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

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.  

The Sporkful: Campaign Edition

Eating like a regular person when you’re on the campaign trail is hard. The cameras are in your face and they really, really want to see you drip grease on your shirt or eat a slice of pizza with a knife and fork or take a big ol’ bite out of a (let's face it) totally phallic corn-dog.

In the coming months, as we watch the Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump bandwagons go from town to town --from diners to BBQ’s to hog roasts -- Dan Pashman, host of The Sporkful podcast, wants you to know that every choice the candidates make about food (to slurp or not to slurp), is a thoroughly vetted process. 

Hostile Takeover

The divide between the Black Lives Matter movement and the police is often portrayed as unbridgeable. This week: finding common ground and working on addressing the real problems of policing in America.

Plus, reviewing the Republican National Convention as well as conventions past.

And, after Turkey’s failed coup, a Breaking News Consumer's Handbook for how to successfully cover, and carry out, a military coup. And a Turkish journalist talks about what happened when the coup plotters took over his newspaper's offices. 

You Have To Laugh Not To Cry

Brazil's crises have been very good for Sensacionalista, a site that's based on The Onion and now one of the most popular "news" sites in the country. Two years ago, the group had 30,000 likes on Facebook. Today, it has 2.8 million

At times, real Brazilian headlines can seem absurd. For example, military police killed a jaguar, the national animal, at an Olympic-torch lighting ceremony; the interim president's new cabinet only has white men; and just weeks before the Olympics, the tourism minister has resigned.

Bob met co-founders Nelito Fernandes and Martha Mendonca at their home in Rio de Janeiro (they're married) to hear about how the Brazilian public has been reading the news through the lens of satire -- and what news is too awful even for jokes.