On the Media

On the Media

www.wnyc.org/series/media-podcast
The Peabody Award-winning On the Media podcast is your guide to examining how the media sausage is made. Hosts Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield examine threats to free speech and government transparency, cast a skeptical eye on media coverage of the week
Armchair diagnosing do’s and don’ts
Jul 26 • 22 min
In March, the American Psychoanalytic Association emailed its 3500 members giving them the go ahead to bring their professional judgement to bear in commenting publicly about the president’s words and deeds. But Tuesday, the much larger American…
Doubt It
Jul 21 • 50 min
There’s new research about how people process information, errors, and corrections. A look at what those findings tell us about the efficacy of journalism. Plus, how unethical research practices and liberal bias have created a cloud of doubt in the world…
Not Repealed, Not Replaced
Jul 19 • 13 min
After the Republican Party’s seven-year attempt to dismantle the Affordable Care Act kicked the bucket this week, Donald Trump declared that he would “let Obamacare fail.” He has plenty of options for moving that failure along and his actions inevitably…
Three-Dimensional Chess
Jul 14 • 50 min
The press are calling Don Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer a “smoking gun.” Why Trump supporters see it otherwise. Plus, the White House’s plan to cement the voter fraud narrative in service of future voter suppression. And, an Iraqi radio broadcaster…
In Which Brooke Explains OTM’s Secret Sauce To Jesse Thorn
Jul 12 • 46 min
Bullseye host Jesse Thorn has just launched a new podcast called The Turnaround. It’s a series of longform interviews with interviewers about interviewing, with people ranging from Ira Glass to Larry King to Marc Maron and this week, with Brooke. Jesse…
Apocalypse, Now
Jul 7 • 51 min
Science fiction has always been an outlet for our greatest anxieties. This week, we delve into how the genre is exploring the reality of climate change. Plus: new words to describe the indescribable. 1. Jeff VanderMeer @jeffvandermeer, author of the…
It’s the End of the World and We Know It
Jul 5 • 13 min
In our upcoming episode we’ll examine how science fiction has taken on the challenge of imagining life after global warming. There’s drought, flood, grievous loss and even some optimism. So with that in mind, we thought we’d whet your appetite for…
What Ails America
Jun 30 • 50 min
Our northern neighbor is celebrating its 150th birthday this weekend, yet many Canadians don’t care. Why Canada’s lack of patriotism might be a good thing. Also, how families of black people killed by police often have to grieve under the media spotlight.…
“The American people elected a fighter”
Jun 29 • 10 min
Bob’s take on this week’s back and forth between the President and the press who cover him.
Newton Minow Still Cares About the Media
Jun 28 • 34 min
This week, at the annual conference of the National Association for Media Literacy Education, Bob sat down with former FCC chairman Newton Minow to survey the “vast wasteland” of television. They discuss the Kennedy administration, the changing landscape…
Stand And Be Counted
Jun 23 • 50 min
Following the Republican victory in Georgia this week, a look at how gerrymandering makes some political outcomes inevitable—and why the media aren’t talking about it. Also, the US Census is on the rocks, and the repercussions could be severe. Plus, how…
The Slants Win the Day!
Jun 20 • 8 min
On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that a law denying federal trademark protection to names deemed disparaging is unconstitutional. Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the unanimous decision that “it offends a bedrock First Amendment principle: speech may not…
Sterner Stuff
Jun 16 • 58 min
After the politically charged shooting at a Virginia baseball field this week, a look at how politicians and the press blamed everyone from Democrats to William Shakespeare. Plus, trying to get behind the secret deliberation over the Republican healthcare…
No One Is Above the Law
Jun 14 • 20 min
This week Attorneys General from DC and Maryland alleged in a lawsuit that payments by foreign governments to President Trump’s businesses violate anti-corruption clauses in the Constitution. With a president who is also a real estate tycoon, reality TV…
Enough With Reality
Jun 9 • 49 min
The Trump administration has been threatening to crack down on leakers for months, and this week, it did. We examine how a news outlet inadvertently helped the government arrest a 25-year-old NSA contractor. Also, the story of how the AP made deals with…
Doug Stamper Is A Very Bad Man
Jun 7 • 33 min
Help us meet the OTM listener challenge by becoming a member today! Sign up to donate just $7 a month and you’ll unlock $25,000 from the Tow Foundation to support On the Media. Donate now. A couple of years back Brooke did On House of Cards, a recap show…
Mind the Gap
Jun 2 • 50 min
A recent anti-Muslim hate crime in Portland has sparked a debate about free speech. Plus: conspiracy theories that appeal to liberals; the media’s obsession with the Trump-Russia story; and what drives hyper-partisan clickbait. 1. Corey Pein @coreypein,…
The United States of Anxiety: America’s Allergy to Intellectualism
May 31 • 25 min
Help us meet the OTM listener challenge by becoming a member today! Sign up to donate just $7 a month and you’ll unlock $25,000 from the Tow Foundation to support On the Media. Donate now. During the last election, when asked his opinion about experts and…
Focus
May 26 • 50 min
In the wake of the Manchester attack, tech companies are again under pressure to fight extremism online. A look at whether they’re really doing all that they can. Also, can reporters inform the public about terrorist attacks without supplying the very…
Drawing New Lines
May 24 • 8 min
This week, the Supreme Court struck down two congressional districts in North Carolina, deciding that the majority-black districts were created to diminish the voting strength of African American democrats in the state. It’s an opinion that opens the door…
Curtains!
May 19 • 50 min
The Trump-Comey story is largely missing from the far right-wing media. A look at how pro-Trump outlets choose to cover, or ignore, unfavorable news. Plus: the Montana special election has been described as a “referendum” on Trump… but the truth is…
The Trouble With Reality
May 16 • 29 min
We’re living in an era of smoke and mirrors as never before. Do you find yourself wondering how we reached this pass, where basic facts have no impact and fundamental norms are violated at will? Or, at the very least, would you like to follow Brooke down…
Shiny Objects
May 12 • 49 min
With an administration that seems to break new traditions every day, we look at the rapid-fire changes to the White House story about Comey’s firing. What they mean for communications between the President and the public. Plus, some worry that the media…
The United States of Anxiety is Back!
May 10 • 34 min
The United States of Anxiety: Culture Wars introduces you to people who have been battling to shape America’s political culture for decades. The WNYC team profile culture warriors, past and present, who have influenced debates over race, religion,…
Rewriting the Right
May 5 • 49 min
The passage of the Obamacare repeal bill this week—hailed as a triumph of conservative ideology—didn’t come out of nowhere. We examine the decades-long, carefully orchestrated right-wing campaign to influence academia and politics. Plus: what’s going on…
Climate of Poor Rhetoric
May 3 • 9 min
The New York Times’ new conservative columnist, Bret Stephens, immediately stirred up controversy when he used his inaugural column to criticize liberals for being too “certain” about climate change. But while many piled on Stephens for seemingly…
In Other Words
Apr 28 • 49 min
Trump has backed off his signature campaign promise to build a border wall right away. We look at the symbolism of a barrier on the southern border, and how it obscures the truth about immigration. Also, how our president has long managed to succeed…
The Art of Winning a Pulitzer
Apr 26 • 13 min
Northwestern Iowa’s Storm Lake Times is a twice-weekly county newspaper with a circulation of 3,330. It has a staff of about 10, including the recipes editor. Its top advertiser is “Builders Sharpening and Service.” And it just…won the Pulitzer Prize for…
“We’ll Do It Live!”
Apr 21 • 50 min
Bill O’Reilly was the bombastic, blustery face of Fox News. Now that he’s out, what happens to the identity and future of the channel? Plus, how to read the scary headlines about US-North Korea relations; why erratic foreign policy can be effective…
Closing the Blinds
Apr 20 • 15 min
Breaking from an open government initiative started by President Obama, the White House announced last Friday that visitor logs will no longer be published due to ”national security concerns.” It’s the latest move in a plethora of actions the White House…
This American War on Drugs
Apr 14 • 49 min
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has signaled that he’d like to revamp the war on drugs. We take a look at the history of the battle, and how sensational media depictions of crack, heroin, and meth have helped fuel it. Plus: our Breaking News Consumer’s…
How the Press Gets Seduced By War
Apr 12 • 16 min
Last week, President Trump ordered the firing of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on Syria in retaliation against the chemical attack allegedly committed by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against his own people. The coverage of the strikes appeared to…
Out With The Old…
Apr 7 • 50 min
Neil Gorsuch is the newest Supreme Court Justice and all it took was the destruction of a Senate tradition. A look at the colorful history of filibustering. Also, how tax season could potentially be more pleasant and why tax companies don’t want it to be.…
The (Nonexistent) Good Old Days
Apr 4 • 27 min
In the midst of several days of his Supreme Court confirmation hearings last week, Judge Neil Gorsuch took a moment to wax nostalgic for the days when the process took only 90 minutes and a nominee could relax, even smoke cigarettes, throughout the…
It’s Just Business
Mar 31 • 50 min
When President Trump signed an order dismantling environmental protections, the photo-op included coal miners. We consider the symbolism and reality of coal country, and what the stereotypes miss. Plus, Congress revoked a rule banning ISPs from selling…
We’ll Always Have Paris
Mar 28 • 13 min
Donald Trump made many, many pronouncements on the campaign trail, one of them was that he would “cancel the Paris climate agreement”. While he can’t cancel the Paris agreement, he can and has walked away from it with an executive order this week…
Highly Irregular
Mar 24 • 49 min
An expensive TV ad campaign has been selling Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch to the American people. We speak with the group behind the effort. Plus, Trump’s accusations of wiretapping may be false, but they remind us that someone is always listening.…
Better Know a Justice
Mar 22 • 23 min
At his confirmation hearing this week, supreme court nominee Neil Gorsuch - according to the New York Times - cast himself as “a humble Westerner, reared on fly-fishing.” And yet, for all the care put into his biography, Judge Gorsuch also seemed to say……
Doesn’t Add Up
Mar 17 • 49 min
The President’s proposed budget seems to prioritize national security over pretty much everything else. We examine how the lowest-income Americans could be affected, and what’s missing from the media debate. Also, how the White House might be manipulating…
This Is Not a Safe Space
Mar 14 • 23 min
Earlier this month libertarian political scientist Charles Murray and author of the book “the Bell Curve,” derided by many as a racist take on the relationship between genetics and intelligence, was invited to speak at Middlebury College in Vermont.…
Seeing Is Believing
Mar 10 • 50 min
In the 1960s, pollution was a visible, visceral problem, and public pressure led a Republican president to create the Environmental Protection Agency. Now, the GOP wants to slash the agency’s budget and roll back “burdensome” environmental regulations.…
When the Press Sues Over “Fake News”
Mar 7 • 9 min
“Fake news.” What began as a description of utterly false articles, fabricated for political advantage or profit, was immediately co-opted by Donald Trump to attack any story or opinion piece in the mainstream media that has the temerity to correct him.…
Follow the Money
Mar 3 • 49 min
As the Trump-Russia saga continues to unfold, how the Obama administration spent its final days scrambling to preserve evidence of Russian interference in the election. Also, the old Soviet-era art of “kremlinology” is back — but does it really help us…
This Gene Was Edited By Brooke
Mar 1 • 25 min
CRISPR is a new technology that enables scientists to quickly alter the genetic makeup of the entire population of a species. It’s so powerful that just one genetically-modified mosquito could eradicate malaria. It’s so easy to do that a grad student…
Smoke & Handcuffs
Feb 24 • 49 min
With a president who would rather watch TV than receive intelligence briefings, CNN’s Brian Stelter helps unpack the symbiotic relationship between Fox News and the White House. Plus, whether Trump’s new guidelines for mass deportation of undocumented…
Leak State
Feb 17 • 49 min
Republicans decry the leakers while Democrats applaud them… oh, how the tables have turned. How to make sense of the Flynn affair and revelations about the Trump team’s communications with Russia. Plus, the steady stream of information from within the…
Out Like Flynn
Feb 14 • 8 min
In response to scandals large and small, first the Trump campaign and now the Trump White House has relied on the fact that each successive lie or outrage will be washed over by the next and the next. And its worked. Until now. Bob ponders whether this…
See You In Court
Feb 10 • 55 min
With the president and the judiciary at odds over the travel ban, the term “constitutional crisis” is ubiquitous. Why it should be deployed carefully. Plus, protests are sweeping the nation – but so are efforts to crack down on free speech. How lawmakers…
What We Know About the Border
Feb 8 • 48 min
The Trump administration’s so-called “Muslim ban” has created chaos and confusion at airports around the country, but horror stories at the border go back much further than this year. In 2014, we devoted an hour to trying to shred the veil of secrecy…
The Ties That Bind
Feb 3 • 49 min
From incendiary phone calls with world leaders to a sloppy military operation in Yemen, a look at what we’ve learned so far from “the leakiest White House in a very long time.” Also, in a week when one journalist was fired for declaring that “objectivity…