Watchdog groups silence 13 shows

China’s media watchdog has clamped down on the airwaves, silencing 13 radio talk shows covering sex as part of a broadening crackdown on smut and vulgarity ahead of a key Communist confab next month.

The radio shows were of an “extreme pornographic nature” and discussed “sex lives, sexual experiences, sex organs and the efficacy of certain drugs for sex,” the State Administration of Film, Radio and Television (SARFT) said on its website.

The shows were in five central and south China’s provinces, including Hubei, Hunan, Guangdong, Guizhou and Hainan.

“The problem of the five broadcast stations is serious and those responsible will be dealt with,” the watchdog warned.

The notice said local broadcasters must draw lessons from these cases and improve their social responsibility and professional ethics, and SARFT would open a hotline for the public to report vulgar programs they discover.

President Hu Jintao is expected to cement his power base at the 17th Party Congress, which starts in mid-October, and there has been a clampdown on programming that does not fit in with the general spirit of core socialist values in the run-up to the meeting.

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