Bob Garfield

Host, On The Media

Bob Garfield appears in the following:

Seattle Times Purchases Political Ads

Friday, November 02, 2012

The Seattle Times Company has undertaken an experiment it says will show newspapers deserve more political ad dollars: buying and publishing political ads on its own pages. Readers have seen full-page ads in favor of the Republican candidate for governor, as well as ads in support of a referendum that would legalize gay marriage. Bob Garfield speaks with Eli Sanders of Seattle's alt-weekly The Stranger, about why the ads have infuriated subscribers and the newspaper's staff, while leaving everyone else scratching their heads.

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Hurricane Hoaxes and Confused Reporting

Friday, November 02, 2012

The 24-hour news cycle and social media provided consumers with up to the minute images and information about the toll of Sandy. Too bad some of those images and information were both woefully incorrect and deliberately misleading. Brooke and Bob talk to the New Jersey Record's John Brennan and Salon's Laura Miller about how disasters plunge us into a media mix of the real, the unreal, and the unknown.

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Is Twitter Wrong?

Friday, November 02, 2012

Tom Phillips, the man behind a website called "Is Twitter Wrong?" worked hard during Sandy to debunk many of the false images of the storm and its aftermath. Bob speaks to Phillips about how easy it is to differentiate the real images from the fakes.

Helium - Aging Astronauts

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Facebook v. Europe

Friday, October 26, 2012

Europe has long taken a harder line towards global internet companies who make privacy incursions against their users and Facebook is no exception.  In the last few months, a couple of high-profile cases have seen European privacy fears realized.  We asked Marketplace reporter Christopher Werth to talk to a few of the people in Europe who’ve run up against Facebook recently to see if their experiences might tell us something about Facebook’s prospective practices in the US. 

The Outside Joke - My Mom’s on Facebook

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That Little Thing Called "Like"

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Facebook "Like" button has ventured beyond the pages of Facebook. Now, not only can you tell your friends that you "Like" their comments, photos and status updates, you can also tell third-party site how much you "Like" a blog post or news article. Bob explores the meaning of a Facebook "Like."

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Life in Facebookistan

Friday, October 26, 2012

Writer Rebecca MacKinnon has compared Facebook to a country, she calls it Facebookistan. Facebookistan has 1 billion people, and an economy that rivals many countries'. Brooke and Bob talk to Jillian York and Clay Shirky about the contours of Facebookistan, and how it affects life in the actual world we live in.

Don & Juan - What’s Your Name

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China's Fake Facebooks

Friday, October 26, 2012

Facebook is blocked in China –but that hasn’t prevented homegrown Facebook knock-off sites from sprouting. And even on China’s fake Facebooks,  real conversations about politics and culture are occurring every day. Jeremy Goldkorn, who monitors Chinese media at his website, talks to Bob about life on China's fake Facebooks.

Tito Nieves - I Like It Like That

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The End of Endorsements

Friday, October 19, 2012

If you read the local paper in Boston, Denver, or Sacramento, soon you’re likely to see endorsements for candidates cropping up on the editorial page. But if you get your news in Atlanta, Chicago, or Tuscaloosa, you probably won’t. In recent years, papers in these cities have gotten out of the endorsement business. Bob talks to Kevin Riley, editor of Georgia's largest newspaper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, about his paper's decision to end editorial endorsements.

Ahmad Jamal - Tranquility

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Red Bull, NASA, and Felix Baumgartner

Friday, October 19, 2012

This week, daredevil skydiver Felix Baumgartner broke the sound barrier—and world records—when he jumped in free fall from 24 miles above the earth’s surface. People around the world watched in awe, but some criticized the jump as a mere publicity stunt for its corporate sponsor, Red Bull Energy Drink. Bob talks with Esquire contributing editor Luke Dittrich about how Baumgartner's jump, publicity stunt or not, has valuable scientific implications beyond being a PR triumph.

Aphex Twin - Untitled (Four Tet Remix)

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Ad Nauseam

Friday, October 12, 2012

Voters in swing states are enduring a gauntlet of campaign advertising this election season. Reporter Seth Stevenson, who lives in New York City, decided to fly to one of those states (Ohio) and subjected himself to 45 hours of campaign advertising. It wasn't pleasant. Bob spoke with Stevenson, who wrote about the experiment for The New Republic.

