(WASHINGTON POST) Al-Jazeera, the pan-Arabic news channel, has always battled charges of bias, both from government officials in the Middle East and from those in Washington. But on Monday, the bias claims came from an unusual source: other Middle Eastern journalists.
In an unusual episode, al-Jazeera’s reporters were kicked out of a news briefing held by the Egyptian military in Cairo after the shooting of dozens of supporters of Mohammad Morsi, the nation’s ousted president. According to an Associated Press account, the al-Jazeera journalists left the meeting amid chants from the crowd of “Out! Out!”
The incident comes at a sensitive time for the satellite network, which is preparing to launch an ambitious news channel for American viewers. The channel, al-Jazeera America, will debut next month in about 50 million cable homes. It will replace Current TV, the low-rated channel that al-Jazeera purchased in January from former vice president Al Gore and other investors for a reported $500 million. Soledad O’Brien, the former CNN host and reporter, is among several high-profile American journalists hired by the channel.