For years there has been a single black and white photo of Mister Rogers in a cardigan and bow-tie, with a delightful smile and his head tilted slightly downwards circulating the web. Boring Pittsburgh readers have submitted this pic several times. It was ignored at first because frankly it’s old news, but more importantly because at the time it was believed by the Internets to be photoshopped – nobody knew what to make of it. Even Snopes.com and other sites swore it to be a manufactured image. All the research pointed to it being a fake. We did everything we could to dispel the myth once and for all, even blowing up the photo for examination of inconsistencies. But then, our post inspired someone to dig up the old video and upload it to YouTube. They sent it to us and the evidence could not be denied: Video Proof of Mister Rogers Flipping the Bird.
We weren’t the only ones, in fact this quote is still on the site below:
Like many well-loved public figures, Mr. Rogers was dogged by several odd rumors. Which of these is actually true? …The flipping the bird rumor has been circulating on the Internet, but the accompanying photo is fake. -funtrivia.com
As you can see, before the video of Mr. Rogers giving the middle finger, the viral photo could easily be deemed a fake. We weren’t sure whether the entire arm was added to the photo, or just part of the hand. However, If you look closely, there is a slight change in the texture of the middle finger, all the way down the hand. It turns out no changes were made because our childhood hero did indeed allow the Fuck You finger to be extended while keeping his other ones folded down.
So there you have it. Mr. Rogers did flip the bird in the picture/video above. He would never intentionally do such a thing, and it’s a shame that the world is busy searching for this image rather than searching for his address to the United States Senate or his 1997 Emmy Awards Speech.
Oh yeah, and this wasn’t the only time he flipped the bird on camera. Here he goes again, BUT IT WAS A COMPLETE ACCIDENT because he was holding a paintbrush!