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:

Climate Change, News Corp, and the Australian Fires

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

In Australia, the conservative press has been denying that climate change is fueling the bushfires. 

The Boys Are Back In Town

Friday, January 10, 2020

On the return of the class of 2003 and the revolving door of military officials.

Deconstructing War Propaganda

Friday, January 10, 2020

How lessons from the lead up to Iraq can help us make sense of the media conversation this time around.

An Alternative to Our Broken Prison System

Friday, January 03, 2020

Restorative justice, combining meaningful resolution and rehabilitation.

Everything Is Media

Friday, December 27, 2019

How public radio's signature media show has come to expand our mission.

Everything Is Fake

Friday, December 27, 2019

A walk through 2019 starts with confronting a deep sense of unreality.

Everything Is Race

Friday, December 27, 2019

At the core of the narratives we unpacked this year, a consistent theme.

A Most Radical TV News Archive

Friday, December 20, 2019

A new documentary examines the work and life of the extraordinary archivist, Marion Stokes. 

The "Pentagon Papers" Of Our Time

Friday, December 20, 2019

A monumental report from the Washington Post reveals years of lies, futility and corruption. 

On the Latest Missteps in Impeachment Coverage

Friday, December 20, 2019

The latest impeachment coverage has been vital. It hasn't always been perfect. 

Sons of the Soil

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

How Hindu nationalists are rewriting the story of India.

The "Pentagon Papers" Of Our Time

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

A monumental report from the Washington Post reveals years of lies, futility and corruption. 

Lessons From That Other Impeachment

Friday, December 06, 2019

In recent months, analogies to the Clinton and Nixon eras have been frequent. But what about our first presidential impeachment? 

Tribalism, Anger and the State of Our Politics

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

An extended conversation with Lilliana Mason about tribalism, anger and the state of our politics.

PURPLE EPISODE 4: Media to the Rescue?

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

On the press's role to educate the public about participating in democracy.

PURPLE EPISODE 3: Let’s Not Discount Reality

Monday, November 25, 2019

How a propaganda war by the private sector led to a decline of trust in government.

PURPLE EPISODE 2: “Low Information, High Misinformation Voters"

Sunday, November 24, 2019

How do we repair our institutions in the age of Pizzagate and flat Earth conspiracy theories?

PURPLE EPISODE 1: “Is Democracy up for grabs?”

Saturday, November 23, 2019

What happens when Americans lose faith in the democracy?

The Billionaires Bite Back

Friday, November 15, 2019

It feels like every billionaire has an opinion on this election cycle. But why should we listen?

The Origins of The Ukraine Corruption Conspiracy Theory

Friday, November 08, 2019

A close-up on the controversial columnist's role in the impeachment imbroglio.