Missouri’s Maneater Shocks, Offends with ‘Carpeteater’ April Fools’ Edition; Cancels Next Year’s Issue

The April Fools’ edition of The Maneater at the University of Missouri has become the latest campus press spoof to blow up in student editors’ faces.  In a letter of apology to readers, the paper’s managing editor confesses that in hindsight the content is “incredibly offensive and potentially damaging to the social climate at MU.”

Mizzou senior Katie Rudd breaks down a portion of the damage in a letter to the editor that garnered more than 200 student, alumni, and staff signatures in support (hat tip J-School Buzz): “Let’s start with the title The Carpeteater.  The name is historically derogatory toward lesbian women, and is absolutely offensive.  Frankly, I don’t know how the editorial board could consciously put out a newspaper with that title.  But the derogatory comments toward women don’t stop there.  Instead, this edition offers overtly offensive language including sections entitled ‘Campussy’ and ‘Whore ‘Um’ as well as three fake staff writer names that make reference to the word ‘cunt.’ Derogatory profanity toward women isn’t funny.  It isn’t satirical.  It certainly isn’t journalism.”

Photo by Ali Colwell, J-School Buzz

In her own letter published yesterday, Maneater ME Abby Spudich announced that the paper has already decided to cancel next year’s April Fools’ edition.  In her words: “This isn’t the first time our April Fool’s content has been upsetting for the MU community, and we’ve decided that it’s not worth offending members of our community for an attempt at a few laughs. . . . This was a huge learning experience for me, and I think for many of our editors. Even though I regret what happened, this is a learning paper. I learned I cannot assume what others might find to be offensive based solely on my own background, as my own personal background isn’t good enough, and ignorance is not an excuse when using offensive language.”

Related

Rochester Student Magazine Changes ‘F-ck Cats’ Cover of April Fools’ Issue at Request of School Officials

Boston’s Daily Free Press Publishes April Fools’ Day Stories on Cinderella Prostitution, Dwarf Gang Rape

April Fools’ Joke . . . Gone Awry: Onward State ‘Kills’ Former Editor Who Mistakenly ‘Killed’ Joe Paterno

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  1. […] huge reaction on the internet this past week. Once we published our story on Friday, Jim Romenesko, College Media Matters and SPLC linked back to our story discussing the issue and the apology letter, as well as Kathy […]

  2. […] I previously posted, the Maneater faced a vocal backlash from some readers for its recent April Fools’ issue, […]

  3. […] Managing editor Abby Spudich resigned yesterday afternoon.  Both cited the paper’s recent controversial April Fools’ issue as the reason for their sudden […]

  4. […] recap, Part 1: The Maneater publishes a special April Fools’ issue named The Carpeteater that meets with severe criticism from some readers for content deemed […]

  5. […] the start of the month, the Maneater became The Carpeteater.  The spoof issue met with severe criticism from some readers for content deemed offensive to women and members of […]

  6. […] years from now. This has been a conversation topic in the J-School recently because of the recent Maneater Controversy. It’s not just that the controversy is interesting, it is that the mistake is permanently on […]

  7. […] April Fool’s Day 2012, the Maneater transformed into The Carpeteater. The spoof issue prompted a vocal backlash from readers, an embarrassing viral spread online, and the resignation of the paper’s editor-in-chief and […]



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