Bob Garfield

Host, On The Media

Bob Garfield appears in the following:

The Journalist and the Murderer

Friday, November 22, 2013

On the same day of John F. Kennedy’s burial, a small gathering committed the remains of Lee Harvey Oswald to the ground. Apart from the immediate family, no mourners attended, leaving the task of carrying the coffin to a few assembled strangers: the reporters covering the story. Bob talks to retired Associated Press reporter Mike Cochran who was one of Oswald’s pallbearers.

Lúnasa - Black River

Going Viral, Antebellum Style

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Infectious Texts project at Northeastern University is making thousands of pre-Civil War newspapers searchable. Bob talks with Ryan Cordell, a leader on the project, about the mechanism behind text virality in the 1800’s and some of what’s been discovered so far.

Black Keys - Psychotic Girl

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JFK and Self-Absorbed Baby Boomers

Friday, November 15, 2013

Next week marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and countless books, articles, television specials and made for TV movies will no doubt commemorate the event. Bob speaks with Reason.com editor Nick Gillespie about how the media fascination with the fallen president has less to do with his impact on the country and more to do with the Baby Boomer generation's feeling of self-importance.

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We Knew JFK

Friday, November 15, 2013

A new radio documentary titled We Knew JFK: Unheard Stories from the Kennedy Archives airs on public radio stations across the country, timed to the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination.  The documentary showcases anecdotes from people who worked with JFK and knew him personally. Bob speaks to Robert MacNeil, of MacNeil/Lehrer fame, the host and co-writer of the documentary, about JFK's nuanced relationship with journalists.

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Guns as Free Speech?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Last weekend, a small group of women in the local chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America held a meeting at a restaurant in a Dallas suburb. In the parking lot outside a group of men women and children wielding assault rifles held a pro-gun demonstration, saying they were exercising their First Amendment rights. Bob speaks to Slate's Dahlia Lithwick about the rise of Open Carry demonstrations, and whether carrying a gun qualifies as free speech.

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Hypothetical Candidates

Friday, November 15, 2013

Chris Christie. Hillary Clinton. Rand Paul. Ted Cruz. Elizabeth Warren. This week saw a sharp spike in speculation for who would be President in 2017. Bob talks with the New York Times Magazine's Mark Leibovich about the media's fascination with hypothetical primaries three years away. 

Young Marble Giants - Final Day

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The Untold Story of Guns

Friday, November 15, 2013

We’ve become accustomed in the past 20 years to seeing the issue of guns in America broken down into two camps: gun control advocates — led by police chiefs and Sarah Brady — and the all-powerful National Rifle Association. In an interview that originally aired in December of last year, Bob talks to Adam Winkler, author of Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms In America, who says there was a time, relatively recently, in fact, when the NRA Supported gun control legislation, and the staunchest defenders of so-called "gun rights" were on the radical left.

Emiliana Torrini - Dead Duck

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Correcting the Record

Friday, November 15, 2013

This week saw a couple of attempts at explaining journalistic mistakes. The first was a terse apology from 60 minutes over a botched report on the Benghazi compound attack in 2012. The second was a re-examination of The New York Times decision to delay publication of an article warrantless wire tapping for over a year. Bob examines both of these stories - and how each outlet handled them.

Jim James - All is Forgiven

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Stories for a Price

Friday, November 08, 2013

When news outlets pay for exclusive access to a story it’s called 'checkbook journalism.' The Washington Post's Paul Farhi just reported about two recent cases of NBC News doing just that. Bob speaks with Farhi about the ethical problems raised by paying for news exclusives.

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Actually, You Can't "Keep It"

Friday, November 01, 2013

This week's Obamacare troubles came in the form of media challenging the oft repeated claim by the administration that if you like your health insurance policy, you can keep it. Bob talks to Washington Post writer, and author of The Fact Checker blog Glenn Kessler about why the "you can keep it" claim was so misleading, and why the media are just now getting around to correcting it.

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The Spanish Prisoner

Friday, November 01, 2013

Over a century before the rise of the Nigerian email scam, there was the "Spanish Prisoner" Letter, a scam which bears a striking resemblance to the emails that still dupe people today. Bob talks to historian Robert Whitaker, who wrote about "Spanish Prisoner" letters in the history journal The Appendix.

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Don't Panic

Friday, November 01, 2013

This week the 75th Anniversary of War of the Worlds passed by and the press recounted the familiar story of a nation plunged into panic by Orson Welles and the growing power of radio. Turns out, it’s much more complicated than that. Bob talks with Professor Michael Socolow, who says tales of nation-wide panic are overblown and can be traced to a nervous newspaper industry and faulty scholarship. Socolow and Jefferson Pooley wrote about War of the Worlds in Slate this week. 

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Reporting Around DHS Opacity

Friday, October 25, 2013

When OTM producer Sarah Abdurrahman tried getting answers from the Department of Homeland Security for her border detainment story, she experienced first hand how opaque the behemoth federal agency can be with reporters. But her experience wasn't unique. Brooke speaks with New York Times contributor Susan Stellin and Rio Grande Valley correspondent for the Associated Press Christopher Sherman--two journalists that regularly come in contact with DHS and its various agencies--about just how difficult it can be to get information.

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Re-evaluating a Convenient Narrative

Friday, October 25, 2013

In 2007, Halliburton employee Jamie Leigh Jones ignited a media firestorm when she went public with a horrific story about being raped by colleagues in Iraq. Six years later, one of the reporters who covered the story as it happened has written a 10,000 word corrective, saying that the Jones story was false. Bob talks to Mother Jones reporter Stephanie Mencimer about her decision to correct the narrative.

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Yeah Baby, Yeah Baby, Yeah Baby

Friday, October 25, 2013

For a few years Conan O'Brien's late night talk show has been doing a segment called Media Reacts where they play a montage of news anchors reading copy -- the exact same copy -- on local news stations across the country. It's eerie. Bob talks with KWWL 7 News Director Dan Schillinger and finds out why the media reacts in unison on some stories. (Schillnger explains this Austin Powers inspired example in particular.) 

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A New Tool to Help Shed Light on DHS

Friday, October 25, 2013

Former Congressman Lee Hamilton told Brooke that the best way to get answers from the Department of Homeland Security is for constituents to put pressure on their representatives in Congress. Now the Data News Team at WNYC has created a tool to help do just that. Bob speaks to John Keefe, WNYC's Senior Editor for Data News and Journalism Technology, about the new tool, and how listeners can use it to do their own investigative reporting.

Acid Pauli - MST

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Wrong Again

Friday, October 25, 2013

Some of the first reporting of the flawed Jamie Leigh Jones story was a 20/20 investigation from Brian Ross of ABC news. Bob takes a look at Ross's checkered reporting past.

Bach - Suite for Cello No. 1 in G

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TV Coverage of the Shutdown (and Moose Mating Calls)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Two weeks ago we talked with James Fallows about rampant false equivalency by newspapers in covering the federal government shutdown. This week, Bob speaks with Andrew Tyndall of The Tyndall Report who says broadcast news had its own weakness -- choosing anecdotal stories of real people hurt by the shutdown over informative analysis. 

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Healthcare dot UGH

Friday, October 18, 2013

Healthcare.gov launched in the beginning of the month to much frustration, as hundreds of thousands of people flocked to buy insurance from the online exchange. Because of technical glitches, the majority of these users were turned away due to website problems. Bob talks to programmer and Bloomberg Businessweek contributor Paul Ford who says while healthcare.gov was open for business at the beginning of the month, it’s failure may be attributed to its closed code.

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We Didn't Really Dodge a Bullet

Friday, October 18, 2013

This round of budget clashes are over (for now), but how should we assess the damage done by these regular crises? Bob talks with Reuters financial blogger Felix Salmon who says that the real story of these political battles is the slow motion, irreversible damage they're doing to America's financial standing. 

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