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:

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.

Through the Lens of the Pro-Trump Media

Friday, July 14, 2017

For the pro-Trump media, it's all "nothing burgers."

From the City of Ghosts

Friday, July 14, 2017

In ISIS-controlled Raqqa, Syrians are victim to frequent airstrikes, assassinations, and violence. A group of citizen journalists fights back.

"Solastalgia," and Other Words for Our Changing World

Friday, July 07, 2017

The distress caused by environmental change needs its own term, and so do other new phenomena in the Anthropocene.

When Science Fiction Isn't Fiction

Friday, July 07, 2017

Author Jeff VanderMeer has been called the "weird Thoreau" for his nature-inspired science fiction. But what's sci-fi when the future of the planet is unpredictable?

Happy Birthday, Canada?

Friday, June 30, 2017

Many Canadians don't care about their country's 150th anniversary. Why that may be a good thing.

"The American people elected a fighter"

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Bob's take on this week's back and forth between the President and the press who cover him. 
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Newton Minow Still Cares About the Media

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

This week, at the annual conference of the National Association for Media Literacy Education, Bob sat down with former FCC chairman Newton Minow to survey the "vast wasteland."
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How The Census Made "Hispanics"

Friday, June 23, 2017

How the US Census, Univision, and advocates teamed up to add "Hispanic" to the 1980 Census—and forged a new American identity.

It's All About The Gerrymandering

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case on how district lines are drawn. Democrats are finding it hard to win special elections. Why it all comes back to gerrymandering.

The Slants Win the Day!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Asian-American band The Slants sued after its trademark was denied because it's disparaging to...Asian-Americans. This week the group won its long legal battle.  
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Breaking News Consumer's Handbook: Political Violence Edition

Friday, June 16, 2017

In the aftermath of politically-charged violence, how the media and politicians fall into familiar traps. 

Taking the President's Tweets to Court

Friday, June 16, 2017

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals cited one of Trump's tweets in its decision to uphold a block on his travel ban—a potential turning point in the debate about how to interpret his feed.

The GOP's Approach To The Investigations

Friday, June 16, 2017

The RNC's talking points reveal its approach to Trump's investigation.

The Dystopian Potential of Augmented Reality

Friday, June 09, 2017

Bob scrutinizes the hype behind augmented reality and explores its dystopian potential.

'Something Is Emerging From This Community'

Friday, June 02, 2017

A Portland reporter on the aftermath of the recent anti-Muslim hate crime, and what the national media are missing. 

This Segment Will Make You Angry

Friday, June 02, 2017

On the craft and longevity of hyper-partisan news.

Too Much of a Bad Thing

Friday, June 02, 2017

A new study finds that media coverage of Trump's first 100 days set new records for negativity.

As Confederate Monuments Come Down, the Struggle Continues

Friday, May 26, 2017

New Orleans recently took down four major Confederate memorials. The group behind the effort says this is just the beginning.

How Tech Isn't Stopping Terror

Friday, May 26, 2017

Although they routinely affirm their commitment to fighting online extremism, the actions of tech companies may suggest otherwise.