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:

Epidemics Show Societies Who They Really Are

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

From the bubonic plague to Ebola to COVID-19: learning about ourselves through the epidemics we've faced.

EXTENDED VERSION The Ancient Heresy That Helps Us Understand QAnon

Monday, November 23, 2020

Gnosticism can help us understand the pseudo-intellectualism on the right.

In Fighting The Pandemic, Policymakers Must Cite Their Sources

Friday, November 20, 2020

Political leaders have failed to consistently explain the science behind their pandemic policies. 

What Exactly Is The Job Of The Chief White House Photographer?

Friday, November 20, 2020

To document history or provide PR fodder for the government?

The Ancient Heresy That Helps Us Understand QAnon

Friday, November 20, 2020

Gnosticism can help us understand the pseudo-intellectualism on the right.

Why Conservatives Are Leaving Facebook & Twitter

Friday, November 13, 2020

What Parler & MeWe, new "free speech" platforms, tell us about the future of the far-right.

The Biggest Lie Yet

Friday, November 13, 2020

Democracy has had its say. But Trump and his supporters are trying to drown it out with their own version of reality.

The Forecasts Didn't Help Us

Friday, November 06, 2020

An argument for abolishing election forecast models.

Last Grasp, Last Gasp

Friday, November 06, 2020

The "steal" the President's supporters hope to stop is a lie. It would also be improbably, impossibly difficult. 

Anger and Identity in an Age of Polarization

Friday, October 30, 2020

America is more polarized than ever. How did we get to this place — and how can we get out of it?

How Real Journalism Gets Turned into Propaganda

Friday, October 23, 2020

A look at Russian influencing campaigns and a homegrown network of "pink slime" local news sites.

The Great Pumpkin Hunt

Friday, October 23, 2020

On the never-ending story of Republicans "fleeing the ship," "whispering," "signaling a break," and "distancing themselves from Trump." 

The Birth of the Modern Campaign

Friday, October 23, 2020

Political consulting and dirty tricks as we know them today can be traced back to a single race — in 1934.

When Does "Militia" Become "Domestic Terrorism"?

Friday, October 16, 2020

After a foiled plot to kidnap a governor and blow up a bridge, the media rethinks who gets to be a "militia member" instead of a "domestic terrorist." 

Can We Trust the Polls?

Friday, October 16, 2020

Nate Silver on what 538 is doing differently — and what he's doing the same — this election.

A History of the "Republic, Not A Democracy" Slogan

Friday, October 09, 2020

GOP Senator Mike Lee tweeted, "We're not a democracy," tapping into an age-old anti-majoritarian strain of conservatism. 

The Burnout Generation

Friday, October 09, 2020

Millennials aren't spoiled, they're exhausted.

Trump's War on Critical Race Theory

Thursday, October 08, 2020

In executive orders and public commentary, the president rejects "sensitivity training" and what he views as "anti-American" historiography. 

Christian Nationalism Holds the Religious Right Together

Friday, October 02, 2020

Theres much more to the religious right than just white evangelicals.

The Historic Roots of the Christian Persecution Complex

Friday, October 02, 2020

Christian historians coined the idea that to be persecuted is to be righteous in the 4th century.