First Published: 2003-03-26

 
Powell accuses Al-Jazeera of biased coverage
 

US Secretary of State accuses Qatar-based satellite TV of portraying the US-led war on Iraq in negative light.

 

Middle East Online

Al-Jazeera's viewership has jumped 10 percent since the start of war

WASHINGTON - US Secretary of State Colin Powell said Wednesday that the Arabic-language television network Al-Jazeera was portraying the US-led invasion of Iraq in a negative light and exaggerating small military achievements of Saddam Hussein's regime.

In an interview with National Public Radio, aired just hours before he gave a live interview to Al-Jazeera, Powell accused the Qatar-based satellite broadcaster of a lack of objectivity in covering the war.

"I'm sorry that that is the case, but it is the case," Powell said.

"Al-Jazeera has an editorial line and a way presenting news that appeals to the Arab public," he said. "They watch it and they magnify the minor successes of the regime.

"And they tend to portray our efforts in a negative light," Powell said, adding that he hoped Al-Jazeera would report on US efforts to improve the lives of the Iraqi people as the conflict continued and after it is over.

"We will see what Al-Jazeera is reporting after we have defeated this regime and the United States ... working with others, working with the UN start to bring in humanitarian supplies, medical supplies, a reconstruction effort and put in place a better life for the people of Iraq," he said.

"I hope Al-Jazeera is going to be around to watch that and report that to the Arab public and I think at that point, the Arab public will realize that we came in peace, we came as liberators, not conquerors," he said.

Earlier Wednesday ahead of its interview with Powell, Al-Jazeera, which first broadcast videotape of dead and captured US troops in Iraq, said its viewership had jumped 10 percent since the war began last week.

The POW footage, which had been taken from and were later shown on Iraqi state television, provoked fury from US and British officials who said they were a violation of the Geneva Conventions.

The New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday banned Al-Jazeera's reporters from its trading floor - a move widely seen as retaliation for the channel's coverage of the war.

In addition to the POW pictures, the station has provided groundbreaking coverage of the war and is the only channel broadcasting from the southern city of Basra, scene of a furious battle between Iraqi and besieging US-led coalition forces.

The channel first gained major Western attention by broadcasting statements from Osama bin Laden after his al-Qaeda organization's September 11 attacks in the United States.

 

Ankara goes back on compensation offer for downed Russia jet

Iraq court deals blow to PM's cabinet reform efforts

Egypt deports British-Lebanese TV show host

EgyptAir black box flight recorder 'repaired'

Egypt becoming departure country for migrants to Europe

Israel revokes controversial 'Hannibal Directive'

Detained Bahraini activist hospitalised

UN chief urges Netanyahu to make tough choices

Saudi Aramco, SABIC in joint petrochemicals study

Yemen clashes, air strikes kill 37 civilians

Egypt's anti-graft tsar becomes public enemy number one

Iraqis shun return to 'cursed' Fallujah

Lebanese army raids refugee camps after bombings

UAE jails Emirati woman for spying for Hezbollah

Eight hurt in Turkey car bombing blamed on PKK

Iran hopes Saudi embassy attack trial will restore confidence

France charges Assad's uncle with graft

11 Kurdish rebels, 3 Revolutionary Guards killed in Iran

Turkey seeks to restore broken ties with Russia

Deadly bombings target Yemen troops in ex-Qaeda bastion

NGOs press EU leaders on Africa migrant plan

Jordanian intelligence officials sold weapons for Syria rebels on black market

On British-Irish border, Brexit breeds worries for future

New lawyers of Gaddafi son urge ICC to drop case

Bahrain jails 5 people on charges linked to ‘terrorism’

Erdogan apologises to Putin over downing of Russia jet

Clashes continue at Al-Aqsa compound

Turkey allows German minister visit after air base row

UN chief tells Israelis, Palestinians 'stand firm against violence'

Brexit vote unlikely to curtail Gulf appetite for London property

Egypt cancels high school final exam after online leaks

One year on, Tunisia holds minute silence for beach massacre victims

5 killed in string of suicide bombings in Lebanon

Netanyahu lauds Israel’s deal with Turkey

Dozens killed as clashes intensify in Yemen

Sarraj says only united military can defeat ISIS in Libya

Jordan court charges 21 people with 'terrorism'

Iraq forces take ISIS last positions in Fallujah

Iran conceals heated military standoff in Kurdish region

Brexit vote lays bare depth of division across Britain

Young Britons vent anger at grey Brexit vote

Russia planes pound Aleppo as Syria regime forces closes in

Car bomb kills four civilians in Libya's Benghazi

US-backed Syria fighters edge further into ISIS border hub

Tunisia flaunts seaside security to bring back tourists