The show al-Bernameg of Egypt’s top satirist Bassem Youssef was pulled off the air by the private channel that hosts it, the CBC, minutes before it would have been aired on Friday 1 November
. The CBC anchor who made the announcement said the decision was taken owing to editorial and commercial differences with Youssef. The previous episode, which had scathingly mocked the pro-military fervour in Egypt, had caused severe discontent on the Egyptian street and, according to CBC, violated the channel’s editorial policy.
International news sites reported the event as linked to Youssef’s criticism of the military, and warned that it was likely to raise questions about the commitment of the Egyptian authorities to freedom.
On social networking sites, the initial reaction was in the major part against the restriction of freedom but was fully reversed as it turned out the military had no hand in the decision by CBC to halt the show. According to members of the staff that filmed it, the episode taken off air was in the main part a sharp criticism of a CBC announcement the week before criticising Youssef’s stance.
Last Wednesday, 30 October, saw an angry demonstration in front of the Downtown Cairo theatre at which Youssef films his show, to protest against what the protestors termed his offensive first episode.
2 November 2013