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

"Busted" #2: Who Deserves To Be Poor?

UPDATE: Since this series began, OTM has received numerous inquiries from listeners who want to help Carla Scott. If you’d like to donate, she has set up a PayPal account here. Please note that neither OTM nor WNYC is affiliated with this account. We do not control the money nor do we monitor how it is spent. Donations are considered a gift to Scott, and are not tax-deductible.


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In the second installment of our series on poverty myths, we trace the history of welfare in America, from aid to widows after the Civil War to Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty to Bill Clinton's pledge to "end welfare as we know it." With the help of Kathy Edin, co-author of $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, we consider how the notion of government assistance sapping people of initiative has long shaped policy...and permitted many in poverty to fall through the cracks.


And Brooke meets Carla Scott, a young woman in Cleveland forced to sell her plasma for bus fare after a series of events derailed her life, as well as Carla's nonagenarian grandmother, Grace, a hard-line believer in "personal responsibility." 



Carla and her grandmother Grace on Grace's porch in Cleveland.
(Brooke Gladstone/WNYC)




Grandmother Grace with a photo of herself from earlier days.
(Brooke Gladstone/WNYC)


 Songs:


Marjane's Inspiration by David Bergeaud
Slow Pulse Conga by William Pasley
Chicago Sunset by Charlie Musselwhite
Carmen Fantasy by Anderson & Roe
Fondu 5 by Ballet Dance Jazz J. Company
John's Book of Alleged Dances by Kronos Quartet
The Thompson Fields by Maria Schneider Orchestra
Stolen Moments by Ahmad Jamal


“Busted: America’s Poverty Myths” is produced by Meara Sharma and Eve Claxton, with special thanks to Nina Chaudry. This series is produced in collaboration with WNET in New York as part of “Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America.” Major funding for “Chasing the Dream” is provided by the JPB Foundation, with additional funding from the Ford Foundation.  

The Game Has Changed

As tensions between the press and the president-elect continue to mount, a look at why some news outlets chose to publish a salacious but unverified set of allegations about Donald Trump. Plus, how the rules of journalism may change in the Era of Trump and what journalists need to do to adjust; and writer Rebecca Solnit on finding hope in dark and uncertain places.

January Surprise

For weeks now, journalists have been aware of a dossier circulating among top officials and the media; it alleges among other things, that Russia has compromising (Kompromat) information on President Elect Donald Trump. But it wasn't until a chain of events set off by a presidential briefing about the contents of the dossier that the media felt free to talk about what they knew. Brooke speaks with Slate's Will Oremus about Buzzfeed's (and Slate's) decision to publish the anonymous (and unverified) Russia memos in full. 

No End In Sight

British journalist John Cantlie has been a prisoner of ISIS for more than four years. Throughout his captivity, he's been forced to act as a sort of warped foreign correspondent, extolling the virtues of the group in propaganda videos. With every appearance, he looks weaker and gaunter. In this special hour, we consider how Cantlie's plight is a window into the challenges of reporting on Syria, and why the world's tangled policy on hostages means that some live to tell the tale, and others don't. 

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.