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:

Understanding the Terror of Domestic Violence

Friday, September 13, 2019

How the media and law fail to capture the domestic violence epidemic — and its potential solutions.

Good Riddance, John Bolton

Friday, September 13, 2019

Pundits bemoaning John Bolton's ouster should take a closer look at his record.

Why Many Afghans Don't Understand 9/11

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

During the height of fighting in Afghanistan, one survey found that 92 percent of southern Afghan men hadn't heard of 9/11. We look at why misconceptions about this 18-year war persist.

Reporting the Weather in #2019

Friday, September 06, 2019

Probabilistic forecasting for an impatient audience in search of certainty. 

Remembering Les Gelb

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Leslie Gelb died last week at the age of 82. Brooke revisits an enlightening conversation they had about his role in the creation of the Pentagon Papers.

The Self-Driving Car Sales Pitch

Friday, August 30, 2019

It'll be a marvelous future, if we buy in.

Sons of the Soil

Friday, August 16, 2019

How Hindu nationalists are rewriting the story of India.

In Puerto Rico, What Comes Next?

Friday, August 09, 2019

There are more protests on the island against the newly sworn-in governor. But there are also more conversations about what comes next. 

Democracy For Me — But Not For Thee

Friday, August 09, 2019

Trump is hardly the first American president to govern on the assumption that only white people can self-govern. 

Hate Machine

Friday, August 09, 2019

Locating the engines of hate online can take some searching. Finding similar sources on television is easier. 

Deciphering the White Power Movement

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Historian Kathleen Belew says that the key to understanding massacres like the one in El Paso is to understand the movement that they come from.

Restoring Justice Online

Friday, August 02, 2019

How theories of criminal justice reform can help us detox the internet.

Oh, Cruel Internet!

Friday, August 02, 2019

The internet can be so mean. And the platforms that dominate it aren't doing anything to stop the cruelty.

Repairing Justice: An Alternative to Prison

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Part two of a series. If we don’t want to keep locking people in jail for every infraction, what do we do to address injustice when it appears? 

Money, Then and Now

Friday, July 05, 2019

How money didn't arise from barter, and why gold isn't as precious as we might think — the money myths are many. 

A Very Crypto Future

Friday, July 05, 2019

If money is a story we tell ourselves, the plot is thickening.

Ceci N'est Pas Un Dollar

Friday, July 05, 2019

J.S.G. Boggs drew replicas of dollar bills and used them to buy goods and services — until the Secret Service took his fake money out of circulation.

How to Influence US Iran Policy ... Without Actually Existing

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

A reporter digs into the mysterious story of a popular Iranian commentator.

Waiting in Mexico

Friday, June 14, 2019

While headlines focus on the politics around Trump's so-called trade deal with Mexico, a look at the lives of those who stand to suffer the most.