CAIRO -- The U.S. Embassy shut down its provocative Twitter account for more than two hours yesterday, one day after posting a clip from Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" in which host Jon Stewart bashed the government of Mohammed Morsi for arresting a popular Egyptian satirist who's often compared to Stewart.
But the closing of the USEmbassyCairo account was temporary. Officials in Washington expressed concern that shutting down the Twitter feed would be seen as buckling to complaints from Morsi supporters about U.S. interference. By midevening, the embassy had reopened the account, but without the link to "The Daily Show." Morsi supporters complained that posting the link inappropriately interfered with Egyptian affairs.
Stewart's segment was prompted by the arrest Saturday of satirist Bassem Youssef on charges that he had insulted the president and Islam through his widely popular program modeled after "The Daily Show." Among Youssef's offenses was mocking Morsi for wearing an unusual hat during a visit to Pakistan.
Youssef was released Sunday, but the charges have sparked outrage from some Egyptians who charge that the Morsi government is infringing on freedom of speech.
-- McClatchy Newspapers