Bob Garfield: American Manifesto

FRI, JAN 17, 2020 (00:38)

Bob Garfield, cohost of WNYC’s weekly Peabody Award–winning On the Media, discusses his latest book, American Manifesto: Saving Democracy from Villains, Vandals, and Ourselves. He is joined in conversation by WGBH correspondent Arun Rath.

As is often observed, Trump is a symptom of a virus that has been incubating for at least fifty years. But not often observed is where the virus is imbedded: in the psychic core of our identity. In American Manifesto: Saving Democracy from Villains, Vandals, and Ourselves, Bob Garfield examines the tragic confluence of the American preoccupation with identity and the catastrophic disintegration of the mass media. Garfield investigates how we’ve gotten to this moment when our identity is threatened by both the left and the right, when e pluribus unum is no longer a source of national pride, and why, when looking through this lens of identity, the rise of Trumpism is no surprise. Overlaying that crisis is the rise of the Facebook-Google duopoly and the filter-bubble archipelago where identity is tribal and immutable.

Image: Book Cover

+ BIO: Arun Rath

Arun Rath is the producer and host of PBS Frontline’s new audio podcast, and is developing radio segments for Frontline. Arun started his career in radio at NPR. He was the director of NPR’s daily news show “Talk of the Nation” before moving to New York in 2000 to take over as senior producer of NPR’s “On the Media.” He oversaw the re-launch of the show with new hosts Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield, and during his tenure the program tripled its audience and won a number of awards, including a Peabody for its 2004 election coverage. In 2005, Rath spent a year as the senior editor of Public Radio International’s culture and arts program Studio 360, before being lured to television by PBS’s Frontline. Arun has reported and produced three films for Frontline, the latest being an investigation of alleged war crimes committed by US Marines in Haditha, Iraq, which was just nominated for an Emmy. In addition to his behind-the-scenes work as a producer, Arun has also appeared on camera as a reporter for Frontline/World, and as an on air reporter and host for various public radio programs, including On the Media and WNYC’s live music show, Soundcheck. And starting this summer, he will appear as a regular correspondent on a new PBS series about world music, Sound Tracks.

+ BIO: Bob Garfield

Bob Garfield is the cohost of public radio’s weekly Peabody Award–winning On the Media. Garfield has been a columnist and contributing editor for The Washington Post Magazine, The Guardian, and USA Today. He has also written for The New York Times, Playboy, The Atlantic, Sports Illustrated, and Wired. He lives in the Washington, D.C., area.

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