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It's Not About Big Bird

Updated on October 7, 2012

Is it More "Big Bill"?

Who would have thought that Big Bird would become an Internet meme? After Mitt Romney's comments about public broadcasting during the first Presidential debate, progressives and fans of public media took to their streams in support.

But what is it that keeps PBS and NPR in the cross-hairs of the American Right? I don't think it's about the educational programs. Sesame Street especially is an great example of the model that the right would to see public television programs rely on; I am sure that some of the money from clothes, toys, etc does go into the program.

It is also probably not the cultural programming. Though both public television and radio allow classical, jazz, and folk music, as well as theater to a much wider audience.

So that leaves the news. This may be where the ire of the right is raised. Public television and public radio provide news that is not as influenced by advertisers. One need only listen to "Morning Edition" or "All Things Considered" to hear that you have news designed to inform, not to influence.

The goal of the American Right is not to "pull the plug" on NPR or PBS. I am sure stations would be able to raise the money to fill in the gaps. But it's the second component that is what I think the right is looking for.

Programs would need to rely more on their corporate underwriters, this might mean that programs may be less likely to report on stories that may put an underwriter in a bad light. These underwriters may be the contributors to a campaign or have a lobbyist.

Romney and others may like Big Bird, Elmo, etc. It's Bill Moyers, etc that they're trying to silence.

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    • randslam profile image

      Rand Zacharias 

      5 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

      Romney revealed his heart with this statement...it isn't Big Bird...you're right.

      It's the alternative programming that creates a culture of an educated America that the Right can't stand...too many LGBT topics, too much transparency...too much freedom reigning.

      The Republican Right would reign in the producers of PBS and NPR...very expensive fundings, by the way...NOT...they are a gift to America that most don't subscribe to--a shame from global worldview perspective--Americans seem to desire the Rush, pay homage to Bills and listen to the prattle and rattle of cagey Foxes...ugh...what a shame.

      I'd like to give someone a "Big Bird"...one that he could catch in his face...but we'll let him use his Mitt...lol.

      Good point, well taken...voted up.

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