Dear Politicians: This is how you stay classy.
If you were watching the first Presidential debates on Wednesday, October 3, 2012 — or were anywhere near Twitter — you probably know that the big pop-culture highlight of the night happened when Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney mentioned Big Bird. Today, Sesame Workshop, the non-profit company organization for Sesame Street and Big Bird, responded. As we would expect from such people, the response was perfect.
The whole issue came up when Mitt Romney was talking about federal funding for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Like most Grinch-y politicians trying to save money, Romney advocated cutting the funding for the network responsible for bringing us Sesame Street, Downton Abbey, Sherlock and those endless re-airings of Celtic Storm/Women/Voices/Whatever.
Mitt Romney did not advocate such destruction without reservations, of course. As the politician put it, “I like PBS. I love Big Bird. But I’m not going to keep spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it.”
The Internet, being the Internet, interpreted this statement in the most logical way: Mitt Romney wants to kill Big Bird.
Mentions of Big Bird quickly became the most popular subject on Twitter (hashtag #BigBird if you need proof), Big Bird-related accounts were opened and commenting within minutes. Thus, Twitter highlighted a simple fact of American life — don’t threaten our TV.
While we knew instantly what the faceless masses of the American Twitter public thought, we had to wait until the next morning for a statement from the Sesame Workshop. This organization, responsible for promoting children’s education since the 1960s, did indeed release a statement with regard to the publicity surrounding its best-known fowl:
“Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, educational organization. We do not comment on campaigns, but we’re happy we can all agree that everyone likes Big Bird.”
See? Classy. If only politicians could learn a lesson from Sesame Street, we might all be better for it.
Do you agree that Big Bird should go in order to decrease the federal budget by an infinitesimal amount? What would you miss on PBS if it were cut? Is Big Bird your favorite Sesame Street character, or is there a better Muppet to save? Leave your comments below!
For more on TV, politics and yes, the Muppets, check out Laurel Brown on Twitter!
(Images courtesy of the Sesame Workshop)
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Laurel grew up in Mamaroneck, NY, Grosse Pointe, MI and Bellevue WA. She then went on to live in places like Boston, Tucson, Houston, Wales, Tanzania, Prince Edward Island and New York City before heading back to Seattle. Ever since early childhood, when she became addicted to The Muppet Show, Laurel has watched far too much TV. Current favorites include Chuck, Modern Family, Supernatural, Mad Men and Community. Laurel received a BA in Astrophysics (yes, that is possible) from Colgate University and a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies and History of Science from Columbia University before she realized that television is much better than studying.