Marc Cooper is a contributing editor to The Nation magazine. He formerly hosted the syndicated weekly broadcast of RadioNation, a project of the The Nation Institute. The program was heard on more than 130 stations in the U.S. and Canada, and in more than 100 countries (via short wave) around the world. RadioNation's frequent guests included numerous individuals affiliated with The Nation, such as Editor Katrina vanden Heuvel, publisher/Editorial Director Victor Navasky, National Affairs Correspondent William Greider, Washington Editor David Corn, columnists Naomi Klein and Patricia J. Williams, Contributing Editor Robert Scheer, Editorial Board members Frances FitzGerald and Tom Hayden, and book reviewer John Leonard.
Cooper's life as a journalist began in 1966, when he founded and edited an underground newspaper at his Los Angeles high school. In 1971 he was expelled from the California State University system for his antiwar activities by order of Governor Ronald Reagan.
Cooper then took a job in the press office of Chile’s pro-Castro, pro-Stalin president, Salvador Allende. He was employed as Allende's translator for publication when the latter was deposed in a 1973 military coup; Cooper left Chile as a UN-protected refugee eight days after the coup.
Cooper was the news and public affairs director of the Pacifica radio station KPFK-FM (Los Angeles) from 1980-83; he also has been a correspondent for NBC, CBC and Monitor Radio. On television, he has been a reporter and a producer of news documentaries for CBS News, The Christian Science Monitor, and the PBS program Frontline.
An anthology of Cooper's work, Roll Over Che Guevara: Travels of a Radical Reporter, was published in 1994. Cooper was also a contributor to the 1995 collection Literary Las Vegas. In 2001 he penned the book Pinochet and Me: A Chilean Anti-Memoir. Three years later, he released The Last Honest Place in America: Paradise and Perdition in the New Las Vegas, published by Nation Books.
Since May 2005, Cooper has been a contributing blogger at the Huffington Post. In early 2008 he was named Senior Editor of that publication.
In the spring of 2006, Cooper was appointed (for the 2006-2007 academic year) as a Visiting Professor of Journalism at the USC Annenberg School for Communication, where he had been an adjunct professor for five years. He was also named Associate Director of Annenberg's Institute for Justice and Journalism. Cooper previously had taught journalism at the Northridge and Los Angeles campuses of California State University.
On several notable occasions, Cooper has criticized fellow leftists for what he deemed their irrational inclination to support "unworthy" causes. For instance, he characterized convicted cop-killer and leftist icon Mumia Abu Jamal as "a bad choice for poster-boy of the anti-death penalty movement." He called Professor Ward Churchill a "guaranteed loser" who was "an irrelevant and clearly deranged loner on the edge of the looniest left." While he vocally opposed the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, Cooper impugned other leftist opponents of the war such as Naomi Klein, depicting her in particular as a "friend" and "apologist" for terrorist leader Muqtada al-Sadr. He also has been critical of Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez (calling him a “thug”) and Fidel Castro (for his harsh treatment of Cuban dissidents).