Bob Garfield

Host, On The Media

Bob Garfield appears in the following:

Invasive Cavity Search at the Border

Friday, February 28, 2014

"Jane Doe" is a 54-year old US citizen who was crossing into the US at the Juarez/El Paso border when agents took her aside for secondary screening. The screening ended up being 6 hours of invasive cavity searches—which yielded nothing and left her traumatized. Bob speaks with Laura Schauer Ives, an ACLU attorney for Jane Doe about what happened at the border that day.

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Fighting Telecom Giants

Friday, February 21, 2014

All across the country, communities are fighting to build their own broadband internet networks as an alternative to the services offered by big cable companies. However, these efforts have often been thwarted by legislation lobbied for by, you guessed it, the cable companies. Bob talks with James Baller, president of the Baller Herbst Law group, who has long been leading the legal charge on behalf of municipalities.

Cake - Fashion Nugget

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Protests in Ukraine

Friday, February 21, 2014

Before an agreement was brokered Friday, the standoff in Kiev between Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s government and the loose coalition of anti-government forces was bloody and telegenic. Bob examines what those gripping images tell us, and what they don't. 

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Rewriting History

Friday, February 21, 2014

Historical understanding doesn’t always move ahead. Sometimes it slips backwards. Case in point: In 2012, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of official US involvement in Vietnam, the Pentagon quietly launched VietnamWar50th.com. Bob talks to historian Nick Turse, the author of Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam, who noticed that the website’s version of the war seems stuck in the past, reasserting misinformation long since debunked by journalists, historians, and the government’s own Pentagon papers.

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Drone Law

Friday, February 21, 2014

A rash of state laws considered or passed in 2013 seek to rein in drone surveillance. They offer a patchwork of restrictions that seem to reflect the particular culture, or business interests, of individual states. Bob talks with Margot Kaminski, executive director of the Information Society Project and a lecturer at Yale Law School, who has surveyed the legal landscape and noticed a trend.

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Taking Sense Away

Friday, February 14, 2014

Jason Harrington worked as a Transportation Security Administration officer at O’Hare airport in Chicago for seven years. Harrington quickly became disgruntled. Not just with the day-to-day absurdity of carrying out what he saw as ineffective security tactics, but by how much the TSA kept away from the public. So, he started writing a blog, anonymously, called Taking Sense Away. Bob speaks to Harrington about his time in the TSA and his Politico article “Dear America. I Saw You Naked. And, Yes, We Were Laughing" which unmasked his anonymity.

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Water Under the Bridgegate?

Friday, February 14, 2014

When a benign traffic jam due to lane closings on the George Washington Bridge was revealed to be politically motivated revenge exacted by NJ Gov. Chris Christie's top aides, all hell broke loose. After tales of the Christie administration's dirty tricks became national news, here's a look at the shift in media coverage, and how Christie could emerge stronger than before the scandal.

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Behind the Scandal of "Japan's Beethoven"

Friday, February 14, 2014

This week Japanese Olympic figure skater, Daisuke Takahashi, found himself in the midst of national scandal, through no fault of his own. Takahashi skated his short program to a piece of music that had been initially attributed to Mamoru Samuragochi, known as "Japan's Beethoven," who was recently revealed to be neither a composer, nor possibly even deaf. Bob talks with Roland Kelts, author of JapanAmerica, about the revelations and the Japanese media's reaction to them.

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The Media Shrugs, Again

Friday, February 14, 2014

Republican Congressman Jim Bridenstine was recently working a crowd of seniors in his Oklahoma district and complaining about President Obama, when a constituent raised her hand and called the president an "enemy combatant" who should be "executed." Congressman Bridenstine responded not by objecting to her statement, but rather by stoking the flames with his own angry anti-Obama rant. A video of the event was posted online, but triggered little attention. Bob ponders the ubiquity of vile, ignorant, and just plain crackpot speech among elected officials, and the extent to which the public, and the media, fail to care. 

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The (Not So) All-Knowing NSA

Friday, February 14, 2014

Last week the Washington Post reported that the NSA collects less than 30% of phone metadata, contrary to the popular perception that all call activity is being gathered en masse. As it turns out, the agency is unable to keep up with the explosion in cell phone use, which raises significant questions about the efficacy and potency of the program. Bob talks with Ellen Nakashima who wrote the story for the Washington Post.

