Disappointingly, but not surprisingly (since it is never surprising when The Tennessean disappoints), our local daily Wednesday joined the ranks of timid* papers declining to run part or all of this week's Doonesbury comic strip series lampooning a Texas law requiring pre-abortion ultrasound exams. The reason, as you see here in the space on page 4D of the paper where the strip should be: "it contains graphic wording." Jeepers!
Although the paper offers a tennessean.com URL where you can see the allegedly offending strip, I recommend viewing it instead at Slate, for two reasons: First, you'll get to see it in color, and second, you'll deny The Tennessean an undeserved page hit.
So what, pray tell, is the "graphic wording" that would so offend the paper's gentle readers? Hmmm ... let's see ... "transvaginal"? Really? Or is it the phrase "end innocent unborn life"? Personally I'm offended by the phrase "Rick Perry," but that's just me.
A representative of the syndicate that distributes Doonesbury predicted last week that maybe two dozen of the roughly 1,400 papers that carry it would opt out, but it appears that a substantially larger number did pull it, with some papers keeping it in the dead-tree edition but shifting it from the comics page to the editorial page.
The Tennessean did run the Monday and Tuesday panels in print, but won't be running any of the rest this week. Since the Tuesday strip that did appear in print contained the word "slut," one can only speculate as to the fabulousness of the meeting at 1100 Broadway in which the paper's editors debated the relative offensiveness of "slut" vs. "transvaginal."
*A polite synonym for "gutless."
Update: The Thursday strip takes the parody's edginess up a notch.