advising the Obama administration.

The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America (2008)

Scheer examines the expansion of our military presence throughout the world, our insane nuclear strategy, the immorality of corporations profiting in Iraq, and the arrogance of our foreign policy. Although Scheer is a liberal, his view echoes that of former Republican president General Dwight Eisenhower, who, in his farewell speech to the American people, spoke prophetically about need to guard against the growing influence of the military-industrial complex. In George W. Bush’s America, politicians like Ike and Richard Nixon seem like prudent centrists.

The views of libertarians, liberals, and pacifists are often overlooked or ignored by America’s mainstream media. The Pornography of Power is the culmination of a respected journalist’s efforts to change the terms of debate. At a time when many are exploiting fears of terrorist attacks and only a few national leaders are willing to advocate cuts in defense spending, nuclear disarmament, and restrained use of American force, Robert Scheer has written a manifesto for enlightened reform.

Playing President: My Close Encounters with Nixon, Carter, Bush I, Reagan, and Clinton—and How They Did Not Prepare Me for George W. Bush (2006)

Robert Scheer’s interviews with and profiles of US presidents have shaped journalism history. Scheer developed close journalistic relationships with Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George H. W. Bush, and his reporting on them had a tangible impact on national debate—with examples including the famed 1976 Playboy interview in which then-candidate Jimmy Carter admitted to have lusted in his heart; and the 1980 interview with the Los Angeles Times during which the senior Bush confessed to Scheer his dream of a “winnable nuclear war.”

In Playing President, Robert Scheer offers an unparalleled insight into the presidential mind, analyzing administrations from Nixon to George W. Bush, offering insights that will surprise the reader—particularly those with rigid preconceptions about the decision-making processes of our leaders. Also included are reprints of Scheer’s famous presidential interviews, along with previously unpublished interview transcripts and select writings.

Thinking Tuna Fish, Talking Death: Essays on the Pornography of Power (1988)

Robert Scheer compiles controversial pieces on subjects ranging from the Jews of Los Angeles, the new Soviet elite, and the perversion of power to interviews with prominent figures.

With Enough Shovels: Reagan, Bush, and Nuclear War (1982)

If there are enough shovels to go around, everybody’s going to make it.”” Scheer, a Los Angeles Times reporter and former Ramparts editor, got that assessment of American civil defense capabilities from T. K. Jones, current Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, Strategic and Theater Nuclear Forces, and a former Boeing manager. What “”T.K.”” meant was that, with a shovel, anyone can dig a fallout shelter–a simple hole in the ground with a door over the top and three feet of earth on top of that. “‘It’s the dirt that does it,”” he said. The fact that this quack is a government official has Scheer upset. He was also upset by presidential-candidate George Bush’s claim, in an interview that received national attention, that nuclear war was ‘winnable.'”