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

Damned If You Do...

This election may be remembered as the moment when a nebulous and formerly obscure white supremacist movement known as the "alt-right" was launched into the mainstream. A look at their ascendancy, their role, and their memes. Plus, fact-checking Hillary Clinton's "basket of deplorables" comment; struggling to define Facebook; and the challenges of covering the North Dakota pipeline protests.

After 9/11, Nothing Was Funny

In the days and weeks after the towers fell, nothing felt funny anymore. Comedians on late night TV and in the comedy clubs of New York questioned their own judgement. Brooke spoke to Will Ferrell back in 2001 and Marc Maron on the tenth anniversary of the attacks about the place of humor in tragedy. We revisit both conversations on this podcast extra.

After The Facts

Critics have long viewed Hillary Clinton as untrustworthy and dishonest. This week, we revisit a crucial moment nearly 25 years ago that helped set that narrative in motion. Also, pundits say this election season has ushered in the era of "post-fact" politics, but history tells us it's always been that way. Plus, a guide for making sense of Islamophobic media coverage, and a German TV show trying to teach refugees how to fit in. 

Brooke Gladstone Is A Trekker

In September 1966, Gene Roddenberry dispatched the crew of the Starship Enterprise on its maiden voyage through space and time and into the American living room. It was an inauspicious start, but fifty years later the Star Trek universe is still expanding, with a new movie out this summer, Star Trek Beyond. In a vintage OTM piece, Brooke explores the various television incarnations of the franchise and the infinitely powerful engine behind it all: the fan.

Kids These Days

A University of Chicago welcome letter criticizing political correctness on college campuses reignited vigorous debate. An examination of the value of tools like trigger warnings and safe spaces. Plus, with just two months until election day, a new Breaking News Consumer’s Handbook for making sense of the polls. And, a history of music in presidential campaigns.

Bob's Grill #5: Former CNN President Jon Klein

It's the latest and last installment of Bob's Grill, and we've got a special guest chef (it's Brooke). 


The year was 2005, and CNN was focused on a big story with wall-to-wall coverage. The story was, of course, The Runaway Bride. Jennifer Milbanks had cold feet and disappeared a few days before her wedding. She made tabloid headlines and left tracks all over the cable news channels, including CNN - which covered her day and night for a week. Coincidentally, the network’s new president Jonathan Klein, had just months before been promising more rigorous journalism and less sensationalism. So OTM called him up. In this interview, Klein and Brooke butt heads over what constitutes news, and whether stories need justification.


Post-script: Jon Klein left CNN in 2010.