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:

Raqqa Liberated

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Raqqa was finally liberated from the clutches of ISIS this week but the city and its inhabitants paid a high price for their freedom. 
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David Begnaud on Puerto Rico's Never-ending Emergency

Friday, October 13, 2017

CBS' David Begnaud is back in Puerto Rico, and he says conditions there are possibly even more dire than they were last week. 

How To Respond When Trump Threatens The First Amendment

Friday, October 13, 2017

President Trump threatened to revoke NBC's broadcast license this week. He can't really do that, but should we be worried anyway?

Puerto Rico's Never-ending Emergency

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

CBS' David Begnaud is back in Puerto Rico, and he says conditions there are possibly even more dire than they were last week. 
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Comments [25]

How Country Music Went Conservative

Friday, October 06, 2017

Country music is assumed to be the soundtrack of the Republican Party. But it wasn't always that way. Bob looks at the political history of country music.

Class Politics, Country Music and Hillbilly Humanism

Friday, October 06, 2017

For non-fans, country music is often assumed to represent a white working class that is reactionary, simplistic and bigoted. A look at the genre's depth and why it's misunderstood.

It's Not About the Number

Friday, October 06, 2017

The media have been tracking the rising death tolls in Las Vegas and Puerto Rico. But are numbers the best way to represent tragedies?

In Hefner's Wildest Dreams

Friday, September 29, 2017

After Hugh Hefner's death on Wednesday, Bob and Brooke revisit conversations they had with, and about, the Playboy Magazine founder.

Catalonia Crackdown

Friday, September 29, 2017

The Spanish government is raiding newsrooms and Catalan government offices in an effort to quash the upcoming Catalan independence referendum.

When Crime Data Becomes Politicized

Friday, September 29, 2017

New FBI data shows that homicides were up by 8.6% in 2016. Why politicians, commentators and advocates interpret that number so differently.

What's Going on in Puerto Rico?

Friday, September 29, 2017

Hurricanes Irma and Maria have left a crippled Puerto Rico struggling for electricity, drinking water and recognition from mainland politicians and the media.

The Fight for Antitrust

Friday, September 22, 2017

Tech giants like Facebook assure us of their commitment to democracy, but others think our democracy won't be safe until we take on the tech platforms themselves.

RT, Sputnik and the Slippery Slope

Friday, September 22, 2017

The US government is pressuring Russia-run media outlets RT and Sputnik to register themselves as propaganda. But do we stand to lose more than we gain?

What Lies Ahead For Puerto Rico

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The damage to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria may be far worse than downed power lines and flooded rivers.
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Comments [1]

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. 

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 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. 

The Misleading Rhetoric Around DACA

Friday, September 08, 2017

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

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.