The Picasso painting that sold for a record $179mn (£114mn) at auction was apparently too hot for New York's Fox TV to handle. So the flagship station of the Fox Broadcasting Company blurred out the cubist breasts of the Les Femmes d'Alger (Version O) for viewers, triggering a cascade of sniggers and criticism from other media and viewers.
An art history blogger scoffed: "Glad I didn't pay $179 million for a Picasso painting that was 'retouched' by a Fox employee."
"How sexually sick are conservatives & Fox News?" tweeted New York Magazine senior art critic Jerry Saltz. Culture critic Aruna D'Souza tittered: "Glad Fox is protecting its audience from Picasso's smutty mind. Wouldn't want to scare the children."
"Area Fox Affiliate Outfoxes Fox News," Slade Sohmer of Mic News crowed.
One Twitter writer wondered how the station could find cubist breasts so objectionable when Fox had no apparent problem earlier this year posting a video released by ISIS showing the burning of a hostage Jordanian pilot.
Fox didn't get it. "We decided to blur the nude portions so that we could show it to you on air," said Fox 5 anchor Dari Alexander before running the piece, not expecting any fallout.
But managers are beginning to get a clue. "We get it. A blurred-out version of Pablo Picasso's masterpiece wasn't the best move," an update on Facebook notes, linking to a story on its website showing "the art work in all its glory."
But the apology was too late to stop a meme explosion.