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.

Recent Episodes

A War Reporter Played By Tina Fey

When New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani reviewed reporter Kim Barker’s 2011 memoir, The Taliban Shuffleshe described Barker as “a sort of Tina Fey character, who unexpectedly finds herself addicted to the adrenaline rush of war.” That line piqued the interest of a certain actress and producer; not long after, Paramount Pictures acquired the rights to The Taliban Shuffle. The resulting movie, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, stars Fey as a journalist named "Kim Baker." Bob talks with Kim Barker about how she learned the ropes as a conflict journalist in the early days of war in Afghanistan, and what it's like to have Tina Fey play you in a movie. 

Predictile Dysfunction

Political commentators have repeatedly, reliably, been wrong this election season. There was the improbable Bernie Sanders. The inevitable Jeb Bush. The passing-fad Donald Trump. Now that we've landed so far from where we began, we examine why pundits make such bad predictions, and why they probably won't stop.

FiveThirtyEight Explains Super Tuesday

Primary voters in twelve states (and American Samoa) head to the polls on Super Tuesday -- and media expectations are high. Our collaborators at the data news site FiveThirtyEight have a politics podcast, and this week their look at Super Tuesday explains how to read the Super Tuesday results, including media declarations of "inevitability" and "momentum." Plus: why Donald Trump's candidacy has thrown forecasting models into disarray. We play two long excerpts from the podcast, which you can listen to in its entirety here

You can subscribe to FiveThirtyEight's podcasts here


Second Comes Right After First!

President Obama's latest attempt to close Guantanamo Bay prison has been met with fierce opposition from Congress. We look at what the prison has come to mean to the American public...and what it means for jihadists. Plus: a look at vigilante groups fighting to uphold their version of the law on both sides of the US-Mexico border, the Apple/FBI showdown, and the GOP "front-runner" who has yet to actually win a primary or caucus. 

Spotlight on 'Spotlight', The Movie

The Academy Award nominated movie "Spotlight" depicts the Boston Globe's Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation that uncovered the systemic sexual abuse and widespread cover up in the Catholic church, with refreshing accuracy. Get ready for Sunday night's Oscars by listening to Brooke's conversation with Walter Robinson, who headed the investigation and is played by Michael Keaton in the film, and Sacha Pfeiffer, who was one of the four reporters on the team and is played by Rachel McAdams. They talk about what it was like to see themselves on the silver screen, and the continuing impact of their award-winning reporting.

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The Supreme Court, Explained

A political battle is raging over Justice Scalia's replacement on the high court. But what does the public really know about how the court operates? We revisit our special hour on the Supreme Court, from the unknowable impact of decisions to the justices' peculiar traditions and how popular culture frames our understanding. Plus: the not-so-evolving position on cameras in the courtroom.