Tags: pbs | big | bird | budget | axe | safe

Big Bird Probably Safe From Budget Axe

Friday, 05 Oct 2012 10:11 AM

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Big Bird may have become fodder in the political world as a result of Mitt Romney’s promise during the presidential debate to cut funding for PBS but the bird would most likely survive any cut in funding to public broadcasting.
Romney, while professing he liked Big Bird, nonetheless said in the debate, “I’m gonna stop the subsidy to PBS.” The comments immediately rocketed around the internet and social media and not in a good way for the GOP challenger who had just had one of the best nights in his campaign.
Nobody wants to be known as the guy who’s going to kill Big Bird. However, it seems the loveable eight-foot-tall yellow fellow is probably safe no matter what Romney does.

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Suzi Parker, writing in her She the People blog for The Washington Post, notes Sesame Street, Big Bird’s home, is pretty much self-sustaining. While the Corporation for Public Broadcasting get over $400 million a year from the government little of it goes to Sesame Street.

“Sesame Workshop receives very, very little funding from PBS,” Sherrie Westin, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Sesame Workshop, said in an interview on CNN according to the Post.  

“So, we are able to raise our funding through philanthropic, through our licensed product, which goes back into the educational programming, through corporate underwriting and sponsorship,” the Post reported Westin as saying. “So quite frankly, you can debate whether or not there should be funding of public broadcasting. But when they always try to tout out Big Bird, and say we’re going to kill Big Bird — that is actually misleading, because Sesame Street will be here.”

Regardless, Sesame Street has been a popular stop for both political parties, especially first ladies. Barbara Bush appeared on the show in 1990, Hillary Clinton in 1993, Laura Bush in 2003 and Michelle Obama in 2010, the Post reported.

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