Bob Garfield

Host, On The Media

Bob Garfield is the co-host of On the Media

Bob Garfield isn’t exactly a media whore, but he’s extremely promiscuous.

Apart from On the Media, Bob has been a columnist for 30-plus years, at the moment on the subjects of media and marketing for The Guardian and MediaPost. In the world of marketing he is an institution, like the Red Cross. Or San Quentin.

When not casting broadly, Bob casts podly, with former OTM producer Mike Vuolo on the insanely popular Slate language program “Lexicon Valley.” In print, Bob has been a contributing editor for the Washington Post Magazine, Civilization and the op-ed page of USA Today. He has also written for The New York Times, Playboy, Sports Illustrated, Atlantic and Wired and been employed variously by ABC, CBS, CNBC and the defunct FNN as an on-air analyst. As a lecturer and panelist, he has appeared in 37 countries on six continents, including such venues as the Kennedy Center, the U.S. Capitol, the Rainbow Room, the Smithsonian, Circus Circus casino, the Grand Ole Opry, the U.N., Harvard University, Princeton University and, memorably, a Thai Kickboxing ring in Cape Town, South Africa.

He is the author of five books, most recently Can’t Buy Me Like. His first book, Waking Up Screaming from the American Dream, was published by Scribner in 1997, favorably reviewed and quickly forgotten.  His 2003 manifesto on advertising, And Now a Few Words From Me, is published in six languages (although, admittedly, one is Bulgarian). His 2009 crackpot screed The Chaos Scenario, about the supposed collapse of mass media and advertising, has all come true. Garfield co-wrote “Tag, You’re It,” a snappy country song performed by Willie Nelson, and wrote an episode of the short-lived NBC sitcom “Sweet Surrender.” It sucked.


Bob Garfield appears in the following:

Puerto Rico "Se Levanta," Maybe

Friday, December 15, 2017

As the government grossly underestimates Hurricane Maria's damage, journalists in Puerto Rico work overtime to track the real recovery process.

Anatomy of a Trolling

Friday, December 08, 2017

Early this week, MSNBC contributor Sam Seder was fired following a smear campaign by a right wing troll. We talk to Seder about why that was and confront the man responsible. 

In Praise of Radically Transparent Journalism

Friday, December 01, 2017

Is radical transparency the antidote to poisonous misinformation?

About that Nazi Next Door

Monday, November 27, 2017

The New York Times' profile of a Nazi last weekend set Twitter on fire (and not in a good way). Bob speaks with Buzzfeed's Charlie Warzel about what the story got wrong.  
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When a Billionaire Buys Your Publication

Friday, November 10, 2017

One week after voting to unionize, hyperlocal news outlets Gothamist and DNAinfo were suddenly shut down by their owner. A look at journalism's "billionaire problem."

Who Won the Disney Boycott?

Friday, November 10, 2017

When Disney blacklisted the LA Times, media outlets boycotted Disney in solidarity. Their strategy worked...sort of.

Lifestyles of the Rich and Hidden

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Paradise and Panama Papers have exposed only a sliver of the vast wealth that lives in the shadows. And there's an entire industry devoted to keeping it that way.

Paradise Found

Friday, November 10, 2017

Remember the Panama Papers? This week, an even bigger trove of documents reveals even more rich people avoiding even more taxes.

Swedish Cowboys & Syrian Refugees

Friday, November 10, 2017

The story of a Syrian who found refuge in a Wild West theme park, and what his journey can teach us about the fantastical story underlying America's rugged self-image.

12 Months Later: Brooke and Bob on Covering Trump

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

On the anniversary of the 2016 election, we revisit the fraught next day editorial meeting we recorded and the epiphany that Bob told Brooke about this summer.  
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Gitmo, Unredacted

Friday, November 03, 2017

Mohamedou Ould Slahi wrote a bestseller while in a cell in Guantanamo Bay. Since being released last year, he's been working on unredacting it.

The World According to Murdoch

Friday, November 03, 2017

While most newsrooms focus their attention on the Mueller investigation's first indictments, Fox News is focusing on...anything else.

Making Sense of Mueller

Friday, November 03, 2017

Following the first arrests in Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, the media are rushing to catch up. Marcy Wheeler helps us interpret the details and the silences.

Reporting on Sexual Harassment in Your Own Newsroom

Friday, November 03, 2017

NPR's head of news resigned this week amid sexual harassment allegations from several women. The network's media correspondent talks about helping to tell their stories.

Resilience in Guantanamo

Friday, November 03, 2017

After being held at Guantanamo for fourteen years without charge or trial, Mohamedou Ould Slahi is able to share his story in his own voice, without FBI redactions. 

Monumental Questions

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

On Monday night, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly warned against the removal of Confederate statues, equating it with the erasure of history. Why that's... not right.
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Scary Clowns

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

October is a time of tradition: changing leaves, fall harvest, Halloween and ... clown terror.
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How Congress Made the Opioid Crisis Worse

Friday, October 20, 2017

How the drug industry tricked Congress into dismantling oversight in the midst of the opioid crisis. And how nobody noticed.

The Lie That Opioids Aren't Addictive

Friday, October 20, 2017

Our current opioid crisis is rooted partially in narratives about pain and pain management that have been shaped by pharmaceutical companies and aided by unquestioning journalists.

How Obituaries Chronicle the Opioid Crisis

Friday, October 20, 2017

In the absence of local reporting, obituaries and death notices offer a sense of the human toll of the opioid epidemic.