Bob Garfield

Host, On The Media

Bob Garfield appears in the following:

Reporting Around DHS Opacity

Friday, October 25, 2013

When OTM producer Sarah Abdurrahman tried getting answers from the Department of Homeland Security for her border detainment story, she experienced first hand how opaque the behemoth federal agency can be with reporters. But her experience wasn't unique. Brooke speaks with New York Times contributor Susan Stellin and Rio Grande Valley correspondent for the Associated Press Christopher Sherman--two journalists that regularly come in contact with DHS and its various agencies--about just how difficult it can be to get information.

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Re-evaluating a Convenient Narrative

Friday, October 25, 2013

In 2007, Halliburton employee Jamie Leigh Jones ignited a media firestorm when she went public with a horrific story about being raped by colleagues in Iraq. Six years later, one of the reporters who covered the story as it happened has written a 10,000 word corrective, saying that the Jones story was false. Bob talks to Mother Jones reporter Stephanie Mencimer about her decision to correct the narrative.

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A New Tool to Help Shed Light on DHS

Friday, October 25, 2013

Former Congressman Lee Hamilton told Brooke that the best way to get answers from the Department of Homeland Security is for constituents to put pressure on their representatives in Congress. Now the Data News Team at WNYC has created a tool to help do just that. Bob speaks to John Keefe, WNYC's Senior Editor for Data News and Journalism Technology, about the new tool, and how listeners can use it to do their own investigative reporting.

Acid Pauli - MST

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Yeah Baby, Yeah Baby, Yeah Baby

Friday, October 25, 2013

For a few years Conan O'Brien's late night talk show has been doing a segment called Media Reacts where they play a montage of news anchors reading copy -- the exact same copy -- on local news stations across the country. It's eerie. Bob talks with KWWL 7 News Director Dan Schillinger and finds out why the media reacts in unison on some stories. (Schillnger explains this Austin Powers inspired example in particular.) 

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Wrong Again

Friday, October 25, 2013

Some of the first reporting of the flawed Jamie Leigh Jones story was a 20/20 investigation from Brian Ross of ABC news. Bob takes a look at Ross's checkered reporting past.

Bach - Suite for Cello No. 1 in G

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We Didn't Really Dodge a Bullet

Friday, October 18, 2013

This round of budget clashes are over (for now), but how should we assess the damage done by these regular crises? Bob talks with Reuters financial blogger Felix Salmon who says that the real story of these political battles is the slow motion, irreversible damage they're doing to America's financial standing. 

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TV Coverage of the Shutdown (and Moose Mating Calls)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Two weeks ago we talked with James Fallows about rampant false equivalency by newspapers in covering the federal government shutdown. This week, Bob speaks with Andrew Tyndall of The Tyndall Report who says broadcast news had its own weakness -- choosing anecdotal stories of real people hurt by the shutdown over informative analysis. 

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Healthcare dot UGH

Friday, October 18, 2013

Healthcare.gov launched in the beginning of the month to much frustration, as hundreds of thousands of people flocked to buy insurance from the online exchange. Because of technical glitches, the majority of these users were turned away due to website problems. Bob talks to programmer and Bloomberg Businessweek contributor Paul Ford who says while healthcare.gov was open for business at the beginning of the month, it’s failure may be attributed to its closed code.

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The Declassification Engine

Friday, October 11, 2013

There are billions of pages of government documents in the public domain in varying states of redaction, but there is no central database of these documents, and no way to compare them to one another. Enter The Declassification Engine, a project created by computer scientists, statisticians and historians to give us the most complete history of our redacted past. Bob talks to Columbia University historian Matthew Connelly about the project. 

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The Manhattan Project

Friday, October 11, 2013

In a world steeped in regular government leaks, there’s a tendency to believe that journalists’ exposure of government secrets is a new phenomenon. We think of the press of the past – during wartime, especially –  as more willing to obey censorship laws to protect government secrets. Bob talks to nuclear historian Alex Wellerstein who says this isn’t so, and he tells us about the leak of one of the government’s most-protected secrets to prove it.

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About Face

Friday, October 11, 2013

Last week the press thought they had found the face of Obamacare in young Chad Henderson who, they widely reported, had made it through the thicket of federal exchange webpages and gotten coverage. One problem: he hadn't bought the coverage. Bob talks with Politico's Kyle Cheney about covering the story and the lessons journalists can learn from it. 

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The Obama administration and the Press

Friday, October 11, 2013

This week, the Committee to Protect Journalists released a study profiling the so-called transparency president's unprecedented war on leaks and refusal to grant journalists access. Bob talks to study author Len Downie about how the Obama administration's policies on the press are having a chilling effect on reporting.

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Coverage of the Government Shutdown, Tweeting TV Audiences, and More

Friday, October 04, 2013

A look at the media coverage - both here and abroad - of the government shutdown, how social media is recreating the old television viewing experience, and California's attempts to legislate the internet.

Compromise in a Polarized Political World

Friday, October 04, 2013

Political scientist Brendan Nyhan says the roots of the shutdown aren’t so much in a failure of leadership from John Boehner or Harry Reid or President Obama. Rather, he tells Bob, all three men are at the mercy of an increasingly polarized political landscape that makes compromise extremely difficult.

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Global Media Reaction to the Shutdown

Friday, October 04, 2013

In the US the media have almost universally glommed on to the “blame game” narrative of the government shutdown. Reaction from around the world has been most diverse. Aviva Shen of the progressive website ThinkProgress speaks with Bob about reactions from around the globe. 

John Zorn - The Dream Machine

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Battling Messages on Obamacare

Friday, September 27, 2013

The next phase of the Affordable Care Act goes into effect next week with the opening of new health insurance exchanges. Brooke and Bob take a look at the messaging war, from the conservative ads advising people to "opt out," to the Obama administration's push to educate people about the new law, and the media's role in covering this protracted battle.

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Which committee is responsible for providing oversight at our borders?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Bob reads listener responses to producer Sarah Abdurrhaman’s piece“My Detainment Story or: How I learned to Stop Feeling Safe in My Own Country and Hate Border Agents.”  Brooke talks to former congressman Lee H. Hamilton, co-author of a recent report calling for reform of the Department of Homeland Security, about how the DHS can, and should, work better.

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Fake Online Reviews By Real Fans

Friday, September 27, 2013

This week, the New York Attorney General’s office announced that nineteen companies would be fined $350,000 for paying for fake reviews on sites like Yelp. But a study that came out earlier this year says that many fake online reviews, including the most negative ones, are often written by a brand's biggest fans. Bob talks to Duncan Simester, one of the authors of the study and a professor at MIT, about why a brand's fans would leave it bad reviews.

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Huffington Post Disables Anonymous Comments

Friday, September 13, 2013

This week, The Huffington Post ended anonymous comments on its website in the hopes of engendering more civil discussions. Bob reflects on OTM's own issues with anonymous commenters, and speaks with Arianna Huffington about her site's new requirement to name names.

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Jimmy Kimmel's Viral Video Gag

Friday, September 13, 2013

This week, Jimmy Kimmel revealed that he had faked a viral video that has racked up over 12 million views. Producers and hosts of TLDR, PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman have been arguing all week about whether this falsehood represents some kind of betrayal of its viewers. So they decided to hash the argument out on the air.

Los Lobos - La Iguana

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