Mixed reactions met Tony Blair's appointment
as the Quartet's envoy to the Middle East [AFP]

Our main story this week is the media reaction to the appointment by the US, the EU, Russia and the UN, the so-called 'Quartet', of the former British prime minister, Tony Blair, as their envoy to the Middle East.

The news was greeted with approval in some western newspapers and incredulity in most newspapers in the Middle East.

Blair's success while in office in mediating a ceasefire in Northern Ireland and establishing a political settlement there, noted by UK and US editorials, counted for little with most commentators and The Tehran Times described the appointment as "an Orwellian nightmare".

The Independent's Middle East correspondent, Robert Fisk, gives The Listening Post his opinion on Tony Blair's new job.

And we take a look at the reaction on the internet to Blair's departure, which was bad news for one young Blairite.

Our other top story this week is current trends in news satire. Comedy writers and producers are not just taking aim at the stories and personalities in the headlines, but are increasingly poking fun at the news media organisations that bring us the news. The slick world of 24 hour news broadcasting is ripe for lampooning and sometimes it can be hard to tell the real news from the fake.

In Newsbytes, we look at the other big media stories this week. After 114 days in captivity, BBC correspondent Alan Johnston was finally freed by his kidnappers, the so-called Army of Islam. In a press conference filmed just hours after his release, Johnston described how listening to messages of support on the radio had kept his spirits up during his ordeal.

Controversial TV cartoon character Farfour met a violent end this week as Hamas affiliated TV channel Al Aqsa killed off their Mickey Mouse lookalike. The character, used to encourage young Palestinians to fight against Israel, died in a predictable way – murdered by an Israeli.

Last but not least is our internet video of the week. We give Tony Blair one last chance to get the better of his good friend George W, in this quiz show mash-up.

Watch this episode of The Listening Post here:

Part 1:

Part 2:

This episode of The Listening Post aired from 06 July 2007.

Send us your videos

If you have a video you would like us to see, click here to send it to us.

If you are unsure how to do a video blog here are some hints and tips for video blogging.


To contact us click on 'Send your feedback' at the top of the page

Watch Al Jazeera English programmes on YouTube

Join our debates on the Your Views page

Source: Al Jazeera