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:

This Ain't Your Usual Horse Race

Friday, September 18, 2020

Polls and old-school campaign coverage miss this election’s defining crisis.

Debunking Headlines About 'Child Sex Trafficking Busts'

Friday, September 18, 2020

When people talk about child sex trafficking, what do they actually mean?

How The "Cuties" Outrage Followed The Gamergate Playbook

Friday, September 18, 2020

A film critiquing the sexualization of preteens was labeled as child porn by right-wing politicians.

In the Fog of Fire

Friday, September 18, 2020

The West Coast, aflame and awash in misinformation. 

Lessons From the Contentious Election of 1876

Friday, September 11, 2020

A look back at the controversial presidential election whose disputed results nearly prompted a second Civil War. 

A Deluge of Our Own Making

Friday, September 11, 2020

A social media disinformation expert on the challenges that Election Day may pose. 

How the Militias Learned to Stop Worrying About Authoritarianism and Love Trump

Friday, September 04, 2020

For decades, right-wing paramilitary groups despised law enforcement and the government. What changed?

If It Inflames, Must It Lead?

Friday, September 04, 2020

Why a Kenosha-based journalist left the newsroom he loved. 

The Urban Exodus That Wasn't

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Why the pandemic-induced mass migration from cities to suburbs is more myth than reality. 

Sorting Out The Junk Mail

Friday, August 21, 2020

The information, misinformation, and disinformation of the Post Office scandal. 

The Long, Slow Chipping Away of the USPS

Friday, August 21, 2020

Decay at the USPS is the result of decades of intentional neglect. Why do the media frame its downfall as inevitable?

The Covid Conspiracy Boom on Facebook

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

How Facebook is helping health misinformation go viral.

Frank Serpico Has Seen This All Before

Friday, July 31, 2020

America's most famous police whistleblower is partnering with the Government Accountability Project to tear down the "blue wall of silence."

A Fight Over Cop Misconduct Records Continues

Friday, July 31, 2020

We are a long way away from true police transparency.

Why is Trump’s Campaign Suing a Small TV Station in Wisconsin?

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

The president’s campaign has paid millions to law firms filing defamation suits against news organizations. 

Body Meets World

Friday, July 24, 2020

As the pandemic forces us renegotiate our relationship with the built world, we look to past pandemics and the work of disability rights advocates for guidance.

Imagining the Museum of 2020

Friday, July 17, 2020

How will future generations remember this year?

QAnon Is On The Ballot In November

Friday, July 17, 2020

13 congressional candidates have expressed support for the deranged conspiracy theory.

Climate Change, Coronavirus and the Problem of Shifting Baselines

Friday, July 17, 2020

Our incredible ability to adapt to new circumstances may be hurting our attempts to mitigate climate change.

Traffic Jams On The Information Superhighway

Friday, July 17, 2020

Technological antiquities are bogging down our pandemic response.