Bob Garfield

Host, On The Media

Bob Garfield appears in the following:

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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TURNING DOWN LOUD COMMERCIALS

Friday, December 21, 2012

In 2010, Congress passed the Commercial Advertising Loudness Mitigation Act, also known as the CALM Act, which would keep television commercials from being louder than the programs they sponsor. The law finally went into effect last week. In an interview originally aired in 2010, the Wall Street Journal’s Elizabeth Williamson explains to Bob why regulators haven't been able to turn down the volume of commercials until now.

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Interviewing Kids In the Wake of a Tragedy

Friday, December 21, 2012

A lot of criticism was leveled at the press for interviewing the child survivors of the Newtown school shooting in its immediate aftermath. Bob talks to WABC-TV reporter Bill Ritter about whether it's ever appropriate to interview a child in the moments after a disaster of this nature, and whether the very act of interviewing a child could contribute to the childrens' trauma.

Emiliana Torrini- Dead Duck

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Politicizing the Congressional Research Service

Friday, December 21, 2012

Last week, the Congressional Research Service released an updated version of a report that repudiates a mainstay of conservative economic doctrine: namely, that reducing top marginal tax rates spurs economic growth. Despite the CRS's bipartisan track record, and despite the report's potentially explosive implications for the ongoing "fiscal cliff" debate, the media have barely paid it any attention. Roll Call reporter Emma Dumain talks with Bob about the peculiar role of the CRS as a non-partisan football in a fiercely partisan game. 

The Accidental- The Killing Floor

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The Untold Story of Guns

Friday, December 21, 2012

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. 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 - Gun

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The Great Newspaper Strike of 1962-63

Friday, December 21, 2012

Fifty years ago this month, 17,000 New York City newspaper workers went on strike, shuttering the city's seven daily papers for 114 days. Rooted in fears about new "cold type" printing technology, the strike ended up devastating the city's newspaper culture and launching the careers of a new generation of writers including Tom Wolfe, Gay Talese, and Nora Ephron. Vanity Fair contributor Scott Sherman talks with Bob about the strike and its legacy.

Amon Tobin - Stoney Street

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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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Regret the Error 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

Every year at this time, we invite Craig Silverman of Poynter's Regret the Error blog to fill us in on the media's biggest mistakes of the past 12 months. He tells Bob about this year in errors.

Zammuto - Wasn't That Lucky

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John McAfee's Media Manipulations

Friday, December 14, 2012

Last month, a man was murdered in Belize and his suspicious neighbor went on the lam. But that's not the narrative the media has been promoting because the fugitive isn't just any fugitive; it's John McAfee. The tech-pioneer-turned-playboy is hellbent on portraying himself as a victim of a corrupt Belizean government. Science and adventure writer Jeff Wise tells Bob that McAfee's outlandish strategy may just be working.

John Lurie - Horse Guitar

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Mistaken Movie Indentity

Friday, December 14, 2012

Last September, the YouTube video "Innocence of Muslims" sparked protests around the world. Around the same time, an airing of a very different film about the Islamic faith caused a small riot in Northern India. “The Message” is a multi-million-dollar epic about the life of Mohammad. It could not be more different than “Innocence of Muslims,” yet it’s the second time its been connected to violence. Bob speaks with the Atlantic's Malcolm Burnley, who wrote about the remarkable history of "The Message." 

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The OED and the Case of the Missing Words

Friday, December 07, 2012

The Oxford English Dictionary has a reputation for being the definitive record of the English language. But a few years ago, it was discovered that former OED editor Robert Burchfield had inexplicably struck thousands of words from the record, most of them Americanisms. Lexicographer and OED editor emeritus Sarah Ogilvie talks with Bob about Burchfield and her new book, Words of the World: A Global History of the Oxford English Dictionary

Sameul Yirga - Tiwista 1(Tinish Mix)

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