Bob Garfield

Host, On The Media

Bob Garfield appears in the following:

"Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief"

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Church of Scientology has been notoriously unwelcoming of investigation into its inner workings, but Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright has just released a new book that delves deep into the history and practices of the Church.

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Tweet That Your Boss is an A**hole, and Get Away With It

Friday, January 25, 2013

Since 1935, the National Labor Relations Act has protected the right of private-sector employees to discuss workplace conditions. But as conversations shift from the break room to the sphere of social media, regulators are facing new challenges in distinguishing protected speech from "mere griping." Bob talks with Lafe Solomon, General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, about what can and can't be tweeted about the workplace.

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The CIA's Double Standard on Secrecy

Friday, January 18, 2013

In recent years, the CIA has authorized many of its former operatives to land lucrative book deals and pundit gigs — a fact that would have horrified previous generations of spooks. And yet, notes journalist Ted Gup, the agency remains notably selective about the information it allows to be disclosed. Bob talks with Ted about what he calls the CIA's "double standard" on secrecy.

 

Yo-Yo Ma - Bach's Suite for Cello #6 in D Major

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The Strangest Hoax in Modern Sports History

Friday, January 18, 2013

Until this week, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o was famous not just for his on-field skills but for his compelling backstory, which included the tragic death of his girlfriend. This week, the sports blog Deadspin exposed that story as a massive hoax, although it is still unclear what, if any, participation Te'o had in the lie. Bob and Brooke delve into the myth and consider how it snuck by the national media. 

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One Big Lie

Friday, January 18, 2013

We now know what many have suspected for some time: Lance Armstrong is a liar and a bully and cheat. Bob talks with NPR's Mike Pesca about Oprah's questions and Armstrong's answers during his Thursday night confession on OWN, Winfrey's TV Channel. 

 

David Byrne - Glass, Concrete & Stone

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Al Jazeera and the Qatari Government's Editorial Influence

Friday, January 11, 2013

In December, Al Jazeera Berlin correspondent Aktham Suliman left the news outlet, saying he felt its primary funder, the Qatari government, exerted too much influence over Al Jazeera's coverage. Suliman is just the latest in a string of resignations from Al Jazeera in protest of editorial interference. In an interview from August of last year, Bob talks to blogger and political commentator Sultan Al Qassemi about what he sees as the problems with Al Jazeera's coverage of ongoing fighting in Syria.

Yo La Tengo - I'll Be Around

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Privacy and Gun Control

Friday, January 11, 2013

On Thursday, Vice President Biden sketched out early hints of what gun control reform might look like. One potential reform concerns something that you might mistakenly assume already exists: a central database of gun transactions in the US, maintained by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. The NRA has blocked all such efforts in the past. New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg tells Bob why the ATF's record-keeping on gun sales is actually incredibly antiquated. 

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Newspaper Publishes a Map Showing Where Gun Owners Live

Friday, January 11, 2013

Following the school massacre in nearby Connecticut, a New York state paper published a map showing the names and addresses of handgun permit owners in its readership area — all except for one county, where local officials have refused to provide the paper with the information. This decision violates explicit New York State law, but has a supporter in New York state Senator Greg Ball, who tells Bob why he's supporting Putnam County officials.

Yo La Tengo - Stupid Things

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Corrections

Friday, January 11, 2013

We take a moment to correct two recent mistakes.

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The NCTC: Obama's "Pre-Crime Squad"?

Friday, January 04, 2013

Last March, the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) was granted unprecedented power to collect data on ordinary U.S. citizens, data like flight records or lists of casino employees. Critics have likened the NCTC to the "Pre-Crime Squad" in the movie "Minority Report." Wall Street Journal reporter Julia Angwin talks with Bob about this dramatic shift in the intelligence community's power over US citizens.

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Our Privacy Delusions

Friday, January 04, 2013

We all claim to want privacy online, but that desire is rarely reflected in our online behavior. OTM producer Sarah Abdurrahman looks into the futile attempts we make to protect our digital identities.

 

Johannes Brahms - Violin Concerto op.77 in D Major

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National Security Letters and Gag Orders

Friday, January 04, 2013

The most serious kind of subpoena - called a 'National Security Letter' - used to have a lifetime gag-order automatically attached. That is until Nicholas Merrill appealed his and won the right to talk about it. Despite 50,000 national security letters a year, there are only three organizations that have ever won the right to say they got one. In a segment that originally aired in January of 2011, Nick Merrill tells Bob why he's the exception and the rule.

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License Plate Readers and Your Privacy

Friday, January 04, 2013

Police car mounted license plate readers collect date, time and location information and are used by law enforcement around the country to help catch criminals. But when Minneapolis Star Tribune reporter Eric Roper filed a Freedom of Information request for information on his own car, he got a lot more than he bargained for. In a segment that originally aired in August of 2012, Bob talks to Roper about how Minneapolis police and agencies across the country deal with this potentially sensitive location information.

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The Incredible Value of Live Sports

Friday, December 28, 2012

Live sports broadcasts account for a big part of your cable bill. Why? Because cable providers know they can count on sports to draw large audiences even as audiences shrink for other types of programming. Peter Kafka of the website All Things Digital returns to talk with Bob about the remarkable rise of ESPN and the importance of live sports to the cable ecosystem. 

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Will We Ever Watch TV Together Again?

Friday, December 28, 2012

Web TV services, DVRs, and on-demand TV encourage us to ignore the broadcast schedule and watch at our convenience. So what will become of the experience of watching the same show at the same time as your friends? Bob sits down with David Carr, media critic at the New York Times, and Matt Zoller Seitz, New York magazine's TV critic, to see if the water cooler will evolve or perish.

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Reality TV is Even Faker Than You Think

Friday, December 28, 2012

Reality TV — the very institution that has saved the medium by delivering high ratings at low cost — has also pretty much defiled the culture in all the obvious ways. What is perhaps less than obvious is how manufactured and unspontaneous it all is. To understand the reality behind the unreality of reality TV, we spoke to a former producer of such fare. The anonymous producer tells Bob about some of the elaborate staging and scripting he participated in while helping produce these shows.

 

Dwight Twilley Band - TV

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Chaos Scenario Revisitied

Friday, December 28, 2012

Back in 2005, Bob explained his Chaos Scenario about the future of media — including TV.  Now, he reflects back on predictions he made and the status of television viewing today.

 

The Who - Baba O'Riley

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TV Hijackers

Friday, December 28, 2012

On a Sunday evening in the late 1980s, two or more unknown men hijacked the signal for two Chicago area TV stations. They broadcast a spooky, subversive, disturbing message — twice. Brooke talks to Bohus Blahut, a Chicago broadcaster, who saw the broadcast and was unable to forget it. 

 

Doctor Who Theme - Delia Derbyshire/Ron Grainer

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How Myths Form After a School Shooting

Friday, December 21, 2012

The press has misreported a lot about the Newtown shooting, and if history is any guide, much of that misreporting will inform our memory of the event. In his book Columbine, Dave Cullen revisited that soul shattering school shooting 13 years ago. He tells Bob that our story of that event is largely frozen in early misreporting.

Grizzly Bear- What's Wrong

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Speculating about Adam Lanza's Mind

Friday, December 21, 2012

Once Adam Lanza had been correctly identified as the shooter, speculation quickly turned to why he killed so many. Much of the media raced, as it often does, to explain the tragedy by speculating on Lanza’s psychological state. Particularly bandied about was whether Lanza had been diagnosed with either a personality disorder or Asperger’s Syndrome. Bob talks with the Columbia Journalism Review's Curtis Brainard about the perils of this sort of coverage.

 

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