I've not heard so much talk about Big Bird and Sesame Street since I was six years old! Ever since the first presidential debate this year, when Mitt Romney mentioned