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:

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. 

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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.

Churchill's Forgotten, Ruthless Past

Friday, March 16, 2018

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

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.

Did Farhad "Unplug"?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

A tempest in a Tweetbot, from the New York Times' tech columnist Farhad Manjoo. 

O Mueller, Where Art Thou?

Friday, March 09, 2018

How the special counsel's secrecy frustrates scoop-starved viewers. 

A Political History of Country Music

Friday, March 09, 2018

Although country music is now synonymous with the Republican Party, it wasn't always so.

What We Get Wrong About Country Music

Friday, March 09, 2018

Understanding country music through the lens of class, hillbilly humanism and the anti-bourgeois spirit.

Turning Off the Fire Hose

Friday, March 09, 2018

What happened when a New York Times columnist got his news only from physical print for two months.

New Strides in West Virginia's Old Labor Movement

Friday, March 09, 2018

The wildcat strike in West Virginia fits into a long history of organized labor that undermines traditional “Trump country” narratives.

Everything You Love Will Burn

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Lois Beckett talks to journalist Vegas Tenold about his years covering the far right.