Egyptians pillory the controversial media mogul Tawfuk Okasha.
"Comedy is tragedy plus time," according to a famous quotation attributed to the actor Carol Burnett, who must never have been to Egypt in a crisis.
The famed Egyptian humor, with its release-valve penchant for becoming funnier as times get tougher, has found its latest target in Tawfik Okasha, the hyper-nationalist, conspiracy-spouting owner of the Al Fara'een satellite channel, a man sometimes called "Egypt's Glenn Beck." Like Beck, Okasha claims to speak for the "silent majority," regularly warns of threats external and internal, sleeper cells and global conspiracies. Also like Beck, he is a fierce advocate of the old Mubarak order, of which he is a former member, having served in the rubber-stamp Parliament in Mubarak's National Democratic Party.
Okasha is also, apparently, a bit of a loon. He was allegedly the source of a recent (and apocryphal) rumor that the democratically elected Parliament was considering a "necrophilia law" that would allow husbands one last encounter within the first six hour's after a wife's death. He has labeled the Google exec and revolutionary icon Wael Ghoneim as, variously, an American agent, Palestinian-Lebanese, Iranian, Communist, Zionist, and especially Masonic. Freemasons, beyond even Zionists, are a special target for Okasha -- I haven't been able to figure out why -- purportedly bent on Egypt's destruction. During one particularly heated broadcast, in which Okasha warned of an impending date when Freemason power would reach its zenith, a frantic studio assistant interjected to point out that there was no such day as 13/13/2013.