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:

How Democrats Used to Talk About Immigration

Friday, September 08, 2017

Why there are no longer dissenting voices on immigration in the Democratic Party.

The Misleading Rhetoric Around DACA

Friday, September 08, 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions drew upon longstanding myths about DACA in his announcement this week.

The Southern Poverty Law Center: Anti-Hate Activists, Slick Marketers or Both?

Friday, September 08, 2017

Over the years, the Southern Poverty Law Center has faced criticism from the left and the right. SPLC President Richard Cohen responds to recent financial and political charges. 

What FEMA Is For

Friday, September 08, 2017

Created to respond to a nuclear attack, FEMA now responds mostly to "natural" disasters. How the agency's transition changed the way we think about its role. 

Breaking News Consumer's Handbook: Drugs Edition

Friday, August 25, 2017

The media coverage of drug abuse is often fraught with hyperbole and inaccuracy. We dispel some of the most common myths.

A Case for Law Enforcement

Friday, August 25, 2017

A journalist argues that drug treatment won't work without proper policing.

How To Answer "Is This Caused By Climate Change?"

Friday, August 18, 2017

The scientific field of "extreme weather attribution" offers answers that journalists have long avoided.

Your Local TV News Is About To Get A Lot Worse

Friday, August 18, 2017

Sinclair Broadcast Group is poised to expand its reach in local TV news. It has a pro-Trump bent, and pretty low production values.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Is Worse Than You Think

Friday, August 18, 2017

The plastic is everywhere. 

Trump Is Making MS-13 Stronger

Friday, August 11, 2017

How the administration uses the gang's brutal brand to its advantage.

The Slow Crisis in America's Immigration Courts

Friday, August 11, 2017

The immigration courts determine the fates of millions of people. So why aren't they more transparent?

Gawker and the New Era of Media Censorship

Friday, August 11, 2017

A new documentary examines how the ultra-wealthy silence journalism.

A Fragile Patchwork of Press Protections

Friday, August 11, 2017

Journalists working with whistleblowers have fewer legal protections than we might think.

The Once-In-A-While Maverick

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Atlantic's James Fallows discusses McCain's long tenure in the media spotlight — a story of dualities, cozy jokes, and the occasional, genuine maverick choice. 

The Messaging War on Single-Payer Healthcare

Friday, July 28, 2017

Polls show growing support for single-payer healthcare, or "Medicare for All." But over the past century, the idea of the policy has been tied to a messaging war over socialism.

The Trump Administration's PR War on Obamacare

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Department of Health and Human Services used to spend money promoting Obamacare. Now, it funds videos that undermine it.

Citizen Charlie Gard

Friday, July 28, 2017

How a British baby born with a rare disease became a pawn in the right-wing battle against government healthcare in the US.

Covering A Secret Bill

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Senate proceedings on healthcare this week were high on drama but short on policy details, leaving lawmakers and reporters in the dark. 

Armchair diagnosing do's and don'ts

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Psychoanalysts disagree with psychiatrists about upholding the Goldwater Rule which forbids psychiatrists from offering opinions on a person they have not personally evaluated.
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8 Months Later: Brooke and Bob On Covering Trump

Friday, July 21, 2017

The day after the election, Brooke and Bob butted heads over how to cover Trump. This week, they reflect on Bob's approach.