NEW YORK – Al Jazeera's (search) ubiquitous presence at news events in Iraq has some wondering whether the Arabic satellite news network is a willing or even enthusiastic partner in the anti-American campaign being waged by Iraqi insurgents.
Said to be the most watched Arabic network, available in 53 million homes around the world, Al Jazeera promotes itself as independent and professional, with journalistic integrity.
It often has the first video of hostages, including the Italian security guard who was killed on camera last week. The network also regularly airs footage of roadside bombs going off and other attacks on coalition forces, leading some to wonder if their crews are being tipped off in advance.
Last week, when Al Jazeera reported that hundreds of thousands of civilians had been killed by U.S. forces in Fallujah (search), Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (search) called it "vicious, inaccurate, outrageous and inexcusable."
And the U.S.-led coalition says it has documented 34 instances last week alone of Al Jazeera hyping, misreporting or distorting events in Iraq.
Media experts say the coalition's criticism is valid and critics say the network may be fanning the flames of hatred against the United States.
But representatives from Al Jazeera say the network abides by the rules, acting as professionally as possible in an Arab world not always accustomed to freedom of expression.
Al Jazeera said it would be censorship not to run videos of Westerners being killed and deny it is in bed with the insurgents.
Click here for a complete report by Fox News' Rick Leventhal.