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Oxygen reacts with the molecule sodium thioglycollate. If this is in a broth, the broth will end up having a gradient of available oxygen in it, with lower and lower levels of oxygen the farther down you go to the bottom. As for the brewer's agar, the sodium thioglycollate isn't enough to reduce oxygen levels to a low enough percentage to allow species like Closteridium sporogenes (for example) to grow. These plates must be kept in an airtight chamber with all oxygen somehow removed from it (most commonly a gas pack system that captures oxygen from the air).

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Q: What are the ingredients in Brewer's anaerobic agar that remove O2 form the medium?
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