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

Behind the Panama Papers

The Panama Papers is by sheer volume of documents the largest whistle-blower leak in history. With over 100 news organizations from over 80 countries involved it is also the largest journalistic collaboration ever. And it has already claimed its first scalp.


On Tuesday, Iceland Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson resigned over revelations of undisclosed investments in three of Iceland’s failed banks.


But the 11.5 million documents from the Panama law-firm Mossack Fonseca also expose shadowy dealings surrounding dictators and kleptocrats worldwide -- with 99% of the iceberg still submerged.


The material has been scrutinized by some 400 reporters for the past year, under the coordination of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Bob speaks with the consortium's director, Gerard Ryle, about how the global investigation came together.

We Gotta Try Harder

This week President Obama criticized journalistic irresponsibility in a speech, but critics note that he has consistently worked to block press access. We take a look at the plight of public information under an opaque administration. Plus, the ethics of reading the news; dissecting the notion of "momentum" in election seasons; seeking posthumous fame for a cult filmmaker; and a Ghanaian undercover journalist fights for justice using every tool, and disguise, at his disposal.

Is This Food Racist?

How do our assumptions about people affect our assumptions about their food? And how do their assumptions about our food affect how we feel about ourselves?


What happens when chefs cook a cuisine they weren’t born into? And what happens when there’s a backlash?


Our friend Dan Pashman, host of WNYC Studio's The Sporkful, has launched a special series of episodes called "Other People's Food," which aims to explore exactly these questions. Dan talks with Brooke about the project so far. 

Anywhere But Here

European Union leaders declared this week’s attack in Brussels an act of war; one former ISIS hostage says those declarations play into the terrorist group’s game plan. We look at what’s behind an unprecedented crackdown on press freedom in Turkey, and examine the significance of President Obama's "other" Latin America trip-- to Argentina. Plus, a special On the Media guide to how not to cover Cuba.

Gawker, Hulk Hogan, and the First Amendment

A jury in St. Petersburg, Florida, found that Gawker Media must pay $140 million in damages to the wrestler Hulk Hogan (real name Terry Bollea). The case is about Gawker publishing an excerpt of a tape showing Hogan having sex with his friend's then-wife -- a tape Hogan claims he did not know his friend was filming. The case has raised concerns about First Amendment protections because Gawker is claiming the post was newsworthy and in the public interest -- and Hulk Hogan is claiming that Gawker caused him emotional distress by invading his privacy. 


Gawker Media's President and General Counsel, Heather Dietrick, talks to Bob about the company's plan to appeal the decision, why the jury awarded Hogan such a huge sum, and why the public's appetite for sex tapes has waned. 

Party People

For the first months of the Trump campaign, the media wondered incredulously, "What kind of person thinks he can act like that and get elected?" Now that Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee, a new question has arisen: "What kind of people could support a person who acts like that?" 


We take a look at how the media have attempted to understand (and suppress) the mythical Trump supporter -- and how some of the more damning conclusions reflect a deep-seated discomfort with class in America. Plus, how a "broken" campaign finance system perpetually enriches the consultant class and how Trump 2016 is being received around the world.