Bob Garfield

Host, On The Media

Bob Garfield appears in the following:

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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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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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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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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Rap Lyrics as Evidence

Friday, January 17, 2014

This coming week, the Supreme Court of New Jersey will consider an appeal of a 2008 that found Vonte Skinner guilty of attempted murder. On what evidence? Inconsistent eyewitness testimony, and rap lyrics written by Skinner. The lyrics didn’t reference the victim or any details of the crime. Bob speaks with Professor Charis Kubrin who studies the surprisingly common use of rap lyrics as evidence, and co-wrote an Op Ed in the New York Times last week called “Rap Lyrics on Trial.” 

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Twitter + Libel = Twibel?

Friday, January 17, 2014

The first Twitter Libel case in the United States went on trial last week. The actress and recording artist Courtney Love is accused of defaming her former lawyer in a 2010 tweet. Bob speaks to Ellyn Angelotti, a lawyer and member of the Poynter Institute's faculty, who says the decision in this case could set a social media precedent for defamation -- and explains how the libel standard for print could apply to an 140-character format.

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Obama Threads the NSA Needle

Friday, January 17, 2014

Today President Obama announced changes to the United States’ surveillance policies. While Obama addressed greater security measures for telephone data, much of the NSA’s surveillance practices remain intact. Listen to a sneak preview of this week’s On the Media, where Brooke Gladstone examines the President’s proposal for the future of the NSA surveillance program.

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Sucked Into the Polar Vortex

Friday, January 10, 2014

Last week brought subzero temperatures to much of the United States. There was no escaping the cold, or the media’s hysterical weather reporting. Bob speaks with Andrew Revkin, writer of the Dot Earth blog for the New York Times, about the media’s dramatics when reporting on weather events.

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Bogus "Blue Monday"

Friday, January 10, 2014

Every year at this time, the media report on the phenomenon of "Blue Monday," the day researchers have determined is purportedly the most depressing of the year. This year, the sad day fell on January 6th. Bob speaks with Dr. Ben Goldacre, who writes the Bad Science blog, about how "Blue Monday" is just a pseudoscientific media myth started by a public relations company.

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The Obamacare Horror Story

Friday, January 10, 2014

During the tumultuous roll-out of the Affordable Care Act, the media struggled to find stories of people who had successfully bought insurance through healthcare.gov, and many landed on sources that turned out to be unreliable. But now, another dubious narrative is all the rage: the Obamacare horror story. Bob talks to health policy writer Maggie Mahar, who is very suspicious of the nightmarish tales reported in the media. 

 

 

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No End In Sight

Friday, January 03, 2014

In a more than 7000-word piece last week, New York Times reporter David Kirkpatrick reviewed the September 11, 2012 attack at a US consulate building in Benghazi, Libya, to determine, once and for all, whether it was a local affair triggered by an anti-Muslim YouTube video, or al Qaeda elements participating in a planned assault on the anniversary of 9/11. Bob talks to Politico Magazine Deputy Editor Blake Hounshell who says that, despite the definitive nature of the article, Kirkpatrick’s report won’t put an end to Benghazi anytime soon.

Young Marble Giants - Final Day

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“This Is a Great Time to Enter Journalism”

Friday, January 03, 2014

Recently, Columbia Journalism School sent an invitation to prospective students saying "this is a great time to enter journalism." But the decline of the old media business model means finding a steady job in journalism is getting harder and harder. Bob talks to Columbia Journalism School dean Steve Coll about his responsibility to students to manage expectations about the journalism job market.

William Tyler - Missionary Ridge

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The Best Piece of Radio You’ll Hear In Your Life

Friday, January 03, 2014

In 2013, news-item virality advanced from art to science. Business models are constructed on the sharing of stories irresistible for the hilarity, or inspiration, or shock, or outrage they engender. Truth, though, turns out to be optional.

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Regret the Error 2013

Friday, January 03, 2014

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 some of the year's funniest corrections, and the big story that won "Error of the Year."

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Fan Fiction and the Law

Friday, December 27, 2013

The internet has supercharged the world of fan fiction - stories written by fans based on their favorite works. Bob talks to Rebecca Tushnet, head of the legal committee at the Organization for Transformative Works, about the collision of fan fiction and fair use.

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3D Printing

Friday, December 27, 2013

Desktop 3D printing has the potential to change our understanding of the 'ownership' of objects. Rather than buying many of the things we get at stores, 3D printing will allow you to make them at home. Bob talks with Chris Anderson, CEO of 3D Robotics and author of Makers: The New Industrial Revolution, who says the potential of this burgeoning technology is enormous. 

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Don't Screw It Up

Friday, December 27, 2013

Following up on his conversation with Chris Anderson, Bob speaks with Michael Weinberg, Vice President at Public Knowledge, who's working to explain the benefits of 3D printing to legislators before regulation takes hold.

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Journey to the Center of the NSA

Friday, December 20, 2013

Last Sunday's 60 Minutes profile of the NSA was almost universally reviled. But 60 Minutes is not the only outlet that has spent time at the agency's headquarters in Maryland. Brooke talks to Daniel Drezner, who wrote about his trip to the NSA's headquarters and the agency's new PR push for Foreign Policy.

Shigeto - Ringleader

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A Surprise Ruling

Friday, December 20, 2013

On Monday, a DC District Court judge issued a surprise injunction against the NSA's massive metadata gathering. Bob talks with University of Chicago Law Professor Aziz Huq who says that even though the injunction has little chance of surviving appeal, it may still have an influence. 

Shigeto - Ringleader

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