‘Chicago Tribune’ Public Editor Discusses Pulling of a ‘Fuzzy’ Strip

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By: E&P Staff

The Chicago Tribune, after being asked by several readers why it drops some comics, wrote today about the Sept. 14 “Get Fuzzy” strip it had pulled.

In the comic , the Rob character looks in a cabinet for cereal and says, “Bucky, I just want my nut crunch.” Bucky the cat replies: “The goons will be happy to provide that.”

Tribune Public Editor Timothy J. McNulty, writing in his column Friday, quoted a reader as saying that “the only offense is a vague testicular injury joke.” The reader suggested that maybe the Tribune should remove “America’s Funniest Home Videos” from its TV listings because that kind of joke is often the theme of such shows.

“I didn’t find the comic so offensive,” said McNulty. “I suspect I wouldn’t even have thought twice about it, like most readers, until it was taken out.”

The public editor asked Geoff Brown, the Tribune’s associate managing editor for features, about the “Get Fuzzy” pulling, and Brown said: “Some people claim it’s censorship, but I call it editing. We don’t allow our own reporters to write vulgarities, double-entendres, or untruths, even in jest.” Brown added that he thought the “nut-crunch” joke was vulgar.

McNulty’s column also discussed the the issue of comics “censorship” more generally. The complete piece can be seen here.

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