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Bassem Youssef in talks with Germany's DW channel

Deutsche-Welle announces it is in talks with Bassem Youssef to host his controversial and popular TV show, Al-Bernameg, on its Arabic channel

Ahram Online , Sunday 24 Nov 2013
Bassem Youssef
Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef (Photo: Bassem Youssef official Facebook page)
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In a very short tweet, German TV channel Deutsche-Welle (DW) announced that it was holding talks Sunday afternoon with Egyptian TV host and satirist Bassem Youssef to host his TV show on its Arabic language channel.

"DW-cooperation-talks with Egyptian TV-Star @BassemYoussef. But Egyptian reports concerning $300,000 per broadcast is way off base" said the German channel on its official Twitter account (@DeutscheWelle), addressing rumours about the possible cost of hosting the popular show on DW.

This is considered the first official announcement from a TV channel regarding talks with the popular satirist whose successful TV show Al-Bernameg (The Programme) was suspended by the Egypt-based independent satellite channel CBC after just one episode of its third season. News reports spoke earlier of talks between Youssef and Saudi-owned MBC Misr TV channel, but neither party confirmed the reports.  

Bassem Youssef's third season premiere episode on CBC, which came after an almost three-month hiatus, stirred controversy when the popular satirist poked fun at supporters of army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, whose popularity soared following the ouster of Mohamed Morsi 3 July.

The weekly show was suspended 1 November, minutes before the second episode was due to air on CBC. The channel claimed that Youssef and his producer had "violated what had been agreed upon" with the channel, as well as CBC's "editorial policies."

Following the incident, Al-Bernameg staff immediately issued a statement denying that they had violated their contract. The statement added that Youssef had not been notified of the ban in advance, learning his show was suspended at the same time as its viewers.

Last week Al-Bernameg's production company, QSoft, announced that it terminated the TV show's contract with CBC, declaring that it would take legal action against the channel, seeking compensation for "intellectual and financial harm" following the show's suspension without warning after one episode.

Meanwhile, the general prosecution in Egypt has begun investigating nearly 30 complaints against Youssef, accusing him of insulting the Egyptian Armed Forces and General El-Sisi on his show.

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Amani Hamza
26-11-2013 12:06pm
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What I think of r. Bas
Egyptians are famous for their wit and love for laughter and of making jokes, even about themselves. Dr. Bassem is showing all the drawbacks in the egyptian society in all aspects through his satirical Program " El Bernameg ". He just does like a charicature artist, who would exaggerate drawing a facial feature to a certain person, not with the intention of reduculing the person, but a way of expression. Dr. Bassem never meant in any way to reducle anyone, let alone a loved figure like Sisi, but made fun of how people see and speack about him, which is true. It is a different sense of humor, which, even some intellectual egyptians, do not understand and appreciate. No one is spared by Dr. Bassem, even himself, from his satirical criticism. Perhaps if the sexual insinuations, were a little less, people wouldn't criticise him that much. I heard that CBC channel did not like him to criticize it, but if that is true, then they are very wrong because if they accepted him to criticize others, then they aren't exemted. Dr Bassem is a highly intellectual person, witty with a vision, comes from a good family, had the best education anyone would dream of having, he loves his country and people, polite and most of all, wishes to rise and having a better vision of whats happening to find a solution for Egypt out of its every day nightmare. A better Egypt for all egyptians. With many good thinking minds with many points of view. Nobody can impose ideas on others, but free thinking and freedom of speech, are essential for a country to flourish and grow.through satire, makes it easier to bare the hard truth.
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Aziz Hamdy
25-11-2013 11:42pm
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They will shut DW
Then DW will be shut! no freedom of speech in Egypt or the middle east! Bassem won't be able to smoothly broadcast.
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Samantha Criscione
25-11-2013 11:19am
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Another example of German interference in Egyptian affairs
Youssef's contract was canceled by a private Egyptian TV station, but as we know he was attacking the government -- he has an April 6-type line. Deutsche Welle (DW) is the official media network of the German government. For DW -- that is, the German government -- to put him on its Arabic channel (not to mention, at very high pay) constitutes interference in Egyptian affairs by promoting a particular faction (the we-are-against-the-army-the-remnants-and-the brotherhood faction). So much for the German government's claim that it has no desire to interfere in Egyptian affairs. Colonialism is not dead; it's just trying to hide. --Samantha Criscione
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Samantha Criscione
25-11-2013 01:59pm
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In reply to the comment "What about freedom of speech"
Deutsche Welle is not merely owned by the German government, it is a German government propaganda network -- tightly controlled by the German foreign ministry. It promulgates German policy, not freedom of speech. The German foreign ministry has been harshly attacking the Egyptian government since the June 30 revolution. As for freedom of speech, Youssef was not silenced by the Egyptian government. And notice: this article supporting him appears in a GOVERNMENT OWNED website, Ahram! -- Samantha Criscione
Anony
25-11-2013 12:31pm
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What about freedom of speech?
What if the channel is just trying to give a freedom of speech and not intending to make any political action? Because this would harm the relationship with Egypt and Germany in general is not trying to harm any relationships, they are not brave enough due to the history....But some kind of Freedom of Speech would not be bad for Egypt since now again (as before) everybody saying something against the army is being prosecuted...well this is also not the right way, don´t you think?
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Farhan
25-11-2013 11:02am
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There is no freedom in Egypt,
Bassem had to use foreign channels for telecasting his program, until this fascist military regime is there in Egypt there is not going to be any freedom for normal people, its only elite who are going to rule.
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Allen
25-11-2013 04:21pm
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Normal people?
The Muslim brotherhood is not normal people.

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