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Big Bird and the President

Two birds of a feather?


In the days following the Presidential debate, President Obama released the above television ad attacking Mitt Romney’s comment on cutting PBS and NPR.

However, all the facts aren’t there. Washington Post‘s Fact Checker blog rates this as four Pinocchios on a scale of five (which, according to the Fact Checkers site means “Whoppers.” Which is worse than three out of five Pinocchios, which mean “Significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions”).

Romney’s comments have been misconstrued and the reason for cutting PBS and NPR haven’t been spoken of as much as they probably should be. Here is his exact comment during the debate:

“I like PBS. I love Big Bird. Actually, I like you, too,” Romney said to debate moderator Jim Lehrer, the host of PBS’s “NewsHour.” “But I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for.”

The Washington Post goes on to report a statement Sherrie Westin, Sesame Workshop executive vice president and chief marketing officer, told CNN:

“Sesame Workshop receives very, very little funding from PBS. 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. 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.”

There you go. Big Bird is safe, people. Besides, I would much rather our President be speaking on issues that actually matter in the world, not some big fluffy yellow fake bird. Sesame Street was a big part of my life growing up but that doesn’t mean I would rather my vote go to save him while we keep spending so much money from China that they own us.

In addition to the above comment from PBS, CNN reports the organization has contacted Obama administration to take down the ad:

“Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns,” the group wrote. “We have approved no campaign ads, and as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down.”

CNN also reported the following, a good reminder that gives Obama a taste of his own medicine words:

Both the Republican National Committee and the Romney campaign blasted out emails to reporters, with a reminder of what then Senator Obama said during his speech to the Democratic convention in 2008.

“If you don’t have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small things,” Obama said.



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