Big Bird is a non-partisan character, but Huffpo's Andy Ostroy apparently wants to change that:
Dear Mr. Romney:
I have to say, I am both shocked and disappointed by your desire to cut funding for PBS. You said at the debate that "I love Big Bird." But the sad truth is, you don't love me at all. You don't love any of us...not Bert, Ernie, Oscar, The Count, Grover or Elmo either...and who on Earth doesn't love Elmo? What's wrong with you?!
Can you please explain to me why you think it's more important, for example, to help private plane owners but not PBS? Where are your priorities? You're clearly more concerned with Wall Street than you are Sesame Street. But let me tell you something: investment bankers never taught kids how to read, write, count and to be caring, sensitive, thoughtful people. Did you know that children who watched our program have an average 16% higher GPA in high school than those who didn't? Our show also teaches them from an early age to appreciate and respect art and science.
Well maybe that's it. Maybe it's because you and your party don't appreciate and respect art and science? Maybe it stems from the desire to dismantle the Department of Education, and your statements that we don't need more teachers. Maybe it's because you've never needed outside help in your entire life because you came from a rich, privileged family who gave you everything you could ever possibly want...including the best private education available.
I'm sure you never sat on the floor of a ghetto tenement watching Sesame Street, or any other PBS program, on an old junky television with a hanger clipped to it for reception. For many of our viewers, our show is not just a free babysitter and tutor, but an entry into a world of culture and fantasy that only rich folks like you have at their fingertips every day just by waking up. Is that so hard to understand? Why is it so hard for you to grasp that some folks, and millions of children, simply need a little help in life?
As Ethel Fenig points out in her post on the finances of Sesame Street, the show takes in a couple of hundred million dollars from kids and parents alike who buy its merchandise while recieiving grants and subsidies from private businesses, foundations, and other NGO's. The federal government supplies about 6% of funding for Sesame Street.
PBS is an elitist organization, largely supported by upper middle class whites, whose left leaning politics is so attractive to the Democratic party that the CPB swapped its donor list with the Dems a few years back. Sesame Street may be a little more egalitarian in its viewership, but the point isn't what color of kid is watching, but whether or not Sesame Street could make it without government funding.
Given its enormous popularity, that's a no brainer.