Faux News - 10
China bans Hu jokes; Indian sub-editors under house arrest
By our Sino-sure correspondent
In a major development, the People's Republic of China has banned all jokes and puns involving the name of Chinese President Hu Jintao, especially in newspaper headlines. In a period where several Chinese, especially citizens of Beijing, have been learning English to prepare for the 2008 Olympics, this move is seen as protecting Hu and other high-ranking officials of the Communist Party of China from being seen as objects of scorn.
An official spokesman said: "It is very unfortunate that some anti-national forces in this country and outside are misusing the noble name of President Hu Jintao, especially its unfortunate resemblance to certain words of the English language, to produce perverse persiflage. The Chinese Government condemns such efforts to degrade the elders of the country and will not tolerate such insults to its leaders.". It has been learnt that notices have been sent to various English language media offices to refrain from printing the word "Hu" in any pun-like situations.
Sources indicate that this drastic step was taken after reports of a fresh outbreak of email forwards featuring an old joke involving President Bush, President Hu and then Secretary Rice that has been doing the rounds again. The difference is that newly English-equipped Chinese have now been able to relish such humour. When asked to comment, the US State Department brushed it off as an internal development of a sovereign state. However, it is learnt that President Bush called President Hu to discuss the late-night comic situation in the United States.
This prohibition has had ripples in India where President Hu is currently on a visit. On the request of the visiting Chinese, the Indian government has rounded up some of the most irreverent sub-editors in the capital and placed them under safe custody. A spokesman dismissed accusations of suppressing free speech terming this is as "a routine security measure". However, this website spoke to one sub-editor over a smuggled phone and learnt that the sub-editors were planning a protest march with banners such as "Hu's Headline Is It Anyway?". They are now registering their protest by playing "Who Let the Dogs Out?" at the loudest possible volume.
Our Washington Correspondent adds: Chinese lobbyists at Capitol Hill have now unveiled their new slogan for the season: "It's not about human rights; it's just that the Hu-Man's right"
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