On the Media

Monday mornings 10-11 a.m.

Since On The Media was re-launched in 2001, it has been one of NPR's fastest growing programs, heard on more than 300 public radio stations. While maintaining the civility and fairness that are the hallmarks of public radio, hosts Bob Garfield and Brooke Gladstone tackle sticky issues with a frankness and transparency that has built trust with listeners

Ways to Connect


  • Friday, June 22, 2018 8:00am

    Family separation, a re-framed immigration debate and Trump's misleading executive order: why news fatigue about the border isn’t an option. This week, we explore multiple sides of the asylum policy — including the view from Central America. Plus, a look back at US repatriation policy in the 1930's, and six decades of American culture wars. 

    1. Dara Lind [@DLind] and Dahlia Lithwick [@Dahlialithwick] on how Trump's family separation policy attempts to re-frame the immigration debate, and why news fatigue isn't an option. Listen.

    2. Carlos Dada [@CarlosDada] on the way the family separation and zero-tolerance asylum policy are changing the way Central Americans see the United States. Listen.

    3. Francisco Balderrama on the mass expulsion of Mexican immigrants and their American-born children from the United States during the Great Depression. Listen.

    4. Brian Lehrer [@BrianLehrer] on six decades of culture wars in the United States. Listen.


    Texas Polka by Bonnie Lou
    Marjane’s Inspiration by David Bergeaud
    The Invisibles by John Zorn
    Maria Christina by Los Lobos
    Blackbird by Brad Mehldau

  • Tuesday, June 19, 2018 8:00am

    In 2014, Fortune magazine ran a cover story featuring Elizabeth Holmes: a blonde woman wearing a black turtleneck, staring deadpan at the camera, with the headline, “This CEO’s out for blood.”

    A decade earlier, Holmes had founded Theranos, a company promising to “revolutionize” the blood testing industry, initially using a microfluidics approach — moving from deep vein draws to a single drop of blood. It promised easier, cheaper, more accessible lab tests — and a revolutionized healthcare experience.

    But it turns out that all those lofty promises were empty. There was no revolutionary new way to test blood. This past spring, Holmes settled a lawsuit with the Securities and Exchange Commissio, though admitted no wrongdoing. Last Friday, another nail in the coffin for Theranos came in the form of federal charges of wire fraud, filed against Holmes and the company's former president, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. 

    The alleged fraud was uncovered by the dogged reporting of John Carreyrou, an investigative journalist at the Wall Street Journal and author of "Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup." 


  • Friday, June 15, 2018 8:00am

    More than two thousand reporters went to Singapore to cover the summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-un. This week, we examine how so much coverage can lead to so little understanding. Plus, at long last, Justin Trudeau is subjected to media scrutiny in the US. And, the latest threat to American newspapers, the trouble with a new bill meant to battle anti-Semitism, and Jeff Session's fraught theology.

    1. Noah Bierman [@Noahbierman], White House correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, on his experience reporting from Singapore. Listen.

    2. Margaret Sullivan [@Sulliview], media columnist for the Washington Post, on American media falling for Trumpian stagecraft at the summit. Listen.

    3. Jesse Brown [@JesseBrown], host of the CANADALAND podcast, on U.S. media's renewed interest in Justin Trudeau. Listen.

    4. Erin Arvedlund [@erinarvedlund], reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, on the dangers of a tariff on Canadian newsprint. Listen.

    5. Michael Lieberman [@ADLWashCounsel], Washington counsel for the Anti-Defamation League, and Kenneth Stern, executive director of the Justus & Karin Rosenberg Foundation, on the proposed Anti-Semitism Awareness Act; Brooke on Jeff Sessions biblical defense of the Trump administration's immigration policies. Listen.


    Puck by John Zorn (feat. Bill Frisell, Carol Emanuel & Kenny Wollesen)
    Dinner Music for a Pack of Hungry by Raymond Scott
    The Party's Over by Dick Hyman
    Paperback Writer by Quartetto d'Archi Dell'Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Guiseppe Verdi

    Tilliboyo by Kronos Quartet

  • Tuesday, June 12, 2018 8:00am

    For decades, Seymour Hersh has been an icon of muckraking, investigative reporting: his work exposed such atrocities as the massacre of Vietnamese civilians in My Lai and the torture of Iraqis in Abu Ghraib. He also documented the US's development of chemical weapons in the 60s, CIA domestic spying in the 70s, wrote a highly critical piece on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in 2015 and did a whole lot more. Hersh speaks with Brooke about his latest book, Reporter: A Memoir, which chronicles his half century of reporting and the various obstacles he's encountered along the way.

    We spoke to Hersh in 2008 about his My Lai reporting. Listen here.

    We spoke to Hersh in 2015 about his bin Laden reporting. Listen here.

    This segment is from our June 8th, 2018 program, "Perps Walk."

  • Friday, June 8, 2018 8:00am

    Justice for whom? President Trump’s controversial pardoning spree has benefited political allies and nonviolent drug offenders alike. This week, we look at whether the President’s unorthodox use of clemency might not be such a bad thing. Plus, why the Justice Department curbed prosecution of white collar crime, and Seymour Hersh revisits highlights from his storied investigative reporting career.

    1. Mark Osler [@Oslerguy], Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas, on why President Trump's unorthodox approach to clemency might not be such a bad thing. Listen.

    2. Jesse Eisenger [@eisingerj], senior reporter at ProPublica, on why federal prosecutors have adopted such a lenient approach to white collar crime. Listen.

    3. Seymour Hersh, investigative journalist, on some of the personal experiences and incredible stories that have defined his half-century-long reporting career. Listen.


    "Going Home for the First Time" by Alex Wurman

    "Tymperturbably Blue" by Duke Ellington

    "Let's Face the Music and Dance" by Duke Ellington

    "Purple Haze" by Kronos Quartet



Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Now it's time for Faith Matters. That's another part of the program that listeners have told us they very much appreciate. That's where we talk about matters of faith, religion and spirituality.