McClelan has  accused Bush of
self-deception in his account [EPA]

This week on The Listening Post, we look at media reaction in the US to an incendiary new Washington tell-all memoir, What Happened, by Scott McClellan, the former White House press secretary.

Scott McClellan was White House press secretary between 2003 and 2006.

A loyal servant of George Bush since his days in Texas he often seemed ill at ease and awkward as the public face of the Bush administration, where he fielded media questions during the early days of one of the most controversial military adventures of modern times - the Iraq war.

Now, outside the White House bubble, he has become an unlikely apostate with a tell-all account of what he says was wrong with the system he was at the heart of. 

Accusing Bush of "self-deception" and levelling scorn at the media for being "complicit enablers" of the war, the book has unleashed a firestorm in Washington. But amid the debate the focus of the coverage has yet again shied away from a full examination of the failures of the media during the run-up to war in Iraq, and tentative mea culpas have been quickly retracted.

We look at the bombshell of a book that had big media in damage limitation mode.

We also go to Thailand to look at a libel case with serious implications for journalism.

Tesco Lotus stores are facing angry
protests in Thailand [EPA]

British supermarket giant Tesco attracts bad publicity for its pursuit of libel damages against journalists in Thailand.

Tesco is the biggest retailer in the UK and has been expanding internationally since the early 1990s. With 380 Tesco Lotus stores in Thailand it has muscled in on the domestic market as relentlessly as elsewhere. But some in the country have voiced concerns about its aggressive tactics.

They include a former MP and two journalists who now face heavy fines and possible jail sentences for defamation.

Why is Tesco pursuing the case amid the protestations of human rights groups, and what are the charges its critics are making? The Listening Post's Simon Ostrovsky finds out.

In this week's Newsbytes, Nasa publishes a report admitting to political interference in publicising its work on climate change, Russia's new president expresses concerns over a proposed libel law, Austrian kidnap victim Natascha Kampusch hosts her own chat show, and US fast food giant Dunkin Donuts creates a media brouhaha over a scarf it thought too explosive for an advert.

Finally, our Internet Video of the Week this week is a clever mash up of a famous scene from the 1975 classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail, re-imagined as a 2008 political satire.

Watch part one of this episode of The Listening Post

Watch part two of this episode of The Listening Post

This episode of The Listening Post aired on Friday, 6 June, 2008

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