And the TV network Al-Jazeera has been facing a very different kind of controversy in Egypt. Accusations that the network is toward the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted President Mohamed Morsi have led to arrests, threats and resignations. NPR's Kelly McEvers reports from Cairo about a network at a crossroads.

KELLY MCEVERS, BYLINE: On the last day of June and the first days of July, as millions of Egyptians took to the streets to call for Morsi's downfall, Al-Jazeera was there.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Foreign language spoken)

MCEVERS: The network's Live Egypt channel went to a split screen. The pro-Morsi areas of Cairo were almost always shown as full. The anti-Morsi areas were shown as empty. But it was later revealed the anti-Morsi areas were only shown at the times of day that they were empty, when in reality they were usually packed. Then came the killing of more than 50 pro-Morsi demonstrators by the Egyptian security forces. Some Al-Jazeera reports said the number was in the hundreds. The military later held a press conference on the killings.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: (Foreign language spoken)

MCEVERS: An Al-Jazeera correspondent was booed out of the room by other reporters.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: (Foreign language spoken)


MCEVERS: For Haggag Salama, the misreporting of the number of slain demonstrators was the last straw. He'd freelanced for Al-Jazeera for 10 years. He called another local TV station and announced his resignation on air.

HAGGAG SALAMA: (Foreign language spoken)

MCEVERS: They exaggerated the numbers, Salama says. They had no sources. They exaggerated the report to favor the Muslim Brotherhood. In the following days, reports surfaced that some 20 more Al-Jazeera employees quit, although at least one might have been fake and others now say they'll probably go back. Media watchers here say it's important to stress the difference between Al-Jazeera Live Egypt and Al-Jazeera Arabic and Al-Jazeera English, the channel most well-known in the U.S. Al-Jazeera English correspondents maintain their coverage is unbiased. They also say part of what's happening in Egypt is a witch hunt by some Egyptians who are now rabidly anti-Morsi and anti-Muslim Brotherhood. Other Islamist channels have been closed down since Morsi's ouster. Posters around town show Al-Jazeera's logo in red with a bloody hand scratching at it. A bullet can kill a man, the poster says, but a lying camera can kill a nation. Either way, the Al-Jazeera name has taken a hit, says Marwan Kraidy, who studies Arab media at the University of Pennsylvania. He says it's time for the network to do some soul-searching.

MARWAN KRAIDY: There might be some room for changing. And I do hope that that does happen. Because otherwise you're running what is truly an internationally unique institution that had its moment of brilliance into the ground.

MCEVERS: Al-Jazeera's loss of credibility also reflects a loss of credibility for its main backer, Qatar.


UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: (Singing in foreign language)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Talk-show host Bassem Yousef, the Jon Stewart of Egypt, recently mocked Qatar's backing of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood with songs and flags and costumes. Kraidy says now that Morsi has been deposed, Qatar has lost more than face.

KRAIDY: In addition to several billion dollars that they had invested in Mr. Morsi and his government in aid, they really lost a lot of influence in what remains a very, very major country.

MCEVERS: The test now, Kraidy says, is if the new ruler of Qatar, who took power just last month, will see this turning point for what it is and oversee the reform of Al-Jazeera, his country's best-known brand name. Kelly McEvers, NPR News, Cairo.

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