During the October 3rd, 2012 Presidential Debate, we learned that Mitt Romney does not just “like firing people,” he also has his sights on Sesame Street’s beloved character, Big Bird. When asked to give specifics on how he could balance the budget while lowering taxes, Romney answered, “I would stop the subsidy to PBS. I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you, too. But I’m not gonna keep on spending money on things to borrow from China to pay for.”
CNN’s Soledad O’Brien expressed concern the following day because, “my son was devastated when he heard that Big Bird might be killed.” Luckily, she had Sherrie Westin, the Sesame Street Workshop’s vice president and chief officer on hand to reassure O’Brien, her son, and their audience:
The 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 program — 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 actually is misleading. Because Sesame Street will be here. Big Bird lives on.
Furthermore, according to the ABC News blog post, “Fact Check: Mitt Romney’s PBS Cuts Won’t Fire Big Bird,” only about 5% of PBS funding comes from Fed Budget for PBS (though the percent for some rural stations is higher). In addition, as Laura Clawson scornfully points out in Daily Kos, that the $444 million in federal funds going to PBS only amounts to a miniscule .00014% of the federal budget.
You can watch the video below: