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The Listening Post
A Quran burning that never happened
We look at a bizarre case of global media obsession and the British tabloid phone-hacking scandal.
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2010 09:03 GMT

On The Listening Post this week: A radical pastor in Florida threatens to burn Qurans on the anniversary of 9/11 – the media sets the story alight. And a tabloid phone-hacking scandal in the UK adds to the New York Times' arsenal in its battle against Rupert Murdoch.

The week leading to the ninth anniversary of 9/11 saw a bizarre case of global media obsession. A pastor of a tiny congregation in Florida held media in the US and around the world captive with his 'maybe I will, maybe I won't' plan to burn Qurans on 9/11.

An overcharged political atmosphere in the US, a warning from General Petraeus that images of burning Qurans would inflame tensions on the Afghan war front and a round-the-clock media catapulted what was a local non-story into global headline fodder. In our News Divide this week, we take a hard look at the media conflagration over a Quran burning that never happened.

Quick hits from the media world in Newsbytes: France's paper of record Le Monde crosses swords with President Nicholas Sarkozy, the mayor of Moscow finds himself at the receiving end of a state-TV attack, and in Iraq the death toll amongst journalists continues to rise.

The New York Times has turned an old news story into a fresh credibility problem for Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. The Times sent three of its top reporters to investigate the pratice of phone-hacking at the Murdoch-owned British tabloid, News of the World.

Their story has not only implicated the UK prime minister's top spin-doctor and former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, but has raised new questions about the journalistic ethics of News Corp's publications. Chris Hedges, Roy Greenslade, and Dominic Ponsford weigh in on the latest salvo in this ongoing battle of the titans.

Our internet video of the weekpresents a computer-animated view of the New York Times / Wall Street Journal feud from the far east, Taiwan to be exact. It has got Rupert Murdoch as a land-shark, a West Side Story-style showdown, and more trap doors than an old James Bond movie. Enjoy.

This episode of The Listening Post can be seen from Friday, September 17, at the following times GMT: Friday: 1230; Saturday: 1030, 2230; Sunday: 1930; Tuesday: 0630; Wednesday: 0030, 1430, 1900; Thursday: 0530, 2330; Friday: 0600. 

Source:
Al Jazeera
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