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:

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. 

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.

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.

O Mueller, Where Art Thou?

Friday, March 09, 2018

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

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.

Everything You Love Will Burn

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

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

The Perils of Covering the Alt-Right

Friday, March 02, 2018

Reporters who have covered far-right groups break down frequent media pitfalls.

The Commercialization of Black History Month

Friday, February 23, 2018

Have the radical roots of this commemorative month given way to farce and corporate interest?

How "Crisis Actor" Became Part of the Conspiracy Lexicon

Friday, February 23, 2018

Conspiracy theorists claim that the Parkland students are actually "crisis actors." Now the term is everywhere, but it's relatively new to the conspiracy lexicon.

The Last School Shooting

Friday, February 23, 2018

How a movement began in the hours after the massacre. 

In Poland, a Troubling New Law

Friday, February 16, 2018

A new law in Poland criminalizes a broad range of speech concerning the Holocaust. 

When an Immigration Icon Has a Complicated Past

Friday, February 16, 2018

Is the press ignoring the details about a popular immigration activist?

A Ponzi Scheme of Lies

Friday, February 16, 2018

From Rob Porter to Michael Cohen: as the White House lies continue to mount, can the truth ever catch up?

How I.C.E. Propaganda Makes Its Way Into the News

Friday, February 16, 2018

From I.C.E. press releases to your local TV news station.

For the Rohingya, Blurred Lines Between Trauma and Truth

Friday, February 16, 2018

A reporter covering violence against the Rohingya explores why some victims of horrific attacks are embellishing details in order to survive. 

An Apocalyptic Tick-Tock

Friday, February 02, 2018

The Doomsday Clock tracks humankind's shifting proximity to apocalypse. We're now two minutes to midnight. So... what does that mean?

'The Memo,' Selective Disclosure and the Fight for True Transparency

Friday, February 02, 2018

Transparency advocates have been asking Congress to use "Rule X" to disclose classified intelligence for decades. Now that they're finally doing it, is it just a partisan ploy?