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:

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.

What "Running From Cops" Learned From "Cops"

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

A new podcast series takes a close look at policing reality TV shows, and there's a lot to be concerned about. 

Reckoning With the Media's Role in the Central Park Five Conviction

Friday, June 07, 2019

After a new miniseries on the Central Park Five, a journalist reflects on the media's role in the infamous wrongful conviction.

Dark Money and the Rise of Conservative Orthodoxy

Friday, May 31, 2019

Jane Mayer on the conservative billionaires who revolutionized American politics.

Trump Curbs the Circulation of Science

Friday, May 31, 2019

Despite apocalyptic warnings, Trump silences the scientists.

How to Wage a Civilized War

Friday, May 24, 2019

A professor of law and philosophy on how militaries across the globe navigate the horrors of war.

Is The Navy Spying on Reporters?

Friday, May 24, 2019

The prosecutors of Chief Edward Gallagher may have.

Who's Behind Trump's Push to Pardon War Criminals?

Friday, May 24, 2019

The Fox News personality rallying behind accused and convicted troops.

The Assange Indictment & The 50-Year War On Investigative Journalism

Friday, May 24, 2019

An expansion of the Espionage Act that spells disaster for journalism.

Solving the Facebook Problem at Home and Abroad

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

How regulating Facebook could hurt users abroad.

The One-Woman Lobby Machine Behind the "Heartbeat" Bills

Friday, May 17, 2019

"It was almost as though reality shifted around Janet Porter and she was there ready with this bill."

Who is Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán?

Friday, May 17, 2019

This week, President Trump hosted the Hungarian Prime Minister at the White House. Here's why a meeting with Viktor Orbán matters.

United States of Conspiracy

Friday, May 17, 2019

From the fringes of the internet to the White House.

Trump's Financial House of Cards

Friday, May 10, 2019

After a bombshell report from the New York Times, we go back to the origin myth of Trump's success.

The "Electability" Myth

Friday, May 10, 2019

Polls indicate that voters are internalizing the fuzzy logic of "electability." Why that's probably the wrong lesson.