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No, US Press Freedom Is Not In Dire Decline

Friday, February 14, 2014

This week, the advocacy group Reporters Without Borders released its annual World Press Freedom Index, ranking the media environment of nearly every nation on earth from most free to least. The United States landed, embarrassingly, in 46th place, a 13-place drop from last year. The rank -- below Lithuania, El Salvador and Botswana -- has set off a panic-stricken (and in some instances, gleeful) barrage of media coverage declaring that press freedom in the US is “plunging,” “plummeting,” and “profoundly eroding.” Bob talks with Washington Post foreign affairs blogger Max Fisher about why he's suspicious of these headlines. 

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Unorthodox

Friday, February 14, 2014

In the past OTM has covered sock-puppetry -- the act of assuming another persona online to praise or defend the work of your real self. We’ve seen it done by art critics, comic book artists, and politicians. Well, now it's an orthodox rabbi. Bob speaks with Steven I. Weiss, an anchor and managing editor at The Jewish Channel, about the rabbi and his online persona. 

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In Russia, Not Covering Sports

Friday, February 07, 2014

NBC spent $775 million for the rights to the Olympic games, and will provide more than 1500 hours of coverage - most of it on the events themselves. But its also sent reporters to cover Russia’s many political subplots. Bob speaks with NBC Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel about being deployed to cover the political backdrop to the Olympics.

Olympics Forever

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"Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing"

Friday, February 07, 2014

On Sunday before the Super Bowl kickoff,  President Obama sat down with Bill O'Reilly for a rare one-on-one interview. O'Reilly asked the President about the rocky roll out of Obamacare, the attack in Benghazi, and the alleged targeting of conservative groups by the IRS. What did we learn? Conor Friedersdorf, staff writer for the Atlantic, says... nothing much at all. Bob talks with Friedersdorf about the performance and spectacle in this presidential sit down.

Down to Earth

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Egypt's Widening Crackdown on Dissent

Friday, January 31, 2014

Three years after the euphoric toppling of Hosni Mubarak’s authoritarian regime, there’s a tragic sense of déjà vu in Egypt. The military-led government is smothering dissent, whether it comes from the Muslim brotherhood, liberal activists, bloggers, or journalists. In a landscape in which both state and private media toe the military line, the online newspaper Mada Masr is a rare independent voice. Bob speaks with the paper’s editor-in-chief, Lina Attalah, about how she’s experiencing the crackdown.  

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Up in...Vapor?

Friday, January 31, 2014

It’s been 50 years since the Surgeon General linked tobacco smoking with cancer and other diseases. Amid widespread bans on public smoking, jurisdictions such as New York City are expanding the bans to include fake smoke -- the battery-heated glycol vapor produced by e-cigarettes. Former New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn defended the city’s new restrictions, saying e-cigarettes “normalize” the appearance of lighting up. Bob speaks to Amy Fairchild, a professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University, to ask if you can really ban an image?

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Stephen Glass Can't Be a Lawyer

Friday, January 31, 2014

Earlier this week the California Supreme Court ruled that Stephen Glass could not become a lawyer in the state. Bob considers whether that was the right decision.  

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Combating "Bad" Speech With More Speech

Friday, January 24, 2014

The blogger Crystal Cox has also targeted First Amendment lawyer Marc Randazza, his wife, and their toddler. Bob spoke to Randazza in the Spring of 2012 about how Cox's actions were testing his free speech values. Since then, Randazza decided to take her to court and won. (He told us this week that his legal strategy had nothing to do with the content of Cox's speech and were instead based on domain law. His court arguments are available upon request, for free, if you ever find yourself in Cox's cross hairs). Randazza also blogs at The Legal Satyricon.

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A Blogger's First Amendment Rights - and Responsibilities

Friday, January 24, 2014

A federal court ruled last week that a blogger who had lost a defamation suit in 2011 should have the same free speech protections as a traditional journalist, and as everyone else who publishes online. The blogger is Crystal Cox, who is notorious for creating domain names and blog posts tarring the online reputations of her targets and then offering to fix the problem for a price. Bob speaks to Ellyn Angelotti of the Poynter Institute about what the decision from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals means for First Amendment protections online, and whether it matters that Cox is the defendant.

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On "Dr. V's Magical Putter"

Friday, January 24, 2014

Last week, ESPN’s  Grantland ran a remarkable story titled “Dr. V’s Magical Putter,” a journalistic odyssey that began with curiosity about a supposedly revolutionary golf club, and ended by focusing on the chaotic life of its inventor, a woman named Essay Anne Vanderbilt.  The reporter, Caleb Hannan, discovered that Vanderbilt was transgender, and he revealed his knowledge of this fact to Vanderbilt. Shortly after, Vanderbilt committed suicide. Bob speaks with ESPN.com writer and transgender activist, Christina Kahrl, to understand the errors in “Dr. V’s Magical Putter.” 

Chez le photographe du motel

 

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