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Young Man, Big Money

Friday, October 12, 2012

When John Ramsey came into his substantial inheritance, he was still a college student. But he didn't use the money to party - instead he became an angel investor in Liberty for All, a libertarian Super Pac. Bob spoke with Ramsey about putting up his own money to support down-ticket libertarian candidates.

Phillip Roebuck - Rattleback Blues

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The World's First Political Consulting Firm

Friday, October 12, 2012

In the 1930's, married couple Clem Whitaker and Leone Baxter founded Campaigns, Inc., the world's first political consulting firm. In the ensuing 30 years, Campaigns Inc. pioneered tactics like the out-of-context quote, relentless pamphleteering, and what we now call opposition research, all techniques that are part of the modern campaign playbook. Bob talks to Jill Lepore, New Yorker contributor and author of The Story of America: Essays on Origins about Whitaker and Baxter's political legacy.

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How "Muslim Rage" Got it Wrong

Friday, October 05, 2012

When the US consulate in Benghazi was attacked and protesters took to the street throughout the Islamic world, news reports trotted out a familiar narrative: "MUSLIM RAGE" and the clash of civilizations. Bob talks to Middle East scholar Marc Lynch, who says the media got it wrong and the real story is that protests were small, petered out quickly, and followed a radically different pattern from past anti-US agitation.

Felix - Bernard St.

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Should Government Fund Public Broadcasting?

Friday, October 05, 2012

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said in Wednesday's debate that, if elected, he'd end the use of taxpayer money to support public media. Should we? In 2010, Reason.com editor-in-chief Nick Gillespie told Brooke that yes, we should. On the other side, New Yorker editor Steve Coll told Bob why public radio should continue to receive some taxpayer support.  

Emiliana Torrini - Gun

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The Blaine Game

Friday, October 05, 2012

The presidency will be decided in four weeks. Syria is in flames. Spain is on the economic brink. But that’s not why representatives from more than a dozen news organizations filled a press tent this week on New York City’s Pier 54. No, they were there to cover David Blaine's latest stunt, "Electrified." Bob was there.

Bibio - Saint Christopher

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Nate Silver on the Pitfalls of Prediction

Friday, October 05, 2012

Nate Silver is something of an authority on political forecasting. In 2008, his blog FiveThirtyEight correctly predicted the outcome of the presidential race in 49 out of 50 states. (In that same election, he was also right about all 35 senate races.) Bob sits down with Silver to talk about the 2012 election as well as his new book, The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail—But Some Don't

Prefuse 73 - Pagina Cinco

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"Subversives"

Friday, September 28, 2012

In 1981, student journalist Seth Rosenfeld began researching the FBI's misconduct in its investigations of 1960s student protests at UC Berkeley. The project blossomed into a 30-year investigative odyssey, resulting in the release of 300,000 FBI documents, which the government spent over $1 million trying to block. Bob talks to Rosenfeld about some of the stunning revelations from his new book, Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power

Yo La Tengo - Damage

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Russia's Expanding Definition of Treason

Friday, September 28, 2012

Last week, Russia's lower house of parliament unanimously approved an amendment that broadens the definition of treason. If it becomes law, Russian citizens who cooperate with international civil and media organizations could face 20-year prison sentences. Bob talks with the Christian Science Monitor's Fred Weir about the law's potential ramifications.

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The Oogieloves in the Great Box Office Misadventure

Friday, September 28, 2012

Producer Ken Viselman, the marketing guru behind the explosive American success of "The Teletubbies" and "Thomas the Tank Engine" had a vision – a movie for toddlers that encouraged the audience to sing, dance and interact with the on-screen action. The result was"The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure," a movie that debuted in late August and holds the record for the lowest opening weekend box office of all time, earning just $206 per theater. Bob talks to Entertainment Weekly's Grady Smith about what went wrong and Smith's singular fascination with the Oogieloves phenomenon.

 

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"Terms of Service; Didn't Read"

Friday, September 28, 2012

With the lengths of terms-of-service agreements reaching Shakespearean proportions, it's no wonder that internet users are clicking "I Agree" without actually reading what they agree to. A website launched this summer called Terms of Service; Didn't Read is coming up with new ways to inform consumers and fix what it calls "the biggest lie on the web." Bob talks to Michiel de Jong, one of the site's "hacktivist" co-founders.

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