Tags: sesame | street | pox | news

PBS Apologizes for Sesame Street 'Pox News' Skit

Thursday, 05 Nov 2009 02:35 PM

The ombudsman for PBS apologized Thursday for a “Sesame Street” skit in which the world-famous muppets mocked “Pox News” – a clear attack on the Fox News Network.

In the episode, which aired Oct. 29, one of Sesame Street's creations, the Grouch News Network, hosted by muppet “Oscar the Grouch,” is discussing GNN's dedication to "all grouchy, all disgustin', all yucky" news. But another character feels that the Grouch is not grouchy enough and threatens to switch to "Pox News, now there's a trashy news show," she says.

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“Everybody who wrote to me heard this as "Fox News," and I can't really blame them,” ombudsman Michael Getler wrote on the PBS Web site. “When I went and watched the tape for the first time, I thought I heard ‘Fox’ as well, perhaps because of the association one assumes when you hear "news" right after the word. However, when I watched and listened more carefully a second time, it was clear that the character said "Pox" and not "Fox" and the closed captioning that runs across the bottom of the screen when the sound is muted also stated "Pox News."

Getler continued: “I don't know what was in the head of the producers, but my guess is that this was one of those parodies that was too good to resist. But it should have been resisted. Broadcasters can tell parents whatever they think of Fox or any other network, but you shouldn't do it through the kids.”

Read the full story at PBS.org

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