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Satirist Bassem Youssef off the Air in Egypt

Daily Show host Jon Stewart’s favorite Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef’s show, modeled largely after Stewart’s, was not aired in its Friday night time slot last week.

CBC, the private channel carrying Youssef’s program, took the Friday night broadcast of off schedule minutes before its 10 PM airtime. A broadcaster read out a statement explaining that Youssef was in a dispute with the channel’s board over contractual and content issues.

A week ago, the show was catching heat for daring to make fun of the Egyptian army. An earlier CBC statement criticized the satirist for using “phrases and innuendoes that may lead to mocking national sentiment or symbols of the Egyptian state.”

Youssef became famous a year ago for taking potshots at former president Morsi, who was ousted in the spring. True to his role as social critic, Youssef’s new series was warning “that fascism in the name of religion will be replaced by fascism in the name of patriotism and national security.” A day after that segment had been aired, army supporters held a protest rally outside the studio in central Cairo where the show – now gone from the air – was being televised.

Youssef flew to the United Arab Emirates on Friday morning, but the official word is it had nothing to do with the ground starting to burn under his feet.

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