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, January 18, 2018 11:00pm

    Recent accusations of sexual misconduct have led some to claim that the #MeToo movement has gone too far. We break down the arguments and look back at a 1994 conversation about feminism to explore where the movement might be headed next. Plus, a change to Facebook's News Feed algorithm has those in the media worried: a newspaper editor voices her frustration over what it means for the spread of information and a Serbian reporter discusses how the social network is marginalizing journalism in his country. Then, radio giant Joe Frank died this week. How his bizarre style influenced important voices you know today, including Radiolab's Jad Abumrad.

    1. Caroline Framke [@carolineframke] of Vox examines the various arguments and conversations taking place around a report of sexually inappropriate behavior by the comedian Aziz Ansari.

    2. Rebecca Walker [@rebeccawalker] talks to Brooke about how Third Wave Feminism intersects with the #MeToo movement, and reflects on the conversations about consent and pleasure taking place in the early 1990s when she coined the phrase 'Third Wave.'

    3. Audrey Cooper [@audreycoopersf], Editor-in-Chief of The San Francisco Chronicle, voices her frustration over Facebook's algorithmic decisions and what they mean for media outlets. Stevan Dojčinović [@StevanOCCRP], Editor-in-Chief of the Serbian website KRIK [], an independent nonprofit news organization in Belgrade, talks to Bob about how Facebook's decision to move Serbian news into a separate feed called Explore has marginalized independent journalism there.

    5. Jad Abumrad [@JadAbumrad] of Radiolab [@Radiolab] reflects on how Joe Frank's late-night shows influenced his work. Then, Mark Oppenheimer, host of Tablet's Unorthodox podcast, discusses his recent interview with Frank and his piece for Slate [@Slate].

  • Wednesday, January 17, 2018 4:11pm

    During his career as a national security reporter for The New York Times, James Risen reported several major scoops about the CIA. Risen exposed the Bush administration's phone surveillance program and misrepresentations of weapons of mass destruction in the Iraq War. He also published big revelations about botched national security operations in The State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration

    Risen recently reflected on his career for The Intercept. He talks to Bob about how difficult it was to get important stories into the Times in the lead up to the Iraq War, and why his editors sat on an important piece about warrantless wiretapping for 13 months -- and what it all says about the relationship between the press and the government. 

  • Thursday, January 11, 2018 11:00pm

    The book that took D.C. by storm; evaluating our first year under President Trump; the story of the Pentagon Papers, from someone who helped write them; and the latest scholarly research on "fake news" — that is, using the original, vintage meaning of the term. Plus, a live report from the Fake News Awards. 

    1. Michael Wolff [@MichaelWolffNYC], columnist and author, on his latest book Fire & Fury and the dysfunctional Trump White House from whence it came. 

    2. Masha Gessen [@mashagessen], journalist and The New Yorker contributor, on her rules for surviving autocracies, one year into the Trump presidency. 

    3. Les Gelb, former columnist and former Defense Department official, on his experience leading the team that wrote the Pentagon Papers, subject of the new Hollywood drama, "The Post." 

    4. Brendan Nyhan [@BrendanNyhan], professor of government at Dartmouth College, on his latest research on fake news consumption in 2016

    5. Bob Garfield [@Bobosphere], OTM's glamour correspondent, reports live from the red carpet at the 2017 Fake News Awards and, folks, the stars are as stunning as the stories are shoddy. 

  • Wednesday, January 10, 2018 11:03am

    Leslie Gelb, the man who supervised the team that compiled the Pentagon Papers, wasn't a character in the new Hollywood drama, "The Post." He is rarely called for comment in documentaries and films about the Pentagon Papers leak. Back in 1971, Gelb was against the publication of the Papers by both the New York Times and the Washington Post, but he came to see that they demonstrated the major flaws of the Vietnam War effort. In this podcast extra, Brooke talks to Gelb about what the Pentagon Papers were trying to achieve in the first place, how they're understood by the public, and what stories "The Post" missed in its interpretation. 

  • Thursday, January 4, 2018 11:00pm

    The surprising political history of abortion in America; how the language of the abortion debate impacts us all; state lawmakers are tightening the rules around how doctors communicate with their patients about abortion; and more.

    1. Jill Lepore, staff writer at the New Yorker and professor of American history at Harvard, on how the American debate about abortion became so politicized.

    2. Sherri Chessen, former star of the 1960s hit children's show Romper Room, on the story of her own abortion and the media firestorm that surrounded it.

    3. WNYC's Mary Harris [@marysdesk] with Utah-based OB-GYN Dr. Leah Torres [@LeahNTorres] and others on the state rules that determine what medical professionals can and can't say to patients seeking abortions.

    4. Sociologist Dorothy Roberts [@DorothyERoberts] on how the term "pro-choice" has limited the abortion rights movement and created problems for those looking to advance women's health.