Last night, Mitt Romney did something unthinkable: He attacked Big Bird.
The GOP candidate caused a social media surge last night when he said that he would cut funding for PBS.
Romney said: “I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I like PBS. I like Big Bird. I like you (moderator Jim Lehrer), too. But I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China”
PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger said that Romney’s comments were “unbelievable.”
Kerger said that it was surprising that Romney decided to talk about PBS and Big Bird when there are other important issues to talk about.
“With the enormous problems facing our country, the fact that we are the focus is just unbelievable to me, particularly given the fact that at another part of the debate, both candidates talked about the importance of education … We’re America’s biggest classroom. We touch children across the country in every home, whether you have books in your home or computer or not, almost everyone has a television set. And so we’re able to bring kids across the country not just enjoyable programs, but programs that help them prepare and get ready for school, with core curriculum in math and science and literacy.”
Kerger also said that Big Bird is not a government funded character. According to Kerger, any money that comes from the government goes into the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Kerger said that the money never actually gets to Big Bird’s, or PBS’s, pockets.
But even if PBS was funded with government money, and even if Big Bird collected a pay check written by Uncle Sam every month, Kerger believes that the American people would still want PBS on the air.
“The thing that is ironic, though, is that there has been a lot of research done over the last couple of years about public media. In fact, last year, Hart Research and American Viewpoint did some research and found 70 percent of Americans oppose proposals to cut funding of public broadcasting. It may have been a well-rehearsed remark, but it doesn’t tie into any research that I have seen about the role that public broadcasting plays in this country or in the hearts and minds of Americans.”
What do you think about the Romney Vs. Big Bird debate?