Thursday, April 4, 2013

'Daily Currant' Writes that Egypt Issues a Warrant for Jon Stewart, Internet Doesn't Realize It's A Joke

Posted By on Thu, Apr 4, 2013 at 4:00 PM

As so often happens in Internet-land, people have forgotten that not everything that people post is real — and this time, the hubbub has been about the Daily Show's Jon Stewart, supposedly in trouble with Egyptian leadership for making fun of them, according to the Daily Currant:

According to a statement issued by Minister of Justice Ahmed Mekki, Stewart will also be charged with "contributing to the delinquency of an Egyptian" for his role in inspiring Youssef to challenge the Islamist regime.

Mekki claims that since clips form The Daily Show are rebroadcast in Egypt on CNN's international channel, Stewart is open to prosecution under Egyptian law.

This, of course, is obscenely absurd, and only the highly outraged don't have alarm bells starting to ping in the backs of their heads over this. Then you get to this part:

"Mr. Stewart has 30 days to surrender to Egyptian authorities in Cairo," the statement reads. "If he does not comply he will be tried in absentia and we will seek his extradition from the American government.

"This conspiracy to defame the Egyptian government violates our laws and will be prosecuted fully. Mr. Stewart may think he's funny. But in reality he is destroying the moral fiber of Egypt with his numerous references to penises and openly flamboyant homosexuals like Larry Craig, Marcus Bachmann, and Lindsey Graham."

Then it registers, and hopefully you forget about it. Hopefully.

Unlike these folks.

And so on, and so forth.

I don't blame people for getting caught up in it — the Daily Currant isn't bad at newswriting — they're just bad at making things funny.

The thing is, the article glazes right over the important grain of truth in favor of sensationalizing the fake Stewart "arrest": the harassment that Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef has received over his criticism of the Egyptian government:

The prosecutor has charged that the skits on Youssef’s late-night show went too far by “insulting” Islam and mocking Morsi. But Youssef is outspoken in his adherence to his Muslim faith, and he is an equal-opportunity satirist. Originally trained as a cardiac surgeon, he raced to Tahrir Square in early 2011 to treat protesters badly beaten by baton-wielding thugs on camel-back. The experience turned him into a revolutionary committed to the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. It also led to a career change. “The [revolution] triggered the idea to do a show exposing the hypocrisy that was happening,” he told me last year. “So I became a comedian overnight.”

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