Streams

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.

Shows:

Bob Garfield appears in the following:

Who's Afraid of On the Media?

Friday, July 25, 2014

We asked On the Media's Bob Garfield and Brooke Gladstone to duke it out in this parody of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? from our American Icons episode on Mad Magazine.

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The Kiss That Saved The Sims

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Sims is one of the most popular video games of all time. But the game came very close to never being released. Bob talks with journalist Simon Parkin about how an unplanned kiss between two Sims characters at a gamer conference created enough buzz to launch the game. Parkin wrote about the kiss on the New Yorker's Elements blog

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Reporting on the "Border Crisis" From El Salvador

Friday, July 18, 2014

The past several weeks have seen a surge in coverage of the crisis on the US-Mexico border, and the media abounds with critics of immigration reform who fault the Obama administration's lax policies. Bob talks with Carlos Dada, co-founder and editor of the El Salvadoran newspaper El Faro, who says that US critics are completely missing the point.

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A FOIA Too Far

Friday, July 11, 2014

Jeff Scudder was working in the CIA's Historical Collections Division when he found a trove of documents that were declassified and ready for release to the public, but hadn't, due to bureaucratic strife. So he filed a FOIA request. Bob talks with Scudder about how this request ultimately resulted in his ousting from the agency.

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Chasing Ghosts

Friday, July 11, 2014

Last weekend in Chicago there were 82 shootings resulting in 16 deaths. Bob discusses the events of the weekend with Chicago Tribune reporter Peter Nickeas whose job it is to drive around the city all night reporting on shootings. 

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The Super PAC to End Super PACs

Friday, July 11, 2014

On Independence Day, Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig’s political fund aimed at ending the influence of money in campaigns reached its crowd funding goal of $5 million. Now can it elect a member of Congress committed to campaign finance reform?

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Spanish AP Style Guide

Friday, July 04, 2014

While an estimated 450 million people use Spanish, they don't all use it the same way. So in 2012, the Associated Press created a Spanish-language style book in the hopes of creating consistency among journalists across the US and Latin America. Bob speaks with Alejandro Manrique, director of the AP Spanish service and one of the style book's editors.

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Es La Hora: Hispanic Media in English

Friday, July 04, 2014

An overview of the Hispanic media landscape, including a list of rules for how to discuss Hispanics without sucking (#NoMames). Bob and Brooke speak with Mark Hugo Lopez of the Pew Research Center's Hispanic Trends Project, and Julio Ricardo Varela from the website Latino Rebels. You can find Latino Rebels' collection of #NoMames fails here.

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Radio Ambulante

Friday, July 04, 2014

"Radio Ambulante" is a Spanish-language radio program that's been called "This Latin American Life". Bob speaks with the show's host and executive producer Daniel Alarcón about the program and its goal of telling uniquely Latin American stories. Alarcón is also a novelist. You can find out more about his books here.

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Pulp Non-Fiction

Friday, June 27, 2014

‘Tis the season to update those summer reading lists. If you’re in the mood for a certain kind of deep intrigue, you can always add some True Crimeyou know, the glossy paperbacks full of crime, punishment, and ordinary people behaving badly that decorate the supermarket checkout aisle. But don’t let those foil covers fool you, says Salon senior writer Laura Miller, much True Crime rises above mere pulp. Bob speaks to Miller about why she defends True Crime.

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Rethinking the Student Debt Crisis

Friday, June 27, 2014

It’s hard to escape the prevailing media narrative that student loan debt is destroying an entire generation’s financial future. The New York Times' David Leonhardt reported on a new Brookings Institution study on education debt, in an article titled “The Reality of Student Debt is Different from the Cliches”an assertion that cuts against conventional wisdom. Bob speaks to David Leonhardt to get to the bottom of what his reporting reveals about the state of student loan debt.

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Cellphone Searching, Tiny Antennas, and the High Court

Friday, June 27, 2014

This week, the Supreme Court ruled on two media technology cases, one that may save the bacon of Big Broadcast and Cable, and another that privacy advocates are heralding as a win. Bob talks with Slate's Dahlia Lithwick about the impact of these decisions.

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Journalism In Jail

Friday, June 27, 2014

Amid international outcry, Egypt's judiciary sentenced three Al Jazeera journalists to between seven and ten years in jail on charges of aiding terrorists. Bob reflects on how suppression of a free press in Egypt may be reversing the course of the Arab Spring.

 

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Your Guide to Court Decisions on Aereo and Cell-Phones

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 decision that Aereo violates the Copyright Act–the ruling is seen as a major victory for television's biggest broadcasters.

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Game Changer

Friday, June 13, 2014

Tetris, the world's most ubiquitous and probably most addictive video game, turned thirty this week. To celebrate, we revisit Bob's conversation with the creator of Tetris, Alexey Pajitnov, on the game's twenty-fifth anniversary back in 2009.

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A Cantor Narrative

Friday, June 13, 2014

The moment it became clear House Majority Leader Eric Cantor would suffer a shocking primary loss to David Brat, reporters began speculating about what the result would mean for Republican candidates across the country. Bob talks with North Star Opinion Research President Whit Ayers who says the media is once again extrapolating too much from too little.  

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Intelligence Community Directive 119

Friday, June 13, 2014

Back in April, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s website quietly posted Intelligence Community Directive 119, whose implications could be devastating for journalists. Bob speaks to Steven Aftergood about what effect this directive could have on contact between intelligence officials and the press.

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“Climate Change” vs. “Global Warming”

Friday, June 06, 2014

The Environmental Protection Agency recently rolled out the Obama administration’s ambitious proposal to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants 30% by 2030. This proposal could bring renewed worldwide attention to climate change. Trouble is, we still haven’t sorted out how to talk about the issue. Is it “Climate Change” or “Global Warming”? Bob speaks to Anthony Leiserowitz, Director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, and the principal investigator of the new study, “What’s In a Name? Global Warming Versus Climate Change.”

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The Privilege to Stay Silent

Friday, June 06, 2014

New York Times reporter James Risen is facing potential jail time for refusing orders from the government to divulge a confidential source, and the Supreme Court won’t intervene on his behalf. Bob talks with University of Chicago law professor Geoffrey Stone about what the situation means for the Obama administration and the press.

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Data after Death

Friday, June 06, 2014

We don’t know for certain who owns our digital legacies after we die. A group of legal volunteers called the Uniform Law Commission is trying to sort this out with model legislation they call the Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, or FADA. The goal is to give executors and other legal proxies access to files created by the deceased. Bob speaks to Suzanne Brown Walsh, attorney and chair of FADA, about the act.

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