Desperate Dems Hide Behind Big Bird

Mitt Romney sure ruffled a lot of feathers over his proposal to eliminate taxpayer funding for government-sponsored TV. As soon as the GOP presidential candidate singled out PBS for cuts during the presidential debate in Denver, the hysterical squawking commenced.

Left-leaning celebrities immediately erupted on Twitter. “WOW!!! No PBS!! WTF how about cutting congress’s stuff leave big bird alone,” Whoopi Goldberg fumed. “Mitt is smirky, sweaty, indignant and smug with an unsettling hint of hysteria. And he wants to kill BIG BIRD,” actress Olivia Wilde despaired. “Who picks on Big Bird!!! #bulliesthatswho,” actress Taraji Henson chimed in.

Social media activists called for a Million Muppet March on the National Mall to “show your support for Big Bird, Muppets, PBS and all that is good.” The grammar-challenged operatives of George Soros-funded Media Matters for America lectured “right-wing media” to be “more concerned with Americans having jobs insteading (sic) of obsessing whether or not Big Bird has one.”

Indignant PBS, which employs not-so-neutral debate moderator Jim Lehrer, issued a statement decrying Romney’s failure to “understand the value the American people place on public broadcasting and the outstanding return on investment the system delivers to our nation.” And President Obama, awakened from his beatdown-induced stupor, scurried the next morning to the safe confines of a campaign rally to mock Romney for “getting tough on Big Bird.”

The kiddie character kerfuffle is a manufactured flap that may play well to liberals in Hollywood and Washington. But beyond the borders of La-La Land, desperate Democrats who cling childishly to archaic federal subsidies look like cartoonish buffoons. Let’s face it: The Save Big Bird brigade is comically out of touch with 21st-century realities.

In 1967, when Congress passed the Public Broadcasting Act, family options for quality children’s programming were severely limited. More than four decades later, there’s a vibrant marketplace for educational broadcasting — on radio, TV and the Internet — that teems with furry friends and information-packed shows.

PBS speaks of itself with cultish self-reverence: “For more than 40 years,” the government network chastised Romney, “Big Bird has embodied the public broadcasting mission — harnessing the power of media for the good of every citizen, regardless of where they live or their ability to pay. Our system serves as a universally accessible resource for education, history, science, arts and civil discourse.”

In reality, of course, PBS affiliates have become increasingly corporatized. As GOP Sen. Jim DeMint noted last year, franchises like Sesame Street “are multimillion-dollar enterprises capable of thriving in the private market. According to the 990 tax form all nonprofits are required to file, Sesame Workshop President and CEO Gary Knell received $956,513 — nearly a million dollars — in compensation in 2008. And, from 2003 to 2006, ‘Sesame Street’ made more than $211 million from toy and consumer product sales.”

Sesame Street has also become increasingly politicized. Under the Obama administration, Elmo has lobbied for the FCC’s national broadband plan and the first lady’s Big Nanny nutrition bill. Investigative journalist James O’Keefe caught former NPR exec Ron Schiller on tape trashing the Tea Party as “racist” and “Islamophobic.” And the official PBS Twitter account sent a special shout-out to radical leftist group Move On last year for leading the government media rescue charge. Moreover, as I’ve previously reported, NPR and PBS have no problem raising money from corporations and left-wing philanthropists, including billionaire George Soros, whose Open Society Institute gave $1.8 million to pay for at least 100 journalists at NPR member radio stations in all 50 states over the next three years.

President Obama sneered at Romney for daring to mention PBS subsidies in the context of deficit reduction. But Obama’s own Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction commission singled out Corporation for Public Broadcasting spending. “The current CPB funding level is the highest it has ever been,” the panel noted after Obama proposed hiking yearly appropriations to $450 million in 2012. Doing away with the appropriation would save nearly $500 million in 2015 alone. Over 10 years, those savings would total $5 billion (or roughly 10 Solyndras). In these tough times, that’s more than chump change and child’s play.

Romney’s right: It’s time for government media to grow up and get off the dole. It’s time for taxpayers to flip the Bird.

  • terry



  • wally

    I agree funds to PBS and NPR have to be eliminated. If Romney does become president, I hope he follows up with the elimination of this handout plus begins he process of consolidating, downsizing and eliminating federal agencies. One that I do not think is necessary is the Rural Electrification agency. This was started by FDR to get rural areas electrical power. Enough already. Rural areas have electricity and if some do not let the private sector do it.

  • kayakbob

    Well, gee.  Classic one dimensional, i.e. liberal, thinking.  Saying the Government..the Federal Government, should not fund PBS (or NPR for that matter) doesn’t automatically mean they would cease to exist.  If Big Bird is so loved, and so valued, he will be picked up by a network..ya know?…the private sector?  Maybe…just maybe, the Federal Government should have never gotten into the broadcast business in the first place. And they certainly don’t belong in it now.

    I can be supportive of what PBS provides, and not want them to receive TAXPAYER dollars for it.  

    Likewise, I can and DO support a “woman’s right to choose”. I just don’t think said woman has a right to TAXPAYER dollars in the process.

  • Count_E_Limerick

    “…from 2003 to 2006, ‘Sesame Street’ made more than $211 million from toy and consumer product sales…”

    Romney plucked Big Bird with his disposition still sunny,
    But those with Sesame Street smarts didn’t find it funny.
    Elmo only was tickled,
    While government trickled –
    At least liberals love Muppets despite their Big Money!

  • Count_E_Limerick

    Mitt Romney, a hornet’s – or Bird’s – nest has stirred,
    Causing a stampede of the liberal herd.
    “There’s no programming finer –
    Let’s borrow from China!”
    Yet Romney continues to flip them The Bird!

  • Rev Russ Smith

    If you take PBS at their word, the vast majority of their funding comes from other sources (grants, private citizens, etc.).  You’d think Mitt suggested eliminating PBS rather than just eliminating taxpayer revenue.
    Ultimately, it’s small change compared to other things we taxpayers pay for, but I’m not opposed to starting somewhere.

    • Wheels55

      A lot of little cuts will add up. Let’s also start with Air Force One trips to NY plays.

  • Concernedmimi

    Just like Romney said; ‘If we have to borrow money from China to pay for it, it needs to go’. Besides, it’s just another outlet for democrat’s corruption and propaganda.

  • Wheels55

    Isn’t it great how the left is trying to defend a puppet? Now I get why they like Biden – he is really Big Bird (you never see them both together).

  • Deny916

    I totall agree with cutting off all funding to PBS and NPR.  Those places should be privatized as well as many others.  The government just loves pi$$ing away people’s money on stuff that is irrelevant in today’s day and age!

  • Bruce A.

    The “squak” over Big Bird is simply a diversion.  The Democrats & Pres. Obama  cannot run on a successful record  of achievements.

    • Alden514

      just goes to show what they think of as “important”

      • Wheels55

        True. More like what they think is a good point – they don’t have many these days.
        FOX should hire Big Bird and then the feathered one will have a better career (it worked for Juan Williams).