< Highlights and Lowlights


Friday, January 06, 2006

KATYA ROGERS: I'm Katya Rogers, senior producer of the current version of On the Media. To end this anniversary show, we really wanted to play some clips. But Bob and Brooke could not be persuaded to toot their own horns, so we, the staff, have decided to play you a few of our favorite moments. [MUSIC UP AND UNDER] First Bob, with former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleisher.

BOB GARFIELD: I want to pull back a little bit and ask you about the difficult position that a press secretary is placed in. Now, you obviously don't want to be standing there getting caught in a lie, but there's truth, Ari, and there's the whole truth. In court, you have to put your hand on the Bible and swear to tell the whole truth. Could you have done that before your Daily Press briefings?

ARI FLEISCHER: Absolutely. I don't know why there should be a presumption not to. Well, let me make a very important caveat to that. There are truths that I never discussed with the press, of course. [MUSIC UP AND UNDER]

KATYA ROGERS: This is Brooke, arm-wrestling with CNN president Jonathan Klein.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: Let's talk about Monday, May 2nd. "CNN Daybreak," the rundown had runaway bride. "American Morning" - runaway bride could face criminal charges. "Live from CNN" -runaway bride back home. "Crossfire" - should runaway bride face charges? Anderson Cooper, Paula Zahn, Larry King, Aaron Brown - all of them devoted at least part of their program to Jennifer Wilbanks, the "Runaway Bride." And Jonathan, I have to ask you, does this fit into the roll-up-your-sleeves storytelling that you have in mind?

JONATHAN KLEIN: Well, sure. I mean, the New York Times covered the runaway bride too, and I'm sure I heard a story about it on NPR.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: It was way buried in the New York Times.

JONATHAN KLEIN: Well, we can quibble over degree. [MUSIC UP AND UNDER]

KATYA ROGERS: In this next quip, Bob probes the psyche of MSNBC host Dan Abrams.

BOB GARFIELD: All right. Now, with apologies in advance, I'm going to ask you a completely impertinent question. You went to law school. You're a lawyer. You now have your own show on a national cable network. And you're doing wall-to-wall coverage of the Laci Peterson case. Dan, is this really how you want to make a living?

DAN ABRAMS: Well, [LAUGHS] yeah - I - I'm laughing because, you know, it's on the one hand a stupid question and on the other hand, toned down a little bit and asked in a slightly, sort of, more mature way, it's actually a very good question. [MUSIC UP AND UNDER]

KATYA ROGERS: This is Brooke, speaking with photojournalist Nick Hughes. The interview was supposed to be about the film he made in Rwanda but it was really about remorse.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: It's obvious that you came away with an enormous burden and a sense of responsibility that you don't feel you fulfilled and that the rest of the Western community in Rwanda certainly didn't fulfill. And you made this film. So my question is, is can you leave it alone now?

NICK HUGHES: Well, it - the film gives me an opportunity to speak about Rwanda, but I don't get the opportunity to go back and stop by the side of the road and pick up a child who's going to be murdered by the MRND and take him out of the country to safety, nor does anybody else get that opportunity to do that again. And nobody said anything about stopping it happening next time. So, no, I don't think there is anything really to feel positive about or redeemed about, not at all. The genocide is the opposite of redemption. There is no redemption. You can't go back. Those people are dead and it will happen again. [MUSIC UP AND UNDER]

KATYA ROGERS: Recently, Bob spoke with former New York Times reporter Judy Miller, prompting a positive response from listeners. From Judy? Not so much.

BOB GARFIELD: You've acknowledged that your WMD reporting in several material instances got it wrong, but you've also said that the story is only as good as its sources. But - [OVERTALK]


BOB GARFIELD: -to put the question in plain language, Judy, were you played for a chump by these sources, Ahmed Chalabi in particular?

