Not a Happy Camper

Foreign media titans aren't the only programmers that have creative differences with China's television regulators. Consider the fate of Hunan Media Group, once China's funkiest broadcaster. In the 1990s this studio in central Hunan province took advantage of a rule allowing provincial broadcasters to deliver one channel nationally across cable networks. Not content to just retransmit the local crop report, Hunan came up with a slate of all-new programs geared to popular (read: low-brow) tastes. Its leading show, Happy Camper, let celebrities and ordinary folk embarrass themselves by, for instance, dangling from 20-meter cords while tossing basketballs at a hoop. Hunan...

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