Bassem Youssef, the satirist who is most commonly known to Americans as "Egypt's Jon Stewart," has had his talk show canceled. At a press conference earlier today, Youssef said the Saudi network airing his show bowed to pressure to ax it, although he didn't specify from who.
Youssef started ElBernameg (Arabic for "The Program") in 2011 after Egypt's former leader Hosni Mubarak was replaced by Islamist president Mohammed Morsi. Since the military's ouster of Morsi last year, the country's new leader, former military chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, isn't a fan of political satire or negative views about his administration.
"I'm not a revolutionary and I'm not a warrior. I was expressing my views once a week. The present climate in Egypt is not suitable for a political satire program," Youssef said. "I'm tired of struggling and worrying about my safety and that of my family."
After 50 years in broadcasting, revered journalist Barbara Walters signs off from her ABC talk show The View today. The chat show, which revolutionized the daytime television landscape, threw a party in her honor with a guest list that only Walters could corral.
More than two dozen female journalists, ranging from Oprah Winfrey to Katie Couric and Robin Roberts, will appear on today's episode. Roberts tweeted an amazing picture of the women celebrating and it makes us envious that we weren't invited. -- Jordan Valinsky
— Robin Roberts (@RobinRoberts) May 15, 2014
The New York Times announced today that Executive Editor Jill Abramson is leaving the newspaper after nearly three years in the position. Managing Editor Dean Baquet will replace her as the top editor at the paper.
Times employees were alerted of the news this afternoon, with one staffer describing the newsroom as being "stunned." Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. said her removal wasn't related to the quality of the newspaper's journalism, instead attributing it to "an issue with management in the newsroom." She joined the Times in 1997 from its rival The Wall Street Journal, before becoming the paper's first female executive editor in September 2011. Jordan Valinsky
It looks like Pippa Middleton needs to update her LinkedIn profile. The younger sister of the Duchess of Cambridge has been fired as a newspaper columnist with the Daily Telegraph after just six months. The 30-year-old wrote a lifestyle column called "Court and Social" in which she discussed things like Christmas decorations, spinning classes, and cooking pasta.
It never gained traction with readers, who blasted the column as "silly and boring."
A source told the Express that Middleton's terrible writing was the reason for her axing. "There were also a few issues with deciding what topics Pippa should and shouldn't write about," the source said. The Telegraph confirmed her firing rather eloquently: "The column was great. Pippa Middleton is a professional freelance writer and has gone on to do other things for other publications," a spokeswoman said. Jordan Valinsky
Embattled Toronto mayor Rob Ford was heading to a drug rehabilitation center in Chicago last week, but was turned back before he could enter the U.S. A spokesman with the Canadian consulate told the Globe and Mail that Ford "voluntarily withdrew his application" to enter the country. He was "not denied entry, per se," he added.
Ford announced last week that he was taking a leave of absence to deal with a drinking problem, although the news came a few days after a new video of him allegedly smoking crack cocaine surfaced. Seeking treatment at an Illinois facility was part of his turnaround plan. Details about where Ford has gone now that he's been denied entry to America are scarce.
"The bottom line is he's in rehab, he's getting rehab and he'll be there for a number of weeks — and that's the answer," said Ford's lawyer, Dennis Morris. "It's not like he's at a baseball game in Los Angeles or something." Jordan Valinsky
Air Canada is firing two baggage handlers after a video posted on YouTube showed the men casually tossing passengers' luggage off a flight of stairs at Toronto's Pearson International Airport. Dwayne Stewart, a passenger on the Vancouver-bound flight, shot the footage Thursday while waiting for his flight to depart.
Instead of walking down the jetway's staircase, the employees flung carry-on-sized bags 20 feet below to a bin on the tarmac. The video quickly racked up more than one million views, and the online outrage prompted an investigation by Air Canada.
"The employees involved have been advised that their employment will be terminated pending the outcome of our investigation," said spokeswoman Angela Mah Sunday night to the Toronto Star. The airline did further damage control on Twitter, telling people they are "extremely disappointed" by the employees' actions. --Jordan Valinsky
The Canadian flight simulation instructor featured prominently in CNN's blanket coverage of missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been fired. The instructor's employer, uFly, said that Mitchell Casado's outfits of frumpy plaid shirts and drab jeans "shamed Canadians," and added that he was regularly tardy to work.
CNN has regularly aired coverage featuring Casado and reporter Martin Savidge since the jetliner went missing more than a month ago. The pair have been holed in the fake cockpit at the company's Toronto office to show viewers what the inside of a Boeing 777 looks like. Casado's constant appearances made him a minor celebrity on the internet, but his 15 minutes of fame ran out Wednesday, when he didn't show up to work when customers had the simulator booked, reports CBC News.
"This is not the first time. He's been warned before," explained uFly owner Claudio Teixeira. He lashed out at Casado's outfits saying "he was dressing like he was 15 years old."
Teixeira said he fired Mitchell Casado on Wednesday in part for refusing to dress professionally and for making Canadians "look very bad all over the world." He added, "People were complaining that it wasn't professional at all... If you go to any plane you don't see them in shorts and sandals."
Casado declined comment to the AP. --Jordan Valinsky
— John Colucci (@johncolucci) April 16, 2014
ABC News announced that May 16 will be Barbara Walters' last day on The View. The storied journalist, who initially announced her retirement plans more than a year ago, will also be the focus of a two-hour primetime special about her 50-year career that will air that evening.
Walters joined ABC in 1976 and became the first female anchor of an evening news program. She has hosted 20/20, and was instrumental in the creation of the daytime talk show The View in 1997. ABC News plans to rename its New York headquarters after the 84-year-old journalist sometime this spring.