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.

Shows:

Bob Garfield appears in the following:

Guantanamo Diary

Friday, January 23, 2015

Bob speaks with Larry Siems, the editor of Guantanamo Diary, a memoir by a Guantanamo Bay inmate imprisoned for more than 12 years without charge.

Comments [1]

Aggregation and Ownership in the Digital Wild West

Friday, January 09, 2015

In a "remix culture" where sharing is a business and virality a science, Bob asks if copyright has lost all meaning.

Comments [9]

Regret the Error 2014

Friday, January 09, 2015

Every year at this time, we invite Craig Silverman, of Emergent.info and the "Regret the Error" blog on Poynter, to fill us in on the media's biggest mistakes of the past 12 months.

Comments [8]

Chasing Ghosts

Friday, January 02, 2015

Bob talks with Peter Nickeas whose job it is to drive around the city of Chicago all night reporting on shootings. 

Comments [1]

A Cinematic Release

Friday, January 02, 2015

When a funeral director named Bernie Tiede shot and killed a wealthy widow in Carthage, Texas, townspeople were sympathetic toward Bernie and indifferent toward the murder victim. 

Comment

In Defense of True Crime

Friday, January 02, 2015

Salon senior writer Laura Miller says much True Crime rises above mere pulp. 

Comment

The Cautionary Tale of Bell, California

Friday, December 26, 2014

Over a 17-year period, the city manager and other municipal officials bilked tax payers out of millions of dollars. Here's how the scheme went unnoticed for almost two decades.

Comment

Brooke and Bob on the Decline of Beat Reporting

Friday, December 26, 2014

Bob remembers the best story he got while working the crime beat for a small newspaper in Pennsylvania.

Comments [4]

The State House Beat

Friday, December 26, 2014

Two-thirds of audited daily papers do not assign a single reporter to cover the State House. 

Comment

Reporting the Sony Hack

Friday, December 19, 2014

Did the Sony hack reveal newsworthy information, juicy gossip, or just our own voyeuristic tendencies? Ethicist Kelly McBride weighs in. 

Comments [13]

On Letterman, Colbert, and America

Friday, December 19, 2014

Thursday, December 18th, marked the final episode of the Colbert Report, and the end of Stephen Colbert's fake pundit character. Brooke and Bob bid them both farewell. 

Comments [2]

The Distinctions Between "Black" and "African-American"

Friday, December 19, 2014

Are the terms Black and African American actually interchangeable? Emory University's Erika Hall has evidence to show that their usage has different consequences in various environments.

Comments [7]

Feuding Ferret Magazines

Friday, December 19, 2014

Bob Garfield tells a David vs. Goliath story of dueling ferret magazines, from 2002. 

Comments [3]

Special: The Torture Report

Thursday, December 11, 2014

On the Media takes a special look at the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on CIA torture, and examines the vocabulary of "enhanced interrogation."
Read More

Comments [10]

Special: The UVA Story

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Rolling Stone retracted an explosive piece about a ritualistic gang rape at a frat house, as told by a single source. Here are the discrepancies we know about so far.
Read More

Comments [5]

The Con Artists Take the Media

Friday, December 05, 2014

On how con artists can seize the media's power to make names for themselves.

Comments [2]

A Letter

Friday, December 05, 2014

Bob reads a very powerful letter from a listener.

Comment

Those Black Friday Numbers

Friday, December 05, 2014

Stories based on Black Friday consumer spending numbers are a holiday tradition. 

Comments [1]

Conservatives on Ferguson

Friday, December 05, 2014

Bob speaks with reporter David Weigel about how conservative media talk about the shooting death of Michael Brown and the subsequent protests in Ferguson.

Comments [11]

What Police Video Can and Can't Do

Friday, December 05, 2014

As the debate surrounding the effectiveness of police-worn body cameras grows, Bob Garfield looks at the concerns and evidence regarding the technology and its practical use.

Comments [2]