Bob Garfield

Host, On The Media

Bob Garfield appears in the following:

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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The NFL and Player Concussion

Friday, December 07, 2012

In the past two years, seven former NFL players have killed themselves, and in each case, many argued that depression and dementia brought on by job-related concussions were to blame. The pressure is on the NFL to better protect its players, and the league is defending itself by running public service announcements during games. Bob talks to NFL Chief Marketing Officer Mark Waller about the campaign.

Acid Pauli - Mst

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Gambling on the Future

Friday, December 07, 2012

Last week the popular prediction market Intrade announced it would shut its doors to Americans after being sued by US regulators. US regulators have accused InTrade of violating the ban on off-exchange options trading - in other words, gambling. But others argue that sites like InTrade can be better predictors than pundits or polls. The New York Times’ Washington Bureau Chief David Leonhardt makes the case for prediction markets to Bob.

White Rabbits - Back For More

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A New Whistleblower Law

Friday, November 30, 2012

In 2010, the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act was killed when a mystery Senator placed what’s called a secret hold on the bill. On the Media partnered with the Government Accountability Project and our listeners to find out who was behind killing the bill. This week, a new version of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act was finally signed into law. Tom Devine, director for the Government Accountability Project, talks to Bob about what the new law does to protect whistleblowers and where it is lacking.

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An Argument for Statutory Regulation of the Media

Friday, November 30, 2012

In the wake of News of the World and other press scandals, Lord Justice Leveson has called for a new statute-backed system to regulate the British media. To some, such a move would constitute a reversal of a proud free-press tradition dating back to the 17th century. But Minister of Parliament Nadhim Zahawi tells Bob that the UK's self-policing press has been drinking at the "Last Chance Saloon" for too long.

Billy Brag & Wilco - Union Prayer

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The Problem of Knock-Off Books

Friday, November 23, 2012

Buying a cheap knock-off is not just a problem with watches and hand bags—if you go onto Amazon's website to buy the latest bestseller, you might accidentally end up with an imitation book. Bob speaks to Fortune senior editor Stephen Gandel, who looked into the knock offs on Amazon, and found a number of books that he says were clearly meant to confuse people by trading off of more popular titles.

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