Listening Post
US raises stakes in Iran media war
Plus the breakdown between press and prime minister in Japan.
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2007 07:30 GMT

Fox News' reportage on Iran
In this week's episode of The Listening Post, Richard Gizbert probes the US administration's handling of the media over Iran. We report on how Japan's press is turning on the prime minister after a crushing defeat in the Upper House elections. And in China, Homer Simpson's brain finds its way to the national health pages.

We start in the US this week, watching Fox News' reportage on Iran. The US administration is using its powerful media allies to pave the way for war with Iran. Fox News and others have been pushing President George Bush's anti-Iran message. However, the US administration's agenda is not going unopposed. We spoke to small independent media outfits like Fox Attacks and Stop the War who believe the media is being manipulated and that we have been here before with Iraq.

Our other story is the souring of relations between Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister, and the country's press. After a crushing defeat in the Upper House elections, the liberal media demanded the prime minister's resignation, while the traditionally supportive conservative newspapers were highly critical of his performance.

Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister

When Abe came to power in 2006, he was hailed as the 'princling' and a worthy successor to former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. Where Koizumi was charismatic and flamboyant with a knack for speaking in television soundbites, Abe was seen as stiff and sombre and even arrogant in his dealings with the media. His popularity at home was not helped by revelations in the press of a series of ministerial scandals. And abroad Abe's remarks caused outrage in the media when he hinted that World War Two sex slaves had not been coerced by the military.

We spoke to some of Japan's major newspapers to get the low down on the breakdown between press and prime minister.

Homer Simpson's brain scan

In Newsbytes, we report on the latest developments in the murder case of Russian journalist, Anna Politkovskaya. We introduce you to a new online tool that gives details of who is editing Wikipedia's pages. And in China, the national press agency use a picture of Homer Simpson's brain scan to illustrate a science article on multiple sclerosis!

Last but not least, our internet video of the week - President Bush's rendition of U2's anti-war anthem Sunday Bloody Sunday.

Watch this episode of The Listening Post here:

Part 1:

Part 2:

This episode of The Listening Post aired from 31st August 2007

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