Big Bird Becomes Latest Issue in Campaign
Aside from President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, Big Bird was one of the most talked about figure after the presidential debate Wednesday night. The feathered friend was placed in the spotlight after Romney said that he would cut funding for public broadcasting, even though he like Big Bird. Then President Obama started marking his Republican rival.
In Cleveland Friday, the president said that somebody was finally getting tough on Big Bird. He added that Governor Romney was going to allow Wall Street to run wild but he was going to put the hammer down on Sesame Street.
During the presidential debate Wednesday, Romney listed Public Broadcasting Service as one of the things that he would make to decrease the federal deficit. He also apologized to the moderator of the debate Jim Lehrer, who used to be a PBS host.
Romney said that he likes PBS, Big Bird and Jim Lehrer but he was not going to keep spending money on stuff to borrow money from China to pay for them. Republicans wanted to cut PBS for years and Democrats responded each time by bringing out Big Bird and the rest of the Sesame Street characters.
But the truth is that cuts to the PBS would not kill Big Bird or any of the Sesame Street characters. According to Sherrie Westin, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Sesame Workshop, Sesame Street gets very little funding from PBS. The show managed to get funding via licensed product, donations, and sponsorships.
She added that the debate should have been whether or not to cut funding of public broadcasting but they should not bring out Bird Big and say they’re going to kill Big Bird. The statement is misleading because even if funds were cut from PBS, Sesame Street would still be there.