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:

United States of Conspiracy

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Dot-connecting throughout history, from the fringes to the White House.

What "Running From Cops" Learned From "Cops"

Friday, June 26, 2020

And what "Cops" reveals about our fascination with punishment. 

The President's Comprehensive Assault on Accountability

Friday, June 26, 2020

More removals of more watchdogs. What happens now?

Understanding the Social Movement Cycle

Friday, June 19, 2020

When a social movement recedes from view, it isn't necessarily gone. How understanding the patterns of social movements tells us what to expect — and how to report on it.

Movements, Sanitized In Hindsight

Friday, June 19, 2020

Movements that seem disruptive to the public in their time can become mythologized in retrospect. 

The Military Stands Up To Trump

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Generals and rank and file West Point graduates are speaking out against the Commander-in-Chief.

We Need to Talk About the Cops on TV

Friday, June 12, 2020

The mainstream conversation about law enforcement is changing. It's time to talk about the cops on TV, too. 

Behind a Wall of Silence

Friday, June 12, 2020

How one investigative reporter confronts the cultural and statutory barriers to scrutiny of the police. 

They Prepared for War With Antifa. Antifa Never Came.

Friday, June 12, 2020

How conspiracy theories about Antifa spread from right-wing media to towns across the country.

Why Activists Are Demanding That Cities "Defund the Police"

Friday, June 12, 2020

Organizers are asking us to imagine what seems unimaginable: a world without police.

All The Opinion That's Fit To Print?

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Editors at The New York Times have insisted that the opinion page is a space where all views all welcome. Where does that leave our values? 

Trump and the Christian Persecution Complex

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Turns out the myth of Christian persecution goes back hundreds and hundreds of years.

Twitter's Donald Trump Problem

Friday, May 29, 2020

Should Twitter just kick Trump off the platform?

Mass Grief in a Divided America

Friday, May 22, 2020

Will America mourn together when this is all over?

Obituaries Reveal Who and What We Really Care About

Friday, May 22, 2020

Decades from now, historians will turn to obituaries to understand the pandemic.

What To Say When A Loved One Shares Pandemic Disinfo

Friday, May 15, 2020

Attempting to heal the harm caused by "Plandemic" and other conspiracy theories.

A Tale of Two Cities

Friday, May 15, 2020

There’s a literal playbook for communications during an epidemic. Seattle followed it. New York didn’t.

Mixed Messages in the Heartland

Friday, May 15, 2020

Communities in the American heartland are becoming coronavirus hotspots. But residents are being cut off from data that show how severe it's getting.

Are Online Courts Less Fair?

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Advocates for online courts cite efficiency — but at what cost?

In Memoriam: The Ad Revenue–Based Newspaper Business Model

Friday, May 08, 2020

A brief and spine-chilling history of the demise of a centuries-old business model.