On the Media


The Peabody Award-winning On the Media podcast is your guide to examining how the media sausage is made. Host Brooke Gladstone examines threats to free speech and government transparency, cast a skeptical eye on media coverage of the week’s big stories and unravel hidden political narratives in everything we read, watch and hear.


New York, NY




The Peabody Award-winning On the Media podcast is your guide to examining how the media sausage is made. Host Brooke Gladstone examines threats to free speech and government transparency, cast a skeptical eye on media coverage of the week’s big stories and unravel hidden political narratives in everything we read, watch and hear.




On the Media 160 Varick Street New York, NY 10013 646-829-4074


Too Big to Fail?

On this week’s On the Media, what the data says about how boys and men are struggling today. Plus, the history behind Ticketmaster’s dominance in the live music industry, and how Hollywood trust-busting in the 1930s and 1940s unleashed an era of indie films. 1. Richard Reeves [@RichardvReeves], a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution and author of the book Of Boys and Men: Why the Modern Male Is Struggling, Why It Matters, and What to Do About It, on the research...


Puerto Rico in 8 Songs

Former OTM producer Alana Casanova-Burgess is back with season 2 of her critically acclaimed podcast series, La Brega. This one is all about the music! For over a century, Puerto Rican musicians have been influential across the hemisphere. From the Harlem Hellfighters of WWI who helped develop jazz to the reggaetoneros who dominate today’s charts, Puerto Rican music is everywhere. We start the season with the island’s most celebrated composer Rafael Hernandez, who wrote beloved songs like...


Sorry, That's Classified

If millions of Americans have access to classified documents, can we really call them secrets? On this week's On the Media, a former Pentagon official explains how America’s bloated classification system came to be. Plus, a look at the stories we tell about Baby Boomers, and how our country might change after they’re gone. 1. Oona Hathaway [@oonahathaway], professor at Yale Law School and former special counsel at the Pentagon, on the complicated nature of classified documents. Listen. 2....


Operation Podcast: What the CIA's Latest Media Venture Can Teach Us About the Agency

For decades, the Central Intelligence Agency has cultivated its appeal as an organization shrouded in secrecy, engaged in cutting edge tech and no-holds-barred espionage in defense of the US. It’s an image that sells in Hollywood. The CIA also assisted in the making of some movies about some real life operations. But as the agency ages, it continues to strive to stay up to date. In 2022, when the CIA turned 75, the agency launched operation:podcast. Brooke speaks with David Shamus McCarthy,...


Great Expectations

Many of us are still cookin’ with gas, but should we? On this week’s On the Media, a look at why gas stoves, and the political flame-war over appliances, are back in the news. Plus, why new research says we’ve left the golden age of science and technology. 1. Paris Marx [@parismarx], the host of the podcast ‘Tech Won’t Save Us,’ and the author of ‘Road to Nowhere: What Silicon Valley Gets Wrong about the Future of Transportation,' on the longstanding debate on electric cars in...


Salvation Through Technology?

Human aspirations for technology are vast. One day, maybe we'll develop technologies that cure cancer. Rid us of viruses. Perhaps fix that pesky climate change. Even, deliver us from death altogether.... But is the increasing belief in salvation through technology just religion in new clothes? Meghan O'Gieblyn is the author of the book God, Human, Animal, Machine: Technology, Metaphor, and the Search for Meaning. In the fall of 2021 Brooke spoke to O'Gieblyn about the shared assumptions of...


It’s a Machine’s World

Schools across the country are considering whether to ban the new AI chatbot, ChatGPT. On this week’s On the Media, a look at the ever-present hype around AI and claims that machines can think. Plus, the potential implications of handing over decision-making to computers. 1. Tina Tallon [@ttallon], assistant professor of A.I. and the Arts at the University of Florida, on the love-hate relationship with AI technology over the past 70 years, and Nitasha Tiku [@nitashatiku], tech culture...


HBO's "The Last of Us" and The Curse of Video Game Adaptations

This week HBO is set to release its latest show, The Last Of Us, about two strangers, who end up on a perilous journey together through a zombie-infested post-apocalyptic America. The show, starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, is based on a hit video game series of the same name. It should be an easy hit for the network. Yet, the show's creators have had to contend with what's known as the “video game curse.” Dating back to the 1993 Super Mario Bros. movie, adaptations of video games...


Caution: Fragile!

The start of a new year is a time to look both forward and back. On this week’s On the Media, hear how facing our climate’s fragility could inspire hope, instead of despair. Plus, a physicist explains how creation stories help us understand our place in the universe. 1. Luke Kemp [@LukaKemp], a Research Associate at Cambridge’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, on a new study that says we need to put more attention on the possibility of human extinction and other climate...


A Taxonomy of TikTok Panics

At the end of 2022, Congress passed legislation to ban TikTok from all government devices, citing data privacy concerns and potential ties between the app and the Chinese government. But this isn't the first time the incredibly popular social media platform occupied headlines. Ever since TikTok exploded worldwide in 2018, news outlets across the country have breathlessly reported on TikTok challenges, which they claim range from the bizarre (licking toilet seats) to the dangerous ("National...



In October, a court ruled in favor of the Department of Justice and blocked the merging of two publishing giants: Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster. On this week’s On the Media, hear what readers will lose if conglomerates further monopolize the market. Plus, it turns out readers do not want to curl up with a good ebook. 1. Alexandra Alter [@xanalter], reporter at the New York Times, on how the booming publishing industry is wrestling with supply chain nightmares...


The Origins of America's White Jesus

During this holiday season, you likely encountered public nativity scenes depicting the birth of Jesus, presenting the family with very rare exceptions as white. And the same can be said of his ubiquitous adult portrait –– with fair skin and hair a radiant gold, and eyes fixed on the middle distance. In this segment from 2020, Eloise talks to Mbiyu Chui, pastor at the Shrine of the Black Madonna in Detroit, about unlearning Jesus's whiteness. She also hears from Edward Blum, author of The...


In Retrospect

And just like that, 2022 is coming to a close. On this week's On the Media, a look back at our year of coverage, from Russia’s war on Ukraine, to an unprecedented rise in book bannings at home. Tune in to hear about the fights, fictions, and things we’re still figuring out. With excerpts from: Is Talk of a Possible 'New' Civil War Useful?The Perils of a Gauzy HistoryHow Meduza is Adapting to Russia's Crackdown on SpeechWhen the World Starts to Look AwayJoe Rogan's Podcast isn't Just...


The Divided Dial - BONUS EPISODE!

We covered a lot of ground in the series, so in this bonus episode we wanted to give space to some of the voices we couldn’t fit into the story; a concerned citizen who tried to take the issue of combatting on-air conspiracy theories into her own hands, a journalist who went into the belly of the beast, a former talk radio host and some of the people on the receiving end of the right wing broadcasts...the listeners.


The Good Ol' Days

This year, right-wing groups at home and abroad were animated by wistful recollections of the past. On this week's On the Media, hear how nostalgia is weaponized in politics. Plus, a deep dive into newspaper archives reveals that we’ve been having the same debates for over a century. 1. Sophia Gaston [@sophgaston], social researcher and the Head of Foreign Policy & UK Resilience at UK think tank Policy Exchange, on the use of nostalgia as a cultural and political force in Europe....


The Divided Dial: Episode 5 - There's Something About Radio

Highly politicized, partisan companies like Salem have a hold on the airwaves — and they don’t plan to give it up. Senior Vice President of Salem, Phil Boyce speaks candidly to Katie about the personalities he handpicked to spread Salem’s message and about the company’s plans to expand into the media world off the airwaves. And in this final episode of the series we ask the perennial question: peddling election denialism seems to be a solid business model — but is it legal? The Divided...


Still Watching?

A 2020 story about Hunter Biden's hacked laptop keeps finding its way back into the news cycle. On this week's On the Media, a look at Elon Musk's so-called Twitter Files and whether they’re newsworthy. Plus, the meteoric rise and fraught future of HBO, which turned 50 this year. 1. Blake Montgomery [@blakersdozen], tech news editor at Gizmodo, and Olivia Nuzzi [@Olivianuzzi], Washington correspondent for New York Magazine, on the Twitter Files and their relationship to the story of Hunter...


The Divided Dial: Episode 4 - From The Extreme to The Mainstream

In the 1970s, talk radio was hitting its stride, with hosts and listeners from all political persuasions. But the radio dial was about to change forever. Community needs assessments, requirements to offer public service programs and multiple perspectives, and limits on how many stations a single company could own were all eradicated. Technological and legal changes would consolidate the radio industry exponentially, allowing conservative talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh to take over the...


The Oldest Trick

An ancient scapegoat for society’s woes is back in the news. On this week’s On the Media, a deeper look at the confusing landscape of modern anti-semitism. Plus, a conversation with some of the dogged reporters who spent years uncovering the truth behind the 2014 Malaysia Airlines crash in Ukraine. 1. Leo Ferguson [@LeoFergusonnyc], the Director of Strategic Projects for the Jews for Racial & Economic Justice, on the rise of modern anti-Semitism. Listen. 2. Aric Toler [@AricToler],...


Brooke and Brian Lehrer Interview Each Other

This week, we’re sharing a chat Brooke had with her longtime colleague Brian Lehrer for Interview Magazine. Brian hosts his inimitably thoughtful daily talk show for WNYC, where he rallies a community of callers and experts to talk about the issues they care about most. But you may not know that Brian was once the first ever host of this very show. In this conversation, Brooke and Brian discuss how they made their ways into public radio, parasocial relationships, and the difference between...