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Listening Post
Corporate media wars
The on-air feud dominating US airwaves and double standards in the Western media.
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2009 12:47 GMT



Watch part two

An on-air feud has dominated the US airwaves recently and the corporate masters have seen enough.

There are few ratings battles as hard fought as that for the millions of Americans who tune in to watch evening news shows.

The battle for viewers got personal in 2005 between two cable TV personalities - Keith Olbermann of MSNBC and Bill O'Reilly of Fox News.

The fight was about much more than ratings - the two channels have come to reflect and shape the political views of Americans with MSNBC on the left and Fox lining up on the right.

The two channels are also owned by two huge global corporations, General Electric and NewsCorp.

As the on-air war of words and images heated up this summer, the corporate CEOs decided it was time to step in and exercise some editorial control.

Their attempts to call a truce between Olbermann and O'Reilly may have brought rhetorical temperatures down somewhat, but they have also provoked some searching questions about corporate control of American news media.

Double standards

Also this The Listening Post's Salah Khadr reports on the murder of two Muslim women, but how only one of caught the Western media's attention.

Both were young Muslim women standing up for their right to free expression, whose murders caused outrage throughout the Arab and Muslim world.

Neda Sultan became a symbol of street protests in Iran [AFP]
But only Neda Sultan, whose dying moments during a Tehran street protest were broadcast on televisions and computer screens, made news the world over.

Marwa el-Sherbini was a pregnant 32-year-old Egyptian pharmacist living in Dresden, Germany.

She was savagely stabbed to death in front of her husband and three-year-old son, in a court of law, by the man who she was prosecuting for making racist slurs against her.

The murder of El-Sherbini received all kinds of coverage in the Arabic and Muslim media, but limited and tepid coverage in the West. 

The Listening Post trys to answer why only one of them has been turned into a martyr by the Western news media and the other virtually ignored.

Finally, this one is a spoof that Sony threw up on the net - ostensibly to sell laptops - about addiction therapy programmes for people hooked on social networking to the extent that they have become anti-social and, probably, socially inept. It is our web video of the week.

This episode of The Listening Post aired from Friday, August 21, 2009.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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