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:

The Recording of America

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

On what would have been Studs Terkel's 106th birthday, we revisit a conversation bob had about the legendary documentarian with his erstwhile collaborator and editor Andre Schiffrin. 

An Extended Trip Through Wild Wild Country

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

A bonus edition of Bob's conversation with the directors.

How Journalists Hurt Journalism in the Age of Trump

Friday, May 04, 2018

Why are high-profile reporters minimizing the president's hate campaign against the press?

A Trip Through Wild Wild Country

Friday, May 04, 2018

A Netflix documentary series asks big questions about cults, democracy and the struggle to build and maintain community.

What Men Do With Their Pain

Friday, May 04, 2018

A conversation about men with a masculinities scholar. 

What Happens at Trump Tower Does Not Stay at Trump Tower

Friday, April 27, 2018

A conversation with the hosts of the Trump, Inc. podcast.

How a Strong Economy Could Lead to Trump's Second Term

Friday, April 27, 2018

Will a strong economy and shifting Democratic party lead Trump to reelection in 2020?

The Age of Defamation

Friday, April 20, 2018

After spreading conspiracy theories for years, Alex Jones and Infowars are now facing a host of defamation suits aimed at bringing down the media organization.

Self-Immolation, Past and Present

Friday, April 20, 2018

A political history of the self-sacrificing protest tactic, in the wake of a very public suicide this week. 

A Life Of Sacrifice

Friday, April 20, 2018

In a small east Texas town in 2014, a retired white pastor named Charles Moore set himself on fire to protest racism. We revisit his life's story. 

How Corporations Got Rights

Friday, April 13, 2018

The long and surprising history of the Supreme Court's role in shaping (and, mostly, expanding) corporate rights. 

Senator, We Run a Monopoly

Friday, April 13, 2018

During Mark Zuckerberg's congressional hearings, few legislators seemed to grasp the problem at hand. Spoiler alert: It isn't Cambridge Analytica, the Facebook algorithm, or "pokes."

Crowdsourcing Justice: The Truth Behind the Steubenville Rape

Friday, April 13, 2018

What the media got wrong about the Steubenville rape case. 

Montana Takes On Dark Money

Friday, April 13, 2018

A new documentary looks at Montana's fight against dark money in politics.

Correcting the Record on the Pulse Massacre

Friday, April 13, 2018

Why did the media get the Pulse shooting narrative so wrong?

How Facebook Helped Trump...Without Cambridge Analytica

Friday, March 23, 2018

Experts doubt that Cambridge Analytica was able to influence the 2016 election. But that doesn't mean Facebook didn't boost Trump.

The Facebook Alarm Bells Have Been Ringing For Years

Friday, March 23, 2018

Federal regulators once tried to reign in Facebook. It didn't work.

Crowdsourcing Justice: The Truth Behind the Steubenville Rape

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Five years after the Steubenville rape scandal, a new documentary examines the dangers of crowd-sourcing justice.

When Violence Isn't News Enough

Friday, March 16, 2018

The siege of eastern Ghouta in Syria has been bloody and relentless and all but absent from the headlines.

Churchill's Forgotten, Ruthless Past

Friday, March 16, 2018

His latest Hollywood treatment left out the famous prime minister's imperialist and classist tendencies.