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

Bob's Grill #3: James O'Keefe

We return to Bob’s Grill this week with a 2011 interview with “sting operation” videographer James O’Keefe, best known for his efforts to discredit institutions such as Planned Parenthood, NPR, the Open Society Foundations, and the community organizing group ACORN. O'Keefe says he's using the tools of investigative journalism, but his videos are full of distorted quotes, manipulated footage, and in some cases outright lies. Bob spoke with O’Keefe shortly after the release of his undercover video of NPR executive Ron Schiller, and took him to task for his, shall we say, creative editorializing.


Stay tuned next week for more from the Grill.

Magic 8 Ball

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.

Bob's Grill #2: Hunter Moore

Welcome to Bob’s grill! Each week this August, you’re invited to join Bob in his backyard to fire up the barbecue and turn up the heat. But, on occasion, a burger and a cold one just won’t suffice. So this week we’re roasting a whole pig.


Hunter Moore is the creator of the now-defunct website IsAnyoneUp.com, an amateur "revenge porn" site with an insidious social networking component. The site featured nude photos submitted anonymously, usually by angry exes looking for vengeance. But rather than just publishing the photos online for the world to see, Moore’s site also included links to the naked person's social networking profiles, further amplifying the shame. In this interview from 2011, Bob grills Moore on why he does what he does. 

There Must Be Another Way

The Democratic Party and the media are fretting about whether the Green Party will splinter Democratic votes in November. This week, we look at the myths and realities surrounding third parties and consider how "strategic voting" could figure into the coming election. Also, a deep look at the oft-cited narrative that Ralph Nader spoiled the 2000 election for Al Gore.


Plus, Donald Trump's latest skirmish with Khizr and Ghazala Khan has prompted the media to clamor yet again over whether Trump has finally gone too far. Are they missing the point? 


 

Bob's Grill #1: Judith Miller

Ahhh, summer and grilling. They’re made for each other, right? That’s why all this August you're invited to Bob’s grill: a collection of interviews from over the years when one person takes the role of the chef -- that’s Bob, in the apron -- and the other person….well, you know.


We launch the series with an interview Bob did in 2005 with former New York Times journalist Judith Miller, who became mired in controversy after her faulty reporting on alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and for refusing to testify in the leak investigation of former CIA operative Valerie Plame.


Stay tuned next week for more grilling with Bob. 

A Failure of Imagination

In the wake of the DNC email scandal, reports are surfacing that Russian hackers are behind the hack. But as the media runs with a narrative about Donald Trump's connections to Vladimir Putin, we ask: is it misleading?


Plus: a Breaking News Consumer's Handbook on reporting about migration, both across US borders and around the world -- and what myths persist about the large-scale movement of people. 


And reporter Ilya Marritz goes to Germany to learn about how that country's media is reacting to one million refugees and migrants who have arrived in the last year.