Bob Garfield

Host, On The Media

Bob Garfield appears in the following:

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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The Ever Changing Syria Story

Friday, September 13, 2013

The conversation about American strikes in Syria shifted this week, after Bashar Al-Assad suggested he would surrender his chemical weapons, and President Obama called on Congress to delay a decision on missile strikes. Bob takes a look at this week's Syria developments in the media, including the supposed gaffe by Secretary of State John Kerry that may have allowed the US to avoid going to war.

Andrew Bird - Ophelia Looks Back

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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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Warrantless Device Searches at US Borders

Friday, September 13, 2013

There has long been a quiet exception to the constitutional protection against warrantless search and seizure. It happens routinely at every US border, where federal agents are free to confiscate--and copy--contents of hard drives, cell phones, and other electronic data. Bob talks to New York Times contributor Susan Stellin, who broke a story this week with new insights into how the US government exploits the loophole to target journalists, activists and who knows who else.

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The Strange Case of Barrett Brown

Friday, September 13, 2013

Barrett Brown is a journalist and activist who has been in jail for a year awaiting trial on a number of charges - chief among them copying and pasting a link to leaked documents into an IRC chat room. Ed Pilkington of The Guardian talks to Bob about Brown's case, and the implications it has for other journalists.

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Satirists and Syria

Friday, September 06, 2013

On the Media's own PJ Vogt wrote a story for our new blog TLDR about the difficulty outlets like The Onion and The Daily Show are having finding humor in the situation in Syria as it becomes more complex. Bob talks to PJ about what the outlets are doing wrong, and how they can improve.

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The Retro Report

Friday, September 06, 2013

Beginning its second season this week, The Retro Report is a video series that looks at reporting from the past to re-examine its accuracy, and follow up on what happened after the media moved on. Bob talks to Retro Report publisher Taegan Goddard about the stories the Retro Report has looked back on.

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