The Listening Post looks at the media frenzy
surrounding the US election campaign [REUTERS]

This week in The Listening Post Richard Gizbert looks at the media madness around the US presidential election campaign and why there is only one dish on the news menu for American viewers. Slick graphics, almost nightly debates and a barrage of polls are pushing other stories off the agenda.

What impact has that had on global stories that would normally be covered – datelines such as Baghdad, Gaza and Tehran.
Also, Nicolas Sarkozy's media model for France. The president with a friend in every TV station boardroom has introduced a brand new media relationship between power and the people.

In 2007, the new French president was the second most talked about world leader, in terms of global media output, behind only George Bush. His relationship with model Carla Bruni has captivated French media consumers. And Sarkozy has a fondness for the camera as well, as long as it does not cross him.

Sarkozy was the second most talked about
world leader [AFP]

However the president's got friends in high media places and it does not look like the French fourth estate, which finds Sarkozy both seductive and intimidating, is doing much to rock the boat.

The Listening Post's Sinead O'Shea travelled to France, where she found no shortage of media watchers who are critical of the performance of France's high flying and famously elite press corps.

Plus, in our Newsbyte section, Turkey continues to have difficulties fitting into the YouTube era.

It has banned the video sharing site for postings that besmirched the memory of Ataturk, the country's founders.

That is a legal no-no under Turkey's media law, Article 301. And it is not the first time YouTube has fallen afoul of that law.

President Suharto lies dying in a Jakarta
hospital [EPA]
Journalists in Jakarta are raising concerns over the white-washing of the bloody legacy of President Suharto as he lies dying in a Jakarta hospital. TV stations owned by friends of the Suharto family have been accused of trying to re-write his legacy.

Tom Cruise is taking a lot of hits on the web these days, and the Church of Scientology is not happy about that.

The Church says whoever posted a video of the actor talking about the movement acted illegally and in breach of copyright law.

But that has not stopped the video from going up, nor has it stopped satirists from having some fun at the expense of the actor or Scientology.

And the internet video of the week returns to the top story, the US election. Red hot red state rednecks have produced a website that takes a lot of shots at the presidential candidates. It is political satire, in the age of the world wide web.

Watch part one of this episode of The Listening Post on YouTube

Watch part two of this episode of The Listening Post on YouTube

This episode of The Listening Post aired on Friday, January 25, 2008
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