On the Media

Mondays at 10 am

WNYC’s weekly investigation into how the media shapes our world view. Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield give you the tools to survive the media maelstrom. Produced by WNYC Studios.

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Podcasts

  • Tuesday, July 17, 2018 8:00am

    Four years ago this week, on July 17, 2014, Eric Garner died in Staten Island at the hands of a New York City police officer. We probably wouldn't have known if it hadn't been for a cellphone video that captured his arrest, the excessive force that killed him, and his final words. The national media couldn’t look away, until they did look away.

    Matt Taibbi is a journalist and author of the book, I Can't Breathe: A Killing on Bay Street, an exploration of Eric Garner’s life and death in the media — and of his real life, too. Brooke spoke to him last year.

  • Friday, July 13, 2018 8:00am

    Reporting on the Russia investigation is not for the faint of heart. This week, a look at how a journalist became entangled in the investigation when she turned her source over to the FBI. Plus, how another reporter avoided common journalistic mistakes during the Iraq War and a conversation with the director of the new documentary The Other Side of Everything about the end of Yugoslavia.

    1. Tom Nichols [@RadioFreeTom], professor of national security at the Naval War College, on separating the signal from the noise in stories about Trump's relations with RussiaListen.

    2. Marcy Wheeler [@emptywheel], national security blogger, on her decision to out a source to the FBIListen.

    3. Jonathan Landay [@JonathanLanday], national security correspondent at Reuters, on his reporting at the outset of the Iraq WarListen.

    4. Mila Turajlić, director of "The Other Side of Everything," on her mother's dissent against the former Yugoslavian governmentListen.

  • Tuesday, July 10, 2018 8:00am

    With President Trump's nomination of federal judge Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court will likely be locked up by the political right for a generation. This is in large part thanks to a historic decision made in 2010 by the court’s then-shakier conservative majority: the Citizens United ruling, which fundamentally reshaped the political landscape of the United States by unleashing floods of political spending, particularly in the form of untraceable "dark money." 

    For the state of Montana, the post-Citizens United world has brought back old memories: over a century ago, copper kings like William A. Clark used their vast wealth to control the state and buy up political power. In 1912, the state responded by passing one of the first campaign finance laws in the nation, banning corporate political spending entirely. That law was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2012, but Montanans have continued to push back against corporate political spending using other means.

    A new documentary, Dark Money, uses Montana as a microcosm to explain the reality of campaign finance in the United States today. Bob speaks with director Kimberly Reed about the documentary and why she's hopeful that, despite the unbalanced playing field, positive change is possible.

  • Friday, July 6, 2018 8:00am

    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. Listen.

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

    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. Listen.

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

    Songs:

    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

  • Friday, June 29, 2018 8:00am

    Following a string of landmark Supreme Court rulings and a surprise retirement, this week On the Media examines the conservative culture on the bench and wonders what we can expect from the court going forward. Plus, is civility really dead or only sleeping? And what is the view from small-town America?

    1. Adam Serwer [@AdamSerwer], senior editor at The Atlantic, on the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Trump administration's travel ban decision. Listen.

    2. Teresa Bejan [@tmbejan], professor of political theory at the University of Oxford, on the historical origins of our "crisis of civility." Listen.

    3. Keith Bybee, professor of judiciary studies at Syracuse University, on the oft-repeated deaths of American civility — and how notions of civility can be a tool of oppression. Listen.

    4. Deborah Fallows, author and linguist, and James Fallows [@JamesFallows], national correspondent at The Atlantic, on the societies thriving outside the media lens. Listen.