Uprooting the Turd Blossom


Newspapers around the country are pulling the new Doonsbury off their pages, for the children. In today's strip, the legendary political cartoon employs the nickname "Turd Blossom"—reputedly one of President Bush's monikers for Karl Rove.

Against the tide of approximately a dozen papers, the Providence Journal editors in Rhode Island prefer to censor by marking out the "profanity." Is turd even an expletive? Or blossom, for that matter? In any case, a search on Wikipedia redirects one not to a definition of the term but to the "Boy Genius". Jesse Walker saw this blandification, if not bowdlerization, coming for a cartoon he says has "lost its cultural cachet."