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Inserted F-word in Pearls Before Swine?

Did Stephan Pastis insert the “F-word” in Tuesday’s Pearls Before Swine. Readers of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch claim that it is there, the copy editor is said to be embarrassed. It made the local newscast.

I don’t have access to the print version, but the online version isn’t detailed enough to make it out – even when it’s magnified.

Hat tip: John Glynn.

UPDATE: I see Stephan has posted a response on his blog stating, “Apparently, certain readers think they see the “f” word appearing twice in this panel. Personally, I can’t see it, and I know it was not in the strip as I created it. The only thing I can think of is that the way in which certain newspapers compressed the strip resulted in the “f” word appearing.”

Community Comments

#1 Jason Nocera
August/13/2009
@ 12:18 pm

oh yeah – right about “been living”

#2 Jason Nocera
August/13/2009
@ 12:18 pm

oops..meant “right above”

#3 Trevor Kent
August/13/2009
@ 12:21 pm

Looking at the panel in question, and the area the newscast video blanked out, the word I see is “rock” in lowercase letters, not the f-word. When it’s shrunk down on the page, I think it could be mistaken, but given the fact that all other instances of that word were censored, this shouldn’t be an issue, because Stephen would have censored that one as well.

#4 Jesse Cline
August/13/2009
@ 12:22 pm

looks like “rock” to me.

#5 Alan Gardner
August/13/2009
@ 12:22 pm

I see the word “rock.”

#6 Jesse Cline
August/13/2009
@ 12:24 pm

http://stephanpastis.wordpress.com/2009/08/12/the-controversy-that-wasnt/

#7 Trevor Kent
August/13/2009
@ 12:24 pm

Whoops – Stephan. This thread will be a list of typos when were done, right Jason? :-P

#8 Rachel Keslensky - Last Res0rt
August/13/2009
@ 12:25 pm

Well, on the smaller version, it DOES look like f-word typed in all caps, but on the magnified version it actually says “rock”. In context, “@^o^# rock”.

Unfortunately, the word is obscured above and below too much to let that be visible.

#9 Corey Pandolph
August/13/2009
@ 12:31 pm

I can’t believe this is even a discussion.

#10 Mark_Tatulli
August/13/2009
@ 12:37 pm

People love to feel insulted and they love to complain. These two great passions combine perfectly when it comes to comic strips.

#11 Pat Bagley
August/13/2009
@ 12:42 pm

I think I see “Frack!”

#12 Mike Peterson
August/13/2009
@ 12:45 pm

Frack? What about Frick? What’s wrong with Frick?

I’m cancelling my subscription.

#13 Bill Kellogg
August/13/2009
@ 12:52 pm

Some people have too much ‘rocking’ time on their hands.

#14 Jason Nocera
August/13/2009
@ 12:53 pm

Who gives a rock?

#15 Henry Clausner
August/13/2009
@ 1:04 pm

People see what they want to see…example .There are two words I used to stay away from when I had my sign and printing business years ago( if ya do them in all caps it looks like something else) …Clint AND Flick …when you write those in all caps it’s very dangerous…I remember having alot of trouble when we did those words..

#16 Rick Stromoski
August/13/2009
@ 1:22 pm

I find it funny how quick Mark Tatulli is to defend Stephan Pastis. Mark is just always roaming the web looking to stir up trouble….

#17 J Read
August/13/2009
@ 2:01 pm

I find it funny how quick Rick Stromoski is to attack Mark Tatulli. Rick is just always roaming the web looking to stir up troubleâ?¦.

#18 Mike Cope
August/13/2009
@ 4:21 pm

I find it funny how quick John Read is to jump in between Rick and Mark. John is just always roaming the web looking for a good time.

#19 Garey Mckee
August/13/2009
@ 5:30 pm

Now I kind of wish the strip really DID have the F word in it.

#20 John Read
August/13/2009
@ 7:28 pm

I just can’t bear it to see anyone pick on Mark! Or Corey. They both seem like very sensitive human beings.

#21 Stacy Curtis
August/13/2009
@ 11:45 pm

Instead of “rock,” I would have typed FLICK.
See how that looks like rock, I mean ….

#22 Ted Dawson
August/14/2009
@ 8:40 am

I watched the news clip and it was disgusting. They show the strip and fuzz out the word “rock,” as if it really does have the F word. They deliver the report as if it was an iron-clad fact, and make it seem like the copy editor’s fault. The talking head has the appropriate disgusted look on her face.

Who did they get their information from? Who knows. Who did they call for verification or comment? The copy editor. They obviously made no attempt to contact Stephan or the syndicate. “Breaking news! Let’s get this on air right away!”

Shameless, irresponsible journalism. Maybe this incident will end up Stephen’s strip.

#23 Henry Clausner
August/14/2009
@ 8:56 am

YES, Ted is speaking my language-that’s the problem with the press today..it’s all opinionated and slanted,what happened to giving the real news.I’m tired of reporters who shake their heads and frown and pass judgement..I saw them smudge it out- and on the same channel last night Katie cooooric (who seems to be on the Obama payroll long with most of the press in the tank) said Americans still just don’t get it about the health insurance being rammed down our throats.. shaking her head too, and frowning…the news should be the news…if they want to give an opinion they should run a disclaimer under the reporter “the views of this reprorter are not necessarily the opinions of the public, just the slanted producers”:::walking out of the room kicking things.

#24 Jeff Pert
August/14/2009
@ 9:14 am

Henry,

I think Bill Maher has the answer to your question.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-maher/new-rule-not-everything-i_b_244050.html

#25 Jeff Darcy
August/14/2009
@ 11:20 am

When you tape that cartoon to your record player and play it backwards there’s a secret message.
And when you hold it up to mirror you can see the Virgin Mary and the message “Jesus Loves you” Swear to God

#26 Dan Bielinski
August/14/2009
@ 2:54 pm

I got a rock…

#27 Mark Buford
August/15/2009
@ 5:41 am

Anyone with enough time to scrutinize that middle panel is someone with way too much time on their hands.

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