TODAY   |  April 06, 2013

‘Jon Stewart’ of Egypt under fire after joking about Egyptian president

A comedian and satirist who delights in poking fun at Egypt’s President Morsi was charged with “insulting the president.” NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports.

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>>> controversy this week between the u.s. and egypt involving jon stewart -- yes, the host of "the daily show " and twitter. andrea mitchell explains.

>> reporter: they call him the jon stewart of egypt , a comedian and satirist, poking fun at egypt 's president morsi. he has even done guest shots on "the daily show ." but in today's egypt you can only go so far with satire. perhaps it was the hat joke that broke the camel's back. the government arrested the comedian, charging him with insulting the president. no joke.

>> making fun of the president's hat in less than fluent english? that was my entire career for eight years! do you have any idea, that's all i did.

>> reporter: but when the u.s. embassy in cairo tweeted a link to the daily show , it's inappropriate for a diplomatic mission to engage in such propaganda, it wrote.

>> we've had some glitches with the way the twitter feed has been managed.

>> reporter: this is not the first time the u.s. embassy in cairo has stumbled when it comes to twitter diplomacy. getting the message right in 140 characters. a tweet during the protest last september. telling nbc's ayman mohyeldin he's not afraid.

>> there's always youtube. close down youtube, leave the country.

>> reporter: jon stewart 's advice to president morsi? light lighten up.

>> the world is watching. democracy is not a democracy if it only lasts until someone makes fun of your hat.

>> reporter: andrea mitchell , nbc news, washington.