China crackdown on media as Congress investigates Yahoo

Every five years China's Communist Party Congress takes place and in celebration the government engages in repression of dissent and dangerous thinking. Wednesday, China crackdown on “false news reports, unauthorized publications and bogus journalists,” the New York Times reports.

Every five years China's Communist Party Congress takes place and in celebration the government engages in repression of dissent and dangerous thinking. Wednesday, China crackdown on “false news reports, unauthorized publications and bogus journalists,” the New York Times reports.

A journalist was given a one-year prison sentence and a $130 fine on Sunday for allegedly fabricating a story about Beijing dumpling makers that were said to use cardboard as filler.

Official media and government agencies warned:

"Those who intentionally fabricated news that caused public anxiety and tarnished the nation’s image would be harshly dealt with or even prosecuted if they broke the law. Their news organizations would also be penalized.”

As troubling as the news is for journalists, the Times notes that China's freewheeling media have created real abuses.

Chinese journalists have reportedly demanded bribes from companies to refrain from reporting damaging news about them, and have sometimes invented stories. The new government effort today calls for an end to such activities, according to the government’s official web site and The People’s Daily newspaper.

Meanwhile, Congress is looking into Yahoo's cooperation with China and possible perjury in testifying to Congress.

Michael Callahan, a senior vice president of Yahoo, testified to a Congressional panel last year that when the company was asked by the police for the identity of Shi Tao, who used a Yahoo email account to send a Chinese government document to the U.S., “we had no information about the nature of the investigation.”

The Dui Hua Foundation, a San Francisco human rights group specializing in China, released on July 25 a copy of a document that Dui Hua and others have identified as the Beijing State Security Bureau’s original request to Yahoo. The police request said that the case involved, “illegally providing state secrets to foreign entities.”

Representative Tom Lantos (D-CA) said he was opening an investigation into whether Yahoo had misled Congress.