“I’m sorry Jim, I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS,” Romney said to the nation, addressing Jim Lehrer, the presidential debate host of PBS’s NewsHour.
“I’m going to stop other things. I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you, too. But I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for.”
Romney’s promise went viral and the meme machine sprung into action. One American hero sprang into action, swooping down out of the clouds a bit like Superwoman.
Big Bird in Demand
David Bauder writes that Big Bird has never been so hot. In an act that Republican presidential candidate might live to regret, he has promised to kill one of America’s most precious mascots.
All the big media was trying to book an appearance with the ‘Sesame Street’ character on Thursday, after Mitt Romney promised that the yellow-feathers superstar would become dead meat during Wednesday night’s debate. ‘Saturday Night Live,’ Jimmy Fallon, Piers Morgan, the Today’ show and ‘Good Morning America’ all tried to book the yellow feathered friend after he was unexpectedly thrust into the presidential campaign by Mitt Romney.
Sesame Workshop says the the beloved bird is declining all appearances. Besides, Hillary has him stashed away in a safe house.
Federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting totals $450 million this year, accounting for about 15 percent of the CPB’s budget, she said. Federal money supplements the budgets of PBS’ 179 stations nationally. For some of the smaller stations in rural areas, this subsidy accounts for more than half of their yearly budget, so many can’t operate without it. via Boston Herald
Four out of five children under age 5 watch public television, where ‘Sesame Street’ is a long-running hit.
Americans Trust PBS
Melinda Henneberger, writing ‘She the People’ for The Washington Post says that PBS regularly rates as America’s most trusted institution.
PBS itself issued a “tersely worded statement” on Thursday, saying:
“Governor Romney does not understand the value the American people place on public broadcasting and the outstanding return on investment the system delivers to our nation. We think it is important to set the record straight and let the facts speak for themselves.”
On Thursday, President Obama took the Big Bird confrontation on the trail. It does seem a big illogical that Romney is trying to woo women voters and especially married women voters who are leaving him in droves, with the promise of killing Big Bird’s funding. The Wall Street Journal writes:
“When he was asked what he would actually do to cut spending and reduce the deficit, his big example was to go after public television,” Mr. Obama told a rally at George Mason University Friday, where he also discussed the new jobs data. “For all you moms and kids out there, don’t worry. Somebody is finally getting tough on Big Bird… Wall Street can run wild again, but he’s going to bring down the hammer on Sesame Street.”
2012 Election Just In
He came into office with a mandate to shake things up, an agenda laden with civics-book reforms and a raging fiscal crisis that threatened to torpedo both. He sparred with a hostile legislature and suffered a humiliating setback in the midterm elections. As four years drew to a close, his legacy was blotted by anemic job growth, sagging political popularity and — except for a landmark health care overhaul bill — a record of accomplishment that disappointed many.
“There is rough justice in the way things are playing out,” writes (New York Times’ Joe) Nocera. “Having spent the last year wrongly blaming the president for high unemployment, Republicans can only stand by helplessly as the unemployment rate goes down at the worst possible moment for them.”
More Big Bird/Romney Memes