On The Media

Airs Saturdays at 1 pm & 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, June 23, 2016 11:00pm

    Democrats in the House of Representatives staged a dramatic sit-in this week to protest inaction on gun legislation, but are they just preaching to the choir? This week, we look at bridging the gap over guns in America and how the media can better understand both sides. Plus, new algorithms claim to provide more accurate models for policing and sentencing, but they actually might be making things worse. 



  • Wednesday, June 22, 2016 2:00am

    As the media have watched the ascent of Donald Trump with disbelief-going-on-horror, pundits have returned frequently to the question of who exactly his supporters are. Terms like "angry" and "white working class" are mentioned frequently, but the National Review several months ago put it the most pointedly and viciously. In an article lambasting Trump supporters, Kevin Williamson characterized them as lazy drug addicts, compared them to animals, and even suggested that they deserved to die. Though he did not say it directly, the implication was clear: these people were white trash.

    We took that opportunity to take a deeper look at the idea of "white trash," with the help of writer and professor Nancy Isenberg, author of the forthcoming book, White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America. Isenberg described to Brooke how the notion of "white trash" has been around for a long time, belying the idea that America is a "classless" society. White Trash comes out this week, and we're re-running our conversation in honor of it.

  • Thursday, June 16, 2016 11:00pm

    The aftermath of the Orlando shootings has been marked by grief...and also politics, with LGBT rights, gun control, and terrorism all vying for center stage. We talk with a gay Muslim writer who found himself in "double jeopardy" this week, delve into the semantic tousle over the words "radical Islam," and consider whether forgetting is an appropriate response to violent extremism.

    Plus, as the debate over gun control ratchets up again, a look at how the meaning of the Second Amendment has evolved over time. And, what lies at the heart of Britain's "Brexit" campaign (hint: it's not economics).


  • Wednesday, June 15, 2016 2:00am

    The attack on Pulse nightclub in Orlando has renewed calls for anti-terrorist action from politicians across the board. For presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, this has meant a revival of her call for a government/Silicon Valley alliance that would analyze social networks in order to thwart terrorist plots and impede potential radicalization.

    It's an attractive solution but one, as we've explored before, that is far more complicated than it might sound. This week we revisit two conversations we had last January, when a US government delegation met with Silicon Valley executives to discuss just such an approach. Karen Greenberg, director of the Center on National Security at Fordham University School of Law, talks about how a neutral-sounding algorithm for scanning radicalization raises numerous legal red flags. And terrorist behavior expert John Horgan explains how this approach fundamentally misunderstands how radicalization happens and why we must be careful distinguishing between those who consume extremist content and those who intend to act on it.

  • Thursday, June 9, 2016 11:00pm

    The Associated Press declared Hillary Clinton the presumptive Democratic nominee the night before voters went to polls. We hear from the AP and consider the ethics behind their decision.

    Plus: How should journalists be treating Donald Trump? The presumptive GOP nominee has had a year-long codependent relationship with the media, but we may be at a turning point. Paul Waldman of The American Prospect argues that old-school investigative reporting is the best way to engage with Trump's sketchy claims and inflammatory rhetoric. Then, CNN's Jake Tapper reflects on how to press the candidate effectively in interviews and whether the conventional tools of broadcast journalism are enough.

    Political theorist Michael Signer defined "demagogue" for us six months ago. We check back in on how the term applies to Trump now. And: fiction writer and essayist Aleksandar Hemon argues that novelists should be further probing contemporary politics in their work.