JUDITH MILLER: You know, first of all [LAUGHS] - I - I'm not going to be insulted by your question [CHUCKLES], but I think that the sources that I relied on were reliable. They had been reliable in the past. I'm not going to discuss who they were, though many of them were actually identified by name in my stories. Moreover, those stories were heavily edited. They just didn't dance their way into the New York Times. As the editor's note acknowledged, everybody's wrong if your sources are wrong. [MUSIC UP AND UNDER]

KATYA ROGERS: I love this clip. Brooke's speaking to reporter Pam Constable in Kabul about the controversial appearance of women on Afghan TV.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: You talk about an election season in Afghanistan. Of course we have one here, and we also have an argument over broadcast standards that won't seem to go away. From where you stand, how does Janet Jackson's little problem seem to you?

PAMELA CONSTABLE: You know, I'm sorry, Brooke, but I have no idea what you're talking about.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: It's been dominating the headlines here. During the halftime show at the Super Bowl, Justin Timberlake reached over and - [OVERTALK]

PAMELA CONSTABLE: Who is Justin Timberlake? I am in the mountains of Central Asia. Who is Justin? Who are these people? [LAUGHTER]

BROOKE GLADSTONE: [LAUGHS] I really envy you.


KATYA ROGERS: And finally, some of what you hear on the program is recorded in the wee, small hours of Friday mornings, like listener letters. Here's what that sounds like.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: Before that, my radio usage consisted of only a few rock stations when I commuted. Then I found out about a ha - then I found out about- [OVERTALK] [LAUGHTER]



BOB GARFIELD: Hairy [LAUGHS] - it's - it's - [OVERTALK]

BROOKE GLADSTONE: [LAUGHING] Hairy Prone Companion. [LAUGHTER] Okay. All right. [LAUGHTER]


BROOKE GLADSTONE: Okay. Can you take - [LAUGHS] Bob, if you don't shut up, you're going to have to turn off your mike.

BOB GARFIELD: I'm sorry, but for God's sake, Brooke - [OVERTALK] [LAUGHTER] - Hairy Prone Companion. [LAUGHING] What am I supposed to do? [LAUGHTER] [MUSIC - SONG]

BROOKE GLADSTONE: [SINGING] There's media all around us, media big and small.

BOB GARFIELD: [SINGING] There are media that are hard to kill, like in that movie by Segal.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: [SINGING] There's so much media everywhere it's hard to find relief.

BOB GARFIELD: [SINGING] There's media in the food we eat and in the air we breathe.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: [SINGING] I don't know what you're saying, but I know this much is true.

BOB AND BROOKE: [SINGING] Our name is On the Media and we're the show for youuuuuu!

CHORUS: [SINGING] On the Media!

SCOTT STRICKLAND: [SINGING] Tune it in and turn it on.

CHORUS: [SINGING] On the Media!

MIKE PESCA: [SINGING] We've got the punditron.

CHORUS: [SINGING] On the Media!

SCOTT STRICKLAND: [SINGING] We're your media watchdog!

CHORUS: [SINGING] On the Media!

ARUN RATH: At onthemedia.org.





SCOTT STRICKLAND: [SINGING] Deserves a second look.





IRENE TRUDEL: [SINGING] That's why you've got Bob and Brooke. [END SONG] [MUSIC UP AND UNDER]

BOB GARFIELD: [LAUGHS] That's it for this week's show. On the Media was produced by Megan Ryan, Tony Field, Jamie York and Mike Vuolo, and edited-- by Brooke. Dylan Keefe is our technical director and Jennifer Munson our engineer. We had additional engineering help from Rob Christiansen and editorial backup from Katie Holt and Kevin Schlottmann. Our webmaster is Amy Pearl. And some more thanks to the people who helped build the show and then left - Janeen Price, Mike Pesca, Arun Rath and Dean Cappello.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: Katya Rogers is our senior producer and John Keefe our executive producer. Bassist/composer Ben Allison wrote our theme. This is On the Media, from WNYC. I'm Brooke Gladstone.

BOB GARFIELD: And I'm Bob Garfield. Happy anniversary, Brooke.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: Happy anniversary to you too, Bob.