On The Media
On The Media, hosted by Bob Garfield and Brooke Gladstone, is America's only national radio program devoted to media criticism and analysis, lifting the veil on how the media works.
This week four more officials were charged in the Flint, Michigan water crisis, bringing the total to charged to 13. But the story initially unfolded largely without national attention. State officials denied and dismissed claims that city water was poisoned with lead, even as evidence mounted from independent water researchers, a pediatrician, and a muckraker from a non-profit advocacy group. Curt Guyette is an investigative reporter for the ACLU of Michigan, he told Brooke how his reporting helped get the story out, and why it took so long for Flint to make headlines.
The saga over Russian interference in the election has been marked by secrecy, rumor, and contradictory evidence. We try to bring some clarity to a cloudy narrative.
Also, the CIA says Russian hackers deliberately helped Donald Trump win the election but the FBI wasn't initially convinced. We consider the long and tumultuous rivalry between the two agencies, and how spies and G-men have been depicted in popular culture.
Plus, how the US propaganda agency “Voice of America” might function under President Trump.
Recently CNN's Jake Tapper asked VPEOTUS Mike Pence the same question over and over again, hoping for an answer. Bob spoke to Tapper back in June about the art of the follow-up.
The Justice Department just vastly expanded the government’s power to hack into your devices... but you probably haven't heard about it. We examine how this change flew under the radar, and why it could be dangerous. Also, a growing threat to free speech: billionaires using libel suits to damage and destroy media outlets. And, how a fringe conspiracy theory involving pizza is a parable for our time.
After a mistrial this week in the case of Michael Slager, the police officer caught on camera shooting Walter Scott in the back as he ran away, we revisit two interviews we did this summer. Patrice Cullors is the co-founder of Black Lives Matter and Eugene O'Donnell is a former police officer, we spoke to them after two deadly shooting incidents involving young black men targeting police officers.
We devote this hour to a question put to us pretty much daily since election day: How to cover President Trump?
First, we ask the AP, Univision, NPR, USA Today, and other news outlets about how they are defining a relationship with a president-elect who flaunts traditional rules, spreads misinformation, and criticizes the press.
Then we turn to language. Listeners help us highlight moments in media coverage that obscure the truth, and journalist Masha Gessen warns of the "impulse to normalize."
Plus, linguist John McWhorter describes the phenomenon of partisan words, and cognitive scientist George Lakoff argues that the principles of journalism need to be redefined... because of how our brains work.