On The Media

Airs Sundays at 5 pm
  • Hosted by Brooke Gladstone & Bob Garfield

While maintaining the civility and fairness that are the hallmarks of public radio, On The Media tackles sticky issues with a frankness and transparency. On The Media decodes what we hear, read and see in the media every day and exposes the relationship of the media with our culture and society.

Distributed by: NYPR


  • Thursday, February 22, 2018 11:00pm

    Since the Parkland school shooting, the student-led #NeverAgain movement has kept gun control in the headlines. This week, we look at how the movement began — and how pro-gun internet trolls have tried to undermine its message. Plus, how the world of Black Panther taps into a long history of black liberation struggles, and why Black History Month, in the Trump era, can feel both righteous and corporate, dignified and farcical. 

    1. Emily Witt [@embot], writer and reporter at the New Yorker, on the genesis of the #NeverAgain movement

    2. Jason Koebler [@jason_koebler], editor-in-chief at Motherboard, on the "crisis actor" conspiracy

    3. Adam Fletcher [@bicyclingfish], co-founder of the Freechild Project, on the history of student-led movements. 

    4. Doreen St. Félix [@dstfelix], staff writer at the New Yorker, on the commercialization of Black History Month.

    5. Nathan Connolly [@ndbconnolly], history professor at John Hopkins University, on the origins of "Black Panther"'s Wakanda


    The Glass House - End Title by David Bergeaud

    The Stone by The Chieftains

    Trance Dance by John Zorn

    Smells Like Teen Spirit by The Bad Plus

    Rescue Me by Fontella Bass

    Mai Nozipo by Kronos Quartet

  • Thursday, February 22, 2018 3:18pm

    In the wake of the school shooting in Florida we are recycling two interviews that we recorded following two other mass shooting tragedies. The first is about a chapter in the NRA's history that not many people know about. We’ve become accustomed in the past 20 years to seeing the issue of guns in America broken down into two camps: gun control advocates — led by police chiefs and Sarah Brady — and the all-powerful National Rifle Association. In an interview that originally aired after Sandy Hook in 2012, Bob talks to Adam Winkler, author of Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms In America, who says there was a time, relatively recently, in fact, when the NRA supported gun control legislation, and the staunchest defenders of so-called "gun rights" were on the radical left.

    The second interview we thought deserved another airing is about the dearth of research into these events. Hours before the 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, a group of physicians petitioned Congress to end the so-called Dickey Amendment, a nearly twenty-year-old ban that effectively prevents the CDC from researching gun violence. Brooke spoke to Todd Zwillich, acting host of The Takeaway, about the history of the ban and its current political state.

  • Thursday, February 15, 2018 11:00pm

    This week, we dive headfirst into the uncomfortable and the untrue — on the international stage, in the White House, and in your local newspaper. How claims from Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] press releases sometimes end up, almost verbatim, in local reporting on deportations; why a New York City immigration advocate's history muddies the waters around his advocacy; what Poland's new Holocaust law really means for the country; and how personal stakes can shape our understanding of the plight of the Rohingya in Myanmar. 


    1. Bob, on the Trump White House getting caught up in lies once again. 

    2. Gaby Del Valle [@gabydvj], staff writer for The Outline, on how ICE press releases make their way into local news reporting

    3. Errol Louis [@errollouis], host of Inside City Hall on NY1, on the press's coverage of immigration advocate Ravi Ragbir.

    4. Geneviève Zubrzycki, sociology professor at the University of Michigan, on Poland's new law regarding the Holocaust. 

    5. Hannah Beech [@hkbeech], Southeast Asia Bureau Chief for the New York Times, on her experience reporting on the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar. 



    The Street by Elmer Bernstein

    Susan the Stage by Chico Hamilton

    III. White Man Sleeps by Kronos Quartet

    Totem Ancestor by Kronos Quartet

    Slow Pulse Conga by William Pasley

    The Glass House - Mitra's Sadness by David Bergeaud

  • Wednesday, February 14, 2018 10:42am

    On Monday, Donald Trump released the second budget proposal of his presidency. There’s lots in it — more money for defense, veterans and border security and some tax changes too. But what really jumps out is the proposal to cut funding for federal assistance programs including a 20 percent cut to Section 8 housing, a 22 percent cut to Medicaid and a brutal 27 percent cut to SNAP (the benefit formerly known as food stamps). Bobby Kogan, who on Twitter identifies himself as “chief number cruncher for the Senate budget committee”, points out that SNAP benefits are already small at just $1.40 per meal, and that “cutting the program by a quarter is extremely cruel.”

    The proposed cuts did trigger outrage from advocates for the poor, who have also noted that the social safety net has big holes and vulnerable people have been falling through them for years.

    In the fall of 2016, Brooke reported a series we called “Busted: America’s Poverty Myths.” Over five episodes she explored the central myths of poverty as we see them: that the poor deserve to be poor, that you can pull yourself up by your bootstraps and (the one we are re-airing now), that the safety net can catch you. 

    With the help of Linda Tirado, author of Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America, and Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, we consider how anti-poverty programs can actually keep people poor and offer little hope for a way out.

    Also, Brooke meets Margaret Smith, a Columbus woman made homeless after a violent crime derailed the life she'd carefully built with her six children. And we visit an Athens County food pantry that provides not just meals to the community, but also school supplies, clothing, furniture, job training, home repairs, disaster relief... even burial plots. 

  • Thursday, February 8, 2018 11:00pm

    This week, we devote an entire hour to what one important scholar deemed “the cause of and solution to all of life’s problems.” From its earliest role as a source of nourishment to its depictions in ancient literature, we examine the roots of mankind’s everlasting drinking problems. Plus, how a bizarre 60 Minutes piece spread the idea that red wine has medicinal effects. Then, a look at how popular culture has incorrectly framed Alcoholics Anonymous as the best and only option for addiction recovery. And, a scientist cooks up a synthetic substitute for booze.

    1. Iain Gately, author of Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol, on the ancient origins of our core beliefs about booze. 

    2. Robert Taylor, assistant managing editor at Wine Spectator, on red wine's constantly changing reputation as a healthy substance.

    3. Gabrielle Glaser [@GabrielleGlaser], author of Her Best-Kept Secret: Why Women Drink - And How They Can Regain Control, on the history and P.R. methods of Alcoholics Anonymous.

    4. David Nutt [@ProfDavidNutt], psychologist at Imperial College London, on his new alcohol substitute, "alcosynth."


    When I Get Low I Get High by Ella Fitzgerald

    Tomorrow Never Knows by Quartetto D/Archi Dell'Orchestra Sinfonica Di Milano

    Il Casanova Di Federico Fellini by Solisti E Orchestre Del Cinema Italiano

    Option with Variations by Kronos Quartet/composer Rhiannon Giddens