Friday, September 05, 2003

It's Jocelyn Elders, all over again

What could be so offensive that it would cause newspapers to pull a Doonesbury strip? Saying something derogatory about the president? Taking an "un-patriotic" stance? No, no, of course not -- that only happens to those Black cartoonists. For Doonesbury to be pulled, it has to be something really offensive. Like using the word masturbation.
Characters in Sunday's strip discuss a recent study by Australian scientists who found that men who masturbate often in their 20s are 30 percent less likely to get prostate cancer later.

Some U.S. newspapers have chosen to run a substitute offered by Kansas City-based Universal Press Syndicate.

"We felt it was something our readers would not like, and we did not have a good reason for running it," said Diane Bacha, assistant managing editor for features and entertainment at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Bacha posted a query about the comic on an industry e-mail message board and received responses from 34 newspapers. Nineteen said they would not run the strip, 12 said they planned to and three did not know what they would do.
I believe the controversial strip is due to appear in some newspapers on September 22.

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