By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

‘On the Media’ decides once again that there’s nothing going on in media this week

I’ve said this before, most recently in an update on former “On the Media” cohost Bob Garfield. But I’ll say it again: the show’s major shortcoming, whether Garfield is there or not, is that they too often talk about anything except the media.

This week’s program is a good example of that. Brooke Gladstone and company did a full hour on the science, history and culture of (get ready for it) obesity. Now, if they had wanted to, they could have devoted one of the segments to harmful media depictions of obesity, but they didn’t even do that other than in a few passing references. No. Just a straight-up documentary about a topic that has nothing to do with the reality that the media and politics are on fire and we need OTM to help us make sense of that. Every week.

As always with “On the Media,” the show was interesting and well-produced. But I have to say that if I hadn’t put it on in the car and didn’t want to pull over, fiddle with my iPhone and select something else, I probably wouldn’t have listened to it. For anyone in media, this particular episode (and too many others) was not essential listening.

There are plenty of podcasts out there on general topics of interest. Only one is called “On the Media.”

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  1. Steve Bacher

    This is not unique to On the Media. I’ve noted similar drift on This American Life and, more recently, RadioLab, where more stories about “hot topics” show up and the kind of programming that inspired the original shows occurs less and less.

  2. I recommend this terrific podcast on media:

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