The plight of Bassem Youssef, the Egyptian TV host known as “The Jon Stewart of the Arab World”, has become something of a political hot potato between the U.S. and Egypt. Youssef was called in for questioning over the weekend on accusations that he had insulted President Mohamed Morsi and the Islamic faith, leading U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland to comment that the warrant for Youssef’s arrest was “evidence of a disturbing trend of growing restrictions on the freedom of expression.” Egypt’s Freedom and Justice Party has condemned her “imprudent” remarks, which it says “constitute a hasty, blatant interference in Egypt’s internal affairs.” Three lawsuits have been brought against Youssef for content of his Daily Show-like satirical news magazine The Program, and a further accusation of disturbing the public order was brought on Monday. The Program is watched by about 30M Middle East viewers on satellite channel CBC, which has also been warned that because of the show, it may be in violation of the terms of its license. Youssef told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that he and Stewart had been corresponding since the weekend’s events — Stewart defended his friend on The Daily Show on Monday night.
TV Host Known As ‘Jon Stewart Of The Arab World’ Arrested Over Alleged Insults To Egyptian President
Bassem Youssef appeared on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart last June and was at SXSW last month to discuss the evolving roles of comedy, satire and entertainment in the Middle East. Over the weekend, the man known as “The Jon Stewart of the Arab World” was summoned for questioning by Egypt’s public prosecutor after an arrest warrant was issued on accusations of insulting Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and the Islamic faith. Youssef appeared in court Sunday where he posted $2,200 bail on three lawsuits filed against him, according to CNN. He wrote on Twitter that there was a fourth pending, but that no date had been given for an investigation. Youssef has been sued before, but this is the first time the prosecutor has followed up with legal action. He joked with Stewart last June about receiving death threats over his show.
A former heart surgeon who is also a practicing Muslim, Youssef rose to popularity with satirical videos he posted on YouTube during the Arab Spring. He segued to satellite TV where his Daily Show-like news mag, The Program, is watched by a reported 30M viewers across the Middle East. Per the BBC, sketches in which Youssef put Morsi’s image on a pillow and separately portrayed him as a pharaoh dubbed “Super Morsi,” so angered one Islamist lawyer that it resulted in a formal complaint leading to the warrant this weekend.
Karl Rove’s Election Night dispute with Fox News’ statisticians after they projected that Ohio would go for President Obama was tailor-made for Jon Stewart. The Daily Show host gleefully says the reporting and disappointed commentary that followed Obama’s victory “will, unlike us, live forever.”
Comedy Central went live tonight at 8 PM with their Election Night coverage. But within minutes Obama won re-election and Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert barely had time to deliver a punch line. The Daily Show’s Democalypse 2012 started off with a plethora of journalistic cameos including ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, CBS’ Bob Schieffer, NBC’s Tom Brokaw a hologram of Edward R. Murrow and “Anderson Cooper and his golden saxophone.” Patrick Stewart did the intro voice-over. Stewart opened the show with a list of states and Senate races that have already been called. Mitt Romney, Stewart announced, has won “most of the Confederacy”. NBC called Obama’s victory at 8:12 PM but the Daily Show still continued with segments for several minutes. One segment threw Presidential politics forward to 2016 with a fake pundit panel projecting that Hilary Clinton had a 68% chance of victory over Jeb Bush. At 8:21 PM PT, Stewart finally said, “the Presidency is projected to stay in control of the Democratic Party. We are projecting Barack Obama is the President of the United States.” The studio audience went crazy. “House of Representatives, Republican. Senate, Democrats. Presidency, Barack Obama. Two years, $3 billion dollars and we are clearly in the same fucking place we were when it started,” Stewart quickly added. The swearing was blanked out by Comedy Central. In 2008, Stewart and Colbert announced Obama’s win during that year’s live Presidential race show.
On the night before the Presidential election, the Daily Show host tore into all networks over their predictions about will win today. Accountability, or lack thereof, was at the heart of Stewart’s complaint when it came to former Clinton adviser Dick Morris.
The “presentation was not the way it needed to be,” President Obama told Jon Stewart on The Daily Show today about his first debate performance against Mitt Romney. Obama claimed he had an “off night” on October 3, according to White House pool reports covering the president’s interview, which is scheduled to air tonight on Comedy Central. In his sixth visit to the faux-news show and second since becoming president, Obama also talked about the bestselling erotic novel Fifty Shades Of Grey as well as national security and economic issues. There’s been a brouhaha over Obama today clinically saying, “if four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal.” However, the transcript of the exchange shows that Stewart used the word “optimal” in his question about the killing of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and three others in early September and that’s what the President was responding to. Obama’s latest turn on the show comes while he in NYC for fundraisers and the annual Al Smith Dinner, where he and Romney will speak tonight. Here’s the condensed and edited pool report of the interview:
Daily show staff said the studio holds about 220 people in the live audience, and the show is taping about 2 1/2 hours earlier than the normal 6 -6:30 p.m. taping to accommodate POTUS. Potus sat for two segments with Jon Stewart of roughly seven minutes apiece, broken up by a commercial break. … He sat across from Stewart at the interview desk with two blue mugs on it. Obama did not remove the lid from his. The president spoke on topics ranging from the choice between him and Romney to the political gridlock in Washington to Benghazi to Guantanamo.
The fallout over Mitt Romney’s presidential debate promise to cut federal funds to PBS continues with Jon Stewart turning the argument against Sesame Street on its fuzzy head. Then it’s a visit to This Week With George Snuffleupagus. Watch the video:
Girls‘ Lena Dunham was a junior in high school when The Daily Show With Jon Stewart won its first Emmy for best variety series! Tonight, Comedy Central’s fake newsmagazine won its 10th in a row in the category. Stewart felt almost embarrassed accepting the trophy. “We were told we get a free sandwich after 10,” he said onstage. “Years from now, when the Earth is just a burning husk, aliens visit, they will find a box of these and they will know just how predictable these fucking things can be.” The Daily Show crew were the only Emmy winners not to make themselves available to reporters backstage.
CNN is made up of witches and Fox News is untrustworthy because an Australian runs it. That’s what Comedy Central is skewering the cable news networks with in new ads. Coming out of two weeks of Republican and Democratic convention coverage, the network put out two new spots today promoting its The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report‘s “Indecision 2012” coverage of the presidential election. It could work out for them: Last week, Comedy Central beat out Fox News, MSNBC and CNN’s coverage of the Republican Convention in key demographics. Check out the new spots here: