Art critic Jerry Saltz was distraught when he learned that Picasso's masterful 1955 painting Les Femmes d’Alger (Version O) was being sold for a record-breaking $179 million. But he was completely flummoxed when he learned that the local Fox 5 affiliate had blurred out the artistic brushstrokes meant to signify naughty human bits on the 10 p.m. news last night. For there is no greater threat to America than cubist breasts.

According to Mediaite, the artistic censorship may have had less to do with shielding the eyes of innocent children from Picasso's raw sexuality than titillating viewers into the forbidden pleasures of actually watching boring television news: "We decided to blur the nude portions so that we could show it to you, on-air," co-anchor Dari Alexander protectively told viewers.

Of course, they only blurred the breasts in the photo above, not the prominent butt in the center of the painting. This makes sense, because modernist butts are an important commentary on our reliance on fossil fuels.

Update: Sources tell us that the nipple censoring was the result of an overly nervous fill-in producer on the program last night. The silliness of the art blur was not lost on "Good Day New York" anchors Greg Kelly and Rosanna Scotto, who poked fun at their 10 p.m. counterparts early this morning.

New York News