Robot 6

Washington Post pulls Sunday’s ‘Pearls Before Swine’

pearls-before-swine-cropped

Washington Post readers looking forward to a new installment of Stephan Pastis’ Pearls Before Swine in Sunday’s newspaper instead found a rerun after editors pulled the latest strip over objections to the use of the word “midget.”

In the strip, which did appear on the Post’s website, Goat and Rat are discussing how the acceptability of some terms changes over time, with “flight attendant” replacing “stewardess,” “housekeeper” succeeding “maid” and, yes, “little person” becoming preferable to “midget.” It’s a setup for the duo’s meeting with Willy the Word Decider, who’s tasked with determining which terms are acceptable.

But as the newspaper’s comics producer Donna Peremes told Comic Riffs, “‘Midget’ just carried a lot more of a charge — seemed more of a slur — than ‘stewardess’ or ‘secretary,’” so the strip was spiked. She explained in the comments section that the comic ran online because “we edit the print comics much more rigorously, for a variety of reasons, including the proximity of KidsPost.”

Peremes’ replies to readers in the comments are candid and refreshing — “[T]the funnies would look a lot different if I could pick and choose what I thought was best” — in an industry where most editors would rather publish ancient reruns or hold contests to allow readers to select which strips should remain rather than risk making a comics-page decision that might trigger angry phone calls and letters to the editor.

Still, the irony of the editors’ decision wasn’t lost on Pastis, who said he hadn’t heard of any other newspapers objecting to the strip.

“The oddity is that the strip is about these word decisions and how they’re enforced like gospel,” he told Comic Riffs. “And here, they got enforced on the strip that was trying to have that very discussion.”

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16 Comments

Liberals are pathetic people. So very fragile

It says something that they edit the print version MORE rigorously than the internet version. I wonder how many people and what age group actually reads print newspapers rather than getting news and information off the internet.

Liberals? Please, whiny old conservatives are far more likely to write letters to the editors about what they see in newspapers, given the number of times I’ve seen writers/artists discuss this. Who do you think still reads print papers? Old people. What do they complain about? Anything new, or different. That smells like conservatives.
Still, stupid (smartless…) of the editor, unless they were trying to create controversy.

Mike and Quinn, you’re both right, but the difference is, conservatives skew toward censoring others to protect themselves (i.e. their religious rights, etc.), while liberals skew toward censoring others to protect other people (i.e. minorities, etc.).

Andrew Collins

April 1, 2014 at 5:14 pm

Well, I’m a liberal and I think this is stupid so let’s stop the political generalizing and all agree this makes the Post look over reactive.

Everybody’s offended by everything. And the difference is liberals actually get what they want b/c they’re way more overbearing and clearly state their intention to silence anyone who doesn’t meet their approval in any way – including making sure their opponents all lose whatever job they have for whatever campaign donations or stated opinions they disagree with. At some point conservatives will have to start making life as exhausting for them as they want to make anyone who dares have a differing opinion.

Liberals get what they want? What fantasy land do YOU live in? In the real world, the US is overrun with conservatives who think anything not conservative needs to be gotten rid of, and consider it “bias” to NOT skew things towards them. Jesus. Conservatives already make people’s lives exhausting. Annoying as hell. Especially by whining about how liberals are making things bad for them by complaining about what they call vulnerable people. Conservatives are proof there is a multiverse, they sure as anything don’t live in THIS world.

Jason M. Bryant

April 1, 2014 at 7:14 pm

Can’t we all just agree that this particular editor did something smartless, regardless of political orientation? Sometimes people aren’t doing something for conservative or liberal reasons, they’re just dumbasses.

Also, I love that the Word Decider is named Willy. Please tell me a later strip includes someone telling him that his name is no longer acceptable.

“What fantasy land do YOU live in?”

The one where conservatives and Christians etc. are mocked constantly but anything that questions or opposes liberal causes is grounds for social media mass protest until people are fired. Please refer to this week and the Firefox CEO.

The one where corporations like google will not stop talking about their liberal agendas, and put it everywhere to make it clear that they have no problem mixing business and politics, but liberals complain that conservatives are the ones married to big business.

The one where you have as many politicians championing liberal causes as you can, including finally getting the “healthcare” thing you want and still insist that nothing goes your way.

The one where media companies and news organizations only address whatever issues liberals have decided are way more important than any others. For example gay marriage is apparently more important than anything that’s ever been discussed for any reason.

That’s where I live, you’ve never been to America I take it?

Steve,
That IS a fantasyland, because it outright ignores the world in which conservatives get what they want most of the time, and then whine they didn’t get it all. As if they’re the only people whose choices should count.
You lost an election in 2008, and then in 2012, and you STILL can’t accept that that means you don’t get everything you want.
And, in your world, do the Dixie Chicks, Linda Ronstadt and Bill Maher mean anything? How about Blue laws? Over a century of censorship in the name of “morality”? Or does it all only count when YOU don’t like it?
For the most part, conservatives built a system where people decided who could say, print and do what, and can’t seem to be able to stand it when other people do it to them.
And, of course, “America” is only what YOU think it is, I guess.

Jason,
Yes, I don’t know why I let right-wingers get to me. It’s pointless, most of them a simply delusional. So, yes, I agree with you. I only responded because I thought the guy whining about liberals was a jackass, but the editor is a bigger one.

Remember when the word ‘Democrat’ became ‘Liberal’? Or when ‘Republican’ became ‘Conservative’? lmao

“Yes, I don’t know why I let right-wingers get to me. It’s pointless, most of them a simply delusional. So, yes, I agree with you. I only responded because I thought the guy whining about liberals was a jackass, but the editor is a bigger one.”

Mike,

You’ll notice that, as liberals are wont to do, you resort to constant individual name-calling because there is no actual justification for the general behavior of liberals.

The huge part to keep in mind is that liberals use the term “liberal” to be open-minded before then deciding that only those with a tiny standard of deviation from them at most will be allowed to actually express themselves. In other words their procedures are expressly contrary to their imagined principles. Then of course you surround yourself with other liberals who tell you constantly how smart and clever you all are, when reality suggests anything but. Lol @ the Dixie Chicks. They were singing to a CONSERVATIVE AUDIENCE b/c they were a country band. And the whole country wanted Maher gone.

But yeah, this is the same site will regularly mock mothers or Christian groups for banding together to oppose anything, but if all of the comic universe wrongly goes off its meds b/c they think Apple store censored gay content in Saga, that’s perfectly okay. Nevermind that there was no actual information. You folks are just so much more advanced than conservatives it’s hard to keep up with all your marketing gimmicks. Like one day we’ll figure out why the liberals that run comics still don’t seem to find a way to hire very many minorities and the Eisners look like a KKK rally every year. I could have sworn liberals were non-racist and open-minded.

Shut up all of you.

Uh. It seems that reality is a state of mind for some people.

There’s nothing more impressive than a group of clearly privileged people derailing the conversation by claiming something isn’t offensive. Just because *you* don’t personally find it offensive doesn’t mean others do. FFS, you assholes don’t speak for everybody even though you seem to think so.

Seth Hollander

April 2, 2014 at 11:21 am

Come on guys! With all your big talk about Liberal and Conservative, you’re forgetting what this is really all about:
the little people!

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