TV Stations Cover Story About Profane Editorial, Hilarity Ensues

As reported in this September 28 Rocky Mountain News article, Colorado State University's student communications board is slated to meet on October 4 to determine if J. David McSwane, student editor of CSU's Rocky Mountain Collegian newspaper, should be punished for approving a September 21 editorial reading "FUCK BUSH."

Of course, mainstream newspapers won't spell out the profane word in question, even if it's at the center of the issue -- which explains why the Rocky went with "F---" in the story accessible above. That's fairly unobtrusive, though, compared to the way local TV stations have been handling the matter. Many outlets have physically cut out all the letters in "FUCK" other than the "F." But the award for most variety goes to a September 23 package on Channel 4, which featured three -- count 'em, three -- approaches to the problem. In one shot, the entire word was digitally smeared to make it unreadable. In another, a piece of black tape was pressed over the "UCK." And in a third instance, correspondent Howard Nathan held the page in such a way that two of his fingers covered the "FU." Inventive!

As for Channel 31, the station made a laudatory choice on its website -- including a link to the image seen here in a text report about the Collegian controversy. That way, surfers can decide for themselves if they can handle looking at the editorial sans scissoring, black tape or anyone giving a finger or two.

By the way, the upcoming issue of Westword will include much more about the McSwane matter. -- Michael Roberts

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts