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

To Thine Own Self Be True

It's been four hundred years since the death of William Shakespeare, and the Bard is as popular as ever... and just as mysterious. For centuries, a war has raged over the question: who is Shakespeare? We explore how the answer has evolved through the ages, and what that tells us about our changing perceptions of class, art, genius, and religion. Plus, a look at Shakespeare's enduring global relevance, with an inspiring and perilous performance of Love's Labor's Lost in Afghanistan. 

Donald Trump is not Hitler

The Man in the High Castle, the Emmy Award winning TV series, imagines a world in which the Nazi’s won WWII. Set in the 1960s, the show blends actual pop cultural imagery and artifacts with fictional interpretations of an alternative ending to the war.


When its first season debuted, the show’s ad campaign in New York City subways hit a little too close to home. And the show’s second season, which dropped last week, is resonating in a similar way, although this time not so intentionally, just as white nationalists gain exposure in the lead-up to the Trump presidency. “But if it would be hyperbole to treat the series like a documentary, it would be denial to say it plays no differently now than it did before,” says James Poniewozik the chief television critic for The New York Times. He joined Studio 360 host Kurt Andersen in the studio to talk about his most recent article on the series which points to the parallels between fiction and reality.

Hurry Up!

None of us know what Donald Trump will do once he becomes President Trump. What we do know is what he has said he wants to do and what powers he will have, should he choose to act. That's why activists are urging President Obama to do all that he can in the weeks he has left to leave the presidency nicer than he found it and to place some limits on the abilities of a potentially reckless new ruler.


Brooke and Bob talk to advocates and experts who have compiled a "must-do" list for Obama's final month in office, ranging from surveillance oversight to digital preservation to clemency to climate action. Then, we hear from the White House itself about what the administration actually plans to do with the limited time.


Finally, a discussion with writer James Gleick about the nature of time and how our understanding of it has evolved over time.

Michigan's Muckraker

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.

Spy vs. Spy

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. 

The Art of the Follow-Up

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.