If you see somebody supporting Mubarak during the revolution you won’t expect seeing him defending Mursi. If this sounds logical for you prepare yourself for a surprise!
In February 2011 millions of millions of people were protesting against Mubarak in different parts of Egypt when Emad Adib, the Egyptian media tycoon, said in a TV interview: “I love Mubarak … He is the greatest Egyptian ruler since the end of Mohammed Ali Pasha’s era (1848)”.
After the revolution, Adib started to present a daily programme on a private new satellite channel (CBC) which is owned by a pro-Mubarak businessman. To our surprise, Adib was ready to please Mursi.
“What Mursi achieved in his first 40 days in power couldn’t have been done on 40 years”, Adib said while Mursi said admitted his failure to achieve his first 100 day plan.
These two statements about Mubarak and Musi were broadcast in “Albernameg”(which means the programme), the first and only political satire programme in Egypt. It’s presented by Bassem Yossef, the super star who appeared only two years ago!
Yossef was getting ready to migrate to the US to live and work there as a heart surgeon, but his few immature videos which he uploaded on YouTube attracted more than one million viewers in three months and he got offers from satellite channels to buy his future production. Then he decided to change his career!
Yossef launched the second season of “Albernameg” on November 23rd. It was clear that he wanted to send a clear message to his audience that working with a pro Mubarak businessman doesn’t mean that he will compromise his “freedom of satire”, so he dedicated a big part of the first episode to make fun about the pro-Mubarak presenters in CBC.
Adib was one of them, so he was upset. He announced that he will take Yossef to the court.
There were rumours that CBC stopped Yossef’s programme, but four days later we knew that he recorded the second episode and the channel management commissioned a legal expert to attend the recording process and to advise about his fierce criticism.
Yossef dedicated half of the new episode to criticise two persons; Adib and president Mursi. It was reported that the management advised to remove Adib’s part and broadcast the president’s part!
On Friday December 3rd we waited for the new episode but it has never been shown. The channel dropped it without apology but later on it said that it had to dedicate the whole night to cover protests against Mursi.
“I’m very angry. They dropped the episode without telling us”, Yossef tweeted to his audience. He later uploaded the new episode on Youtube and it’s really hilarious!
When you tune to any Egyptian TV channel – even the state TV- you can find people criticising Mursi, and this can explain why CBC didn’t worry about Yossef’s criticism to the president.
However, it seems that did worry about the consequences of criticising Adib. He has a media empire and he can be one of the channel shareholders or at least funders, so they can’t afford the price of upsetting him.
In post-revolution Egypt a presenter can be more influential than the president! A presenter can be called “Mr. Presidenter”!