Parents Magazine: Moms Know – Romney was Right about Big Bird

My newest article about Big Bird:

In the first debate between Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama, the GOP nominee ruffled some feathers by saying that he’d cut the budget by eliminating non-essential costs, like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  Because the debate moderator, Jim Lehrer, is employed by PBS, Romney added:

“I’m sorry Jim. I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m going to stop other things,” he said. “I like PBS, I like Big Bird, I actually like you too.”

I’m sure moms everywhere have seen the clip a dozen times.  As soon as Romney said those words, the social media universe exploded. Immediately, a fake Twitter account for Big Bird was set up.  The first tweet was, “WTF, Mitt Romney?” and another was, “Yo Mitt Romney, Sesame Street is brought to you today by the letters F & U!”  Celebrities also chimed in. In one of the 17,000 tweets per minute, Whoopi Goldberg lamented that Romney wanted to “kill Big Bird.”  Calls were made for a “Million Muppet March” on Washington.  A photoshopped picture of a forlorn Big Bird sitting on the Sesame stoop holding a “Will Work for Food” sign flew into inboxes across America. The next day, the President, still reeling from the previous night’s debate debacle, made fun of Romney for “getting tough on Big Bird.”  Even PBS sent out their own press release, which read, “Elimination of funding would have virtually no impact on the nation’s debt. Yet the loss to the American public would be devastating.”

More than anyone else, moms have affection in our heart for lovable Elmo, the mysterious Snuffleupagus, and even the garbage-dwelling Oscar the Grouch.  But would a change in funding be “devastating?”  PBS’s self-importance is a little much for Americans who are struggling to pay the bills and find work.

So why does the government subsidize this show anyway?

Please read the rest here!

About Nancy French

Nancy French is a three time New York Times Best Selling Author.

  • jatheist

    Neil Degrasse Tyson said it well when he tweeted: “Cutting PBS support (0.012% of budget) to help balance the Federal budget is like deleting text files to make room on your 500Gig hard drive”

    So the affect on the budget would be (almost) non-existent, but the affect on the public – especially the poor – would be quite dramatic! Lower income families can’t afford to send their kids to pre-school and thus rely on educational programming that PBS provides (including Sesame Street)!

    The GOP’s disdain for both quality education and the poor is on full display here…

    • John I.

      ?Do you bother with facts?

      Sesame Street rakes in millions and clearly needs no subsidy. The bureaucrats who work there at over $100k per year can do with a pay cut. There is currently plenty of private programming of the same kind as produced by PBS, except for the ones by the latter that no one bothers to watch–which shouldn’t be funded in the first place.

      And just what, exactly, would be this dramatic effect? and why would it be so dramatic? Doesn’t exist.

      And the effect on the budget would be significant–both in and of itself and cumulatively, with the latter being the more important. Can a single grain of sand outweigh even a penny on the other side of a set of scales? No, but a bunch of grains can.