"Egypt's Jon Stewart" Is Arrested
Appearing to raise questions about whether one authoritarian leader in Egypt had been replaced by another, TV satirist Bassem Youssef has been charged with insulting President Mohamed Morsi, denigrating Islam and disturbing the public peace. He posted the equivalent of $2,200 bail and was released. While he waited to be questioned, Youssef posted a series of humorous tweets, including, The officers and the lawyers of the public prosecutors office want to take pictures with me. Maybe this is why they ordered my arrest? Later: They asked me the color of my eyes. Really. Britain's Guardian newspaper observed today (Tuesday) that Youssef's show, al-Bernameg, regularly draws 30 million viewers across the Middle East. The newspaper noted that the arrest raises the possibility of wider censorship of the Egyptian media. Youssef is frequently compared with America's Jon Stewart, and Stewart himself came to his defense. Addressing the Egyptian president directly, Stewart remarked at one point during Monday night's The Daily Show: What are you worried about? You're the president of Egypt. You have an army; he has puns and a show. ... Look, silencing a comedian doesn't qualify you to be president of Egypt, just president of NBC.