Stewart on Egyptian TV
Stewart on Egyptian TVScreenshot

A prominent Egyptian author sees reason to fear US satirist Jon Stewart, following a quip by Stewart during his appearance on a controversial Egyptian television show. He misrepresented Stewart's words, however.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported on a broadcast on December 5, by Egypt's Tahrir TV, which featured author Amr Ammar.

He made a connection between Stewart and Egyptian satirist Bassem Yousef, whose show has recently been suspended, and who hosted Stewart on his show in June.

Ammar mentioned a book by former US diplomat Zbigniew Brzezinski, called Between Two Ages. “Everything that is happening today reflects what is written there,” he said.

Brzezinski “said that millions of people can be mobilized by what he called a fad, using the new media, technology, conventional media, and so on, thus giving rise to an attractive and charismatic personality. All those millions of people will be influenced by that personality,” Ammar explained.

“Thirty-three years later, this fad has emerged here in Egypt, in the form of Bassem Youssef. I think he said so himself. He said that he might be just a fad that could that could disappear. He said so himself. With his magnetic personality, he attracts the Egyptian people.

He went on to say: “His spiritual father is Jon Stewart, who is a Jewish-American author, journalist, producer, and media personality. Jon Stewart's ideology is based on Brzezinski's ideas. He is implementing Brzezinski's theory on the American people and media.”

Amr went on: “If you recall, when Jon Stewart visited here in Egypt, he was a guest on Bassem Youssef's show. Note what Jon Stewart said as a joke. He said: 'I am sorry I am late. I wandered in the desert, but now I've found my homeland.' That's what he said word for word – a Jew who wandered in the desert, but, thank God, found his homeland. This man says, in the heart of Egypt and on an Egyptian media outlet, that Egypt belongs to them, that it is his homeland."

In fact, however, Stewart joked about wandering in the desert in the course of playful banter with Youssef, and never said anything about having “found his homeland.”

As can be seen at the 4:30 minute mark in the embedded video, Yousef teased Stewart about the fact that someone else was filling in for him on his show as he traveled to the Middle East. “As you know my people like to wander the desert,” said Stewart. “So that's what I'm doing now. It's been two weeks – I've got 38 years and 50 weeks left.” Stewart was referring to the 40 years in which the Israelites wandered in the Sinai desert after the Exodus from Egypt.