Al-Jazeera's MB Bias Triggers Backlash

Tuesday, 09 Jul 2013 03:04 PM

By Steve Emerson

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The Muslim Brotherhood isn't the only entity to see its popular support bottom out in Egypt. Al-Jazeera, the Qatari-financed international news network, has become a pariah in Cairo, triggering cheers among other journalists when its correspondents were booted from a news conference Monday.
 
Qatar, which finances Al-Jazeera, is a strong supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted President Mohammed Morsi, and critics believe the network provided the Egyptian government with sympathetic coverage.
 
According to a Russia Today report, a journalist demanded Al-Jazeera's crew be kicked out of the news conference, called to discuss Monday's violence that left more than 50 Morsi supporters dead.
 
Other reporters expressed agreement with the demand and chanted "Out! Out!" as the Al-Jazeera crew left the room.
 
And that disenchantment infected the network's own people, as 22 staff members quit Al-Jazeera Monday in protest of its "biased coverage" of Egypt's massive public backlash against the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi.
 
Outgoing anchor Karem Mahmoud said favorable coverage for the Muslim Brotherhood was a formal network policy. "[T]here are instructions to us to telecast certain news," he said.
 
"The management in Doha provokes sedition among the Egyptian people and has an agenda against Egypt and other Arab countries," Mahmoud said.
 
This comes as the network prepares an ambitious plan to expand its audience in the United States, having bought out former Vice President Al Gore's Current TV network, and expanding its reach to about 50 million American homes, The Washington Post reports.
 
The article cites Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) Executive Director Steven Stalinsky, who has observed a definite pro-Morsi spin on Al-Jazeera. Pro-Morsi voices dominate among network pundits.
 
Furthermore, Al-Jazeera officials and correspondents have Muslim Brotherhood ties, Stalinsky notes, and Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi hosts a popular talk show despite a long record showing he is "anti-Western, anti-Semitic, and anti-American."
 
Steven Emerson is executive director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism. Emerson was a correspondent for CNN and a senior editor at U.S. News and World Report. Read more reports from Steve Emerson — Click Here Now.
 
 
 

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