The Press: Little Orphan Delinquent

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U.S. newspapers' comic pages boast no stauncher defender of the good, the true and the beautiful than Harold Gray's Little Orphan Annie. But last week Annie was on the pan for keeping bad company.

Since last November and at least through next month, Cartoonist Gray is devoting the strip to a "thorough and penetrating analysis" of teen-age violence. Editors and parents find the story line about Annie's adventures among street hoodlums a little too authentic for comfort. Last week the St. Louis Globe-Democrat and Columbus' Ohio State Journal both suspended Annie until she finds better companions. Explained the morning Globe-Democrat on its front page: "Annie . . . features muggings, switchblade knives and language that we think does not fit into [this] type of newspaper." Half a dozen other dailies from Buffalo to Salt Lake City have also suspended Annie, and in Canada the Edmonton (Alta.) Journal has indignantly thrown her out for good.