FROM Sara Taksler
Bassem Youssef and Sara Taksler on 'Tickling Giants' In June 2012, Egypt was in transition. Following the protests of the Arab Spring, ousted leader Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison, and Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi became the new president. That month, Jon Stewart invited Bassem Youssef to appear on The Daily Show, where he introduced him as, "a heart surgeon who also hosts a satirical news program in Egypt." The tale of how Bassem Youssef went from performing heart surgery to performing comedy, first on YouTube, and then on live television, is told in the new documentary Tickling Giants . Youssef joins us on the show today along with Sara Taksler -- the director of the film and a producer on The Daily Show -- which is where she and Youssef first met. Following his Daily Show appearance, Youssef launched a live show in Egypt with a very similar look, and it began to draw a much bigger audience than the American original. The Arab Spring made comedy a possibility, but satire in Egypt still was not without risks. A warrant was issued for Youssef's arrest for allegedly mocking President Morsi and making fun of Islam. Those charges eventually were dropped, but the risks of mocking the government only escalated, especially once Morsi was ousted as president. Eventually he was replaced by the military-backed Abdel Fattah El-Sisi -- a man the New York Times editorial board recently called "an enemy of human rights." Under Sisi, Youssef's show was cancelled – twice -- and eventually he was forced to flee the country. Youssef and Taksler tell us about those perils of producing satire in Egypt, why they were accused of being spies for the CIA, and what Youssef's life in America is like now. The film Tickling Giants is available on Netflix international and is playing at colleges and festivals around the US.
Accusations of lying fly between James Comey and White House During his testimony Thursday, former FBI Director James Comey accused President Trump and other White House officials of lying when they said the FBI was in disarray and its staff had lost confidence in him. President Trump’s lawyer said Comey was wrong -- that the president never asked for his loyalty, and never asked him to back off the investigation into former NSA director Michael Flynn.
Shaking up the USDA, 'The Beef Cookbook' and 'Tartine All Day' Peggy Lowe explains why Trump’s pick for USDA Secretary is rattling rural America. Dario Cecchini talks future plans for Chianti ramen, and Richard Turner shares cuts from “PRIME: The Beef Cookbook.” Writer Matthew Sedacca looks at the controversy behind liquid smoke. Jonathan Gold tries Chengdu-style dishes, and Elisabeth Prueitt of Tartine fills us in on the latest. Plus, chef Michael Beckman shares a recipe for cactus confit.
Securing Public Spaces, Super Wealthy Asians Vehicles are increasingly being used as weapons, as seen in the London Bridge attack over the weekend and in New York’s Times Square last month. The Compton-based company Calpipe is designing security bollards to help make public spaces safer. And novelist Kevin Kwan satirizes the “crazy rich” Asian jet set and their luxurious tastes in his latest book, “Rich People Problems.”
Industry insights and lessons learned from memorable guests We have interesting guests on The Business, and sometimes our conversations are too long to fit into one show. This week we give you stories that were too good to leave on the cutting room floor, including some sharp insights on making it in the industry from David Mandel, David Simon, Shawn Levy and Matt Reeves.