He has made a living from speaking his mind. But this time round, Rush Limbaugh, the US radio talk show host, may have taken his conservative rants one step too far. Last week, the right-wing shock jock led an on-air, all-out verbal assault on Sandra Fluke, who had argued before Congress that contraception should be covered by health insurance.

This week, advertisers pulled out of his show en masse, despite a rare apology from Limbaugh for the words he had unleashed. And while Barack Obama, the US president, chose to speak up, Republican candidates decided to keep their heads down, weary of upsetting one of the most powerful right-wing media voices in the US – as the countdown to the presidential elections creeps up.

This week's News Divide takes a look at a controversy within the Republican media machine and the impact it may have on the US presidential election. Has Limbaugh unintentionally harmed the party he backs?

In Newsbytes: Yahoo wins a key battle in the ongoing fight between online censorship and freedom of expression in India; the Obama administration steps into the media battle in Syria; two British journalists are accused of spying in Libya; and a journalist is killed in Somalia, taking the death toll to three murders this year.

The resurgence of Russian satire

One of the first things Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, did when he first came to power more than a decade ago was take control of a big chunk of the Russian media landscape. He has just won the presidency once again. But in recent months, thousands of young, educated Russians have tapped into the country's rich tradition of political satire to express their discontent.

In this week's feature: The Listening Post's Flo Phillips looks at resurgence of Russian satire and the wave of political parodies that are riding high on the web, from Siberia to St Petersburg.

In our Internet Video of the Week, we feature one of the smartest and most prolific online animators around, Mark Fiore. With the US primaries rumbling on, it was only right that he would weigh in with his take on it. In the latest video, "Leader's", he summarises what the candidates are talking about - personal lives and timeshares - as opposed to the big issues like economy and war, that they should be talking about. We hope you enjoy the show.

Listening Post can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Saturday: 0830, 1930; Sunday: 1430; Monday: 0430.

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Source: Al Jazeera