Bob Garfield

Host, On The Media

Bob Garfield appears in the following:

"Illegal" vs. "Undocumented"

Friday, September 28, 2012

Since writing an article called "My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant" in the New York Times Magazine last year, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas has been trying to foster conversation about immigration issues. In a speech last week at the Online News Association conference, he announced his plan to track and hopefully influence news organizations away from using the term "illegal" to describe immigrants. Bob asks Vargas why he feels this change in nomenclature is important.

Latin Playboys - Crayon Sun

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Ira Glass's Challenge

Friday, September 14, 2012

This American Life's Ira Glass drops by to issue a challenge to Brooke and Bob to investigate what he sees as the false charge of liberal bias in public radio and NPR.

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Tone Check

Friday, September 07, 2012

What if your email service could tell you, before you even press send, just how aggressive or angry your email is? Bob talks to Josh Merchant, CTO and co-founder of Lymbix, a Canadian software company whose program ToneCheck promises emotional spell-check for overheated emailers. 

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Comments on Comments

Friday, September 07, 2012

In an interview from 2008, Bob talks with This American Life host Ira Glass about the inherent worth of online conversations, as at the time, This American Life had recently disabled user comments on his show's website.

Bibio - Saint Christopher

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Sun Myung Moon

Friday, September 07, 2012

This week, Sun Myung Moon, media tycoon and spiritual leader of the Unification Church, died at the age of 92. In this interview from 2008, Bob talks John Gorenfeld, author of Bad Moon Rising: How Reverend Moon Created the Washington Times, Seduced the Religious Right and Built an American Kingdom about Moon's newspaper The Washington Times.

Strange Names - Broken Mirror

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Covering the Totally Predictable Conventions

Friday, September 07, 2012

Political conventions used to be places where decisions were made and delegates truly participated. Now, they are just a series of scripted speeches covered by the media as though they are breaking news stories. Bob reflects on the last two weeks of this modern convention style.

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Arabic Language TV And Covering Syria

Friday, August 24, 2012

In Foreign Policy, political commentator Sultan Al Qassemi made the case that Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya are, for political reasons, misrepresenting the reality on the ground in Syria. Bob speaks with Qassemi, who outlines what he sees as the problems with the coverage of the region's most important news sources.

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Al-Arabiya Defends its Syria Coverage

Friday, August 24, 2012

Bob speaks with Mazen Hayek, a spokesman from the Arabic-language news channel Al Arabiya, who responds to Sultan Al-Qassemi's critique. Hayek says the network has a history of covering conflicts without bias, and is doing its best to cover Syria fairly under difficult reporting circumstances.

Tinariwen - Imidiwan Winakalin  

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License Plate Readers and Your Privacy

Friday, August 24, 2012

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. Bob talks to Roper about how Minneapolis police and agencies across the country deal with this potentially sensitive location information.

Four Tet - Pinnacle

Vic Chesnutt - Degenerate 



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And I'm Not Going to Take it Anymore

Friday, August 24, 2012

NPR Congressional Correspondent Andrea Seabrook left NPR recently, citing frustration with the daily grind of covering politicians who "lie" to her face, all day, every day. Seabrook is starting a new project called DecodeDC, where she hopes she can blog and podcast her way to some deeper truths about Washington. Bob does an exit interview with Seabrook to discuss why political reporting is broken, and what might be done to fix it.

Zammuto - Wasn't That Lucky 

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Media Scrutiny Theater Returns!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Bob and Brooke announce the triumphant return of Media Scrutiny Theater, the webseries where they watch and comment on the latest batch of campaign ads.


JD Samson & Men - Simultaneously

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Non-Profit Foundations and For Profit Newspapers

Friday, August 17, 2012

This year has seen the Ford Foundation award grants to The Washington Post and The L.A. Times, both for-profit news outlets. Bob talks to The Ford Foundation's Jonathan Barzilay and NPR's Senior Vice President for News Margaret Low Smith about navigating the relationship between grant givers and news makers. 


Wishmountain - Lucozade

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Friday, August 10, 2012

Twitter has teamed up with Republican and Democratic polling firms, as well as another company called Topsy, to create a new tool called the Twindex. It offers a new way to gauge the political leanings of likely voters. Bob speaks with Adam Sharp, Twitter's manager for government and politics.

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Following Politicians' Deleted Tweets

Friday, August 10, 2012

It makes sense to assume an off-key tweet will disappear by itself in the ever-expanding Twitter-verse without consequence.  But some politicians don’t risk it, and delete tweets that might get spun into gaffes.  Enter the Sunlight Foundation’s Politwoops site, which keeps track of politicians’ tweets, lest a cover-up slip through the cracks.  Bob talks with Tom Lee who’s in charge of the project.


Errors - Tusk

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Why the Olympics Are Still Tape Delayed

Friday, August 03, 2012

Many TV watchers were upset this week with NBC's insistence on showing much of their Olympic coverage on a tape delay. The network didn't help matters by spoiling events they hadn't yet screened. Time Magazine TV Critic James Ponowozik explains why NBC refuses to offer the most anticipated events live.

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Coming Out Posthumously

Friday, August 03, 2012

When news broke last week that Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, had died, the world learned something new about the pioneering astronaut: that Dr. Ride was in fact a lesbian, survived by her partner of 27 years. Bob speaks to The New York Times obituaries editor Bill McDonald about how much obituaries should explore the private lives of public people.

Michael Linnen - Cantus for Bob Hardison

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When Journalists Let Sources Approve Quotes

Friday, August 03, 2012

OTM recently reported on a practice in journalism known as "quote approval"-wherein reporters send quotes back to their sources after interviewing them to get the quotes approved. Bob follows up on the quote-approval story with some reaction from newspapers.

Michael Linnen - I Wanna Dance 4 U

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Old Interviews, New Insights

Friday, July 20, 2012

It’s commonplace for print journalists to record a subject then work from that tape to write their article. Typically that’s the end of the story. Long taped interviews of which only small portions were used in the final piece sit idle in journalists’ offices and storage rooms. The podcast Blank-on-Blank excerpts the best moments from those forgotten interviews and releases them for everyone to hear. Bob speaks with founder and executive producer of Blank-on-Blank David Gerlach.

Nathan Salsburg - Eight Belles Dreamt the Devil Was Dead


May I Use This Quote?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Last Monday, Jeremy W. Peters' article on the front page of The New York Times opened up a conversation about the surprisingly common practice of 'quote approval' - wherein journalists send quotes back to campaign members and government officials after interviews for approval. Dan Rather called it 'jaw-dropping.' Bob investigates why journalists agree to the arrangement and what the press can do to push back.

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Political Screaming Match

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Pew Research center recently disclosed that America is more divided along partisan lines than at any other time in the past 25 years. As a society, research reveals, we’re more divided by politics than we are by class, race, or gender. Developer Pascal Rettig has created a website called Political Screaming Match that's supposed to help fix by pairing visitors via telephone with someone on the other end of the ideological spectrum. Bob talks to Rettig about his invention.


Rebecca Gates - Suite Sails

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