Off the Media: Bob Phones It In

We know “On the Media” co-host Bob Garfield does literally phone (or at least cable) it in every week from his outside-DC digs, but this week we couldn’t help but notice how straight he played it all. Not that it was boring. It just wasn’t as Garfield-esque absent the rants, the smarts, the belly-laughable cynicism-cum-sarcasm.

For the usual Bob, we had to go over to his new blog on AdAge.com, which maybe is where he’s been putting his energies. Here’s his explanation of why he’s doing a blog when he already has a regular 600-word column to fill:

AdReview has reviewed thousands of ads, but there were many tens of thousands more that we would have weighed in on but for the 10 inches of white space that would have been left after “Whoa, this sucks.”

And this, from Cannes, where he seems to be despising the Lions ad awards gathering even as he soaks up the beach:

Last year we happened to wander in the Palais des Festival for the showing of the (inaccurately named) short list. There we found three 1,500-seat auditoriums filled to overflow — whereupon we trudged up five floors to the digital-media screening room. This was a 200-seat auditorium filled not quite to overflow. When we took our seat, 193 others remained vacant. This, we believe, spoke eloquently to the vanity and denial of the teeming narcissists below, who don’t even realize the the cult of the 30-second spot is a Jonestown proposition. Some day very soon, their corpses will be stacked three deep.

Dunno about the corpse part — and Jonestown is a mighty crusty reference for those who may not remember an age without an Internet —


but we think those folks who basque (or bask) in the corporate-financed glow of Cannes are pretty good at glomming on to whatever food chain appears and will no-doubt cajole, schmooze or simply big-foot their way into whatever expense accounts are available. We, too, for the record, are aghast at the lack of interest in the digital form.

On the awards this year, we’ll let Garfield have the last word, again, about the Internet and old media:

The internet is God. TV, sooner or later, will bow humbly before it.

But not yet. Not here. Here they’re still into idolatry, so let’s play along one more time and help them worship the Golden Calf. Or Lion, or whatever.

And for those interested in our take on On the Media, we’ll get to that too.