US media grilled George Bush, the US president, about the intelligence report
New US intelligence on Iran revealing that the country had stopped its nuclear weapons programme in 2003 threw a challenge to pro-war media this week.

In this edition of The Listening Post, host Richard Gizbert assesses whether the hawks in the media have learnt their lessons from the Iraq experience. And Meenakshi Ravi travels to India to find out what is powering the world's fastest growing newspaper industry.

This week's lead story is the media coverage of the new US intelligence report on Iran. The National Intelligence Estimate's explosive finding that Iran ended its nuclear weapons programme in 2003 was only eclipsed by the fact that George Bush, the US president, had been made aware of the new information on Iran back in August.

In a rare show of journalistic aggression, the US media grilled Bush and the White House about the intelligence. They also demanded to know why Bush had been making pronouncements of a nuclear-armed Iran possibly sparking off World War III, just a few weeks earlier. We ask whether the US media's tough act is just a show or if it is a sign that lessons have been learnt from Iraq.

Indian newspaper sales at 88.9 million per day
In our feature this week, Meenakshi Ravi is in India, the country with the largest number of daily newspaper titles in the world.

While global newspaper markets have been showing sluggish growth, the Indian print market is enjoying a boom with newspaper sales at 88.9 million per day.

Driving this growth are the advertisers who, boosted by India's growing economy, have plenty of money to spend. Meenakshi Ravi finds out just how much power the ad men have in India's newspaper industry and what impact that has on newspaper journalism.

Spinning through global media happenings in our Newsbytes section, we reveal a radio clip of Dana Perino, the White House press secretary, admitting her total lack of knowledge of the Cuban Missile Crisis. It makes for slightly worrying listening considering that she briefs the media on the US' foreign policy.

And in Russia both foreign and local media have been caught in the crossfire of political score settling following the recent elections there.

Our two animated world leaders
Closing our show we have a video of a pair of animated world leaders with a greeting for the season.

And for our video of the week we return to the striking writers in Hollywood. David Schlussel was one of many semi obscure writers in Hollywood. However his strike video Writer Boi has propelled him to online fame and you can see why here.
 
 
This episode of The Listening Post aired from Friday December, 14 2007
 
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