11 October 2012

The Big Bird Thing

Ah yes, that "Romney Hates Big Bird Thing." I'm a week late, but here are some thoughts.

(0) What is going on here? Seriously, what does this mean?

Okay, now that we have that out of the way...

(1) WSJ Radio reported yesterday that Sesame Street has asked Obama to stop using Big Bird in his attack ads. The stated rationale is that they don't want to be dragged into the middle of this as it would be hard to explain to children what this partisan bickering is all about. Isn't it a lot more plausible that they're one of the (sadly few) groups in Washington who understand that they will need to exist no matter who is turning the wheel on the ship of state? Would you want your mascot to become known as a cheerleader for one faction knowing that soon enough the other faction will be in control?

Attention Red Team:

(2) PBS/NPR/CPB/NEA is the one set of things you consistently point to as a concrete example of what you would cut. Can you say "drop in the bucket"? Sure, an incremental improvement in spending is better than no improvement, but come on. Get serious.

(3) You've been threatening to cut the funding for PBS et al. for how many years now? I remember hearing about this back when I was only a couple of years out Big Bird's prime demographic myself. You all haven't had the political muscle/will to make it happen in a couple of decades and you're still trotting out this line. Shit or get off the pot, guys.

Attention Blue Team:

(4) Every argument you give for how valuable and irreplaceable PBS/NPR/etc. are only makes me more confident that they can and should be surviving without having to coerce dollars from people. You see that, right? If Sesame Street is really that mind-blowingly awesome, why do you need to forceable take my money to support it? 99% Invisible is 151-proof awesome, and they manage to get by entirely on voluntary transfers.

(5) I could go on and on about tax-payer funded media, but Trevor Burrus already did it so much better. Just go listen to this — Liberate Public Broadcasting: Defund It.

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