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:

What's in the Bill?

Friday, November 27, 2015

For almost fourteen years we've been hearing about the Patriot Act. What's in it, again?

Present At The Creation

Friday, November 27, 2015

A mere six weeks after 9/11, the USA PATRIOT Act was passed. Brooke and Bob relive the act's conception amid a climate of fear, confusion, and deceit.

The Patriot Act's Unintended Consequences

Friday, November 27, 2015

Ultimately, our assumption that the Patriot Act is at the center of our nation's struggle between privacy and security...may not be true. 

France's (Latest) Patriot Act

Friday, November 27, 2015

After the Charlie Hebdo attacks, France passed a bill vastly expanding surveillance power, drawing comparisons to the USA Patriot Act. After the latest Paris attacks, more of the same.

Dabiq Magazine

Friday, November 20, 2015

While we're watching continuous coverage of ISIS, they're also watching, and even publish politicians and pundits in their propaganda magazine, Dabiq.

What Does It Mean to Have 'Boots On The Ground'?

Friday, November 20, 2015

Politicians and pundits have been using the phrase "boots on the ground" to declare limits in U.S. involvement in the Middle East. But what does that phrase mean, anyway?

What Did Exxon Know?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

ExxonMobil is under investigation by the NY Attorney General for potentially misleading shareholders. How does the case compare to the federal prosecution of Big Tobacco in the 1990s?
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Comments [5]

In Praise Of "Gotcha!"

Friday, November 06, 2015

Most of the Republican candidates agree that the main problem with last week's CNBC debate was the preponderance of "gotcha" questions. Bob begs to differ.

Two Angry Men

Friday, November 06, 2015

Bob and Alec Baldwin discuss all things media.

An Optimistic Look At The Newspaper Business

Friday, November 06, 2015

Despite declining circulation, lower ad revenues, and continuing newsroom cuts, we found someone who doesn't think it's all doom and gloom for the newspaper industry. Meet David Chavern.

Lessig's Less

Friday, November 06, 2015

Lawrence Lessig, Harvard law professor and crusader for campaign finance reform, explains why he ditched his reluctant campaign for president. 

ESPN's Piano Man

Friday, November 06, 2015

ESPN's former ombudsman, Robert Lipsyte, talks to Bob about the self-proclaimed "Worldwide Leader in Sports" and its fraught relationship with journalism.

Will Mobile Save Newspapers?

Friday, November 06, 2015

More news consumers are reading headlines on their phone, and social media platforms want to make it easier and faster. What does it mean for the struggling newspaper industry? 

Debate Demands

Friday, November 06, 2015

Republican presidential candidates trying to reassert control over future debates were roundly mocked for their demands.

Two Angry Men

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Bob talks with Alec Baldwin about all things media.
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Humdingers, Boondoggles and the Big Apple

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

On the Media's Bob Garfield answers questions like "How did New York become the Big Apple?" and explains the origins of great words like "humdinger" and "boondoggle."

Comments [4]

California Protects Online Privacy

Friday, October 23, 2015

A new California law requires police to get a warrant before searching your electronic data. Bob talks to State Sen. Mark Leno, a co-sponsor of the bill, about its implications. 

Lockerbie, Revisited

Friday, October 23, 2015

More than 25 years after the Lockerbie bombing, a filmmaker travels to Libya to make sense of the unresolved attack and discovers some damning new ledes.

George Takei Has A Play

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Bob speaks with Star Trek star and multimedia phenomenon, George Takei.
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Gallup Quits the Horse Race

Friday, October 16, 2015

Bob talks to Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of Gallup, about the organization's decision to stop tracking the presidential primaries after nearly 80 years of polling the horse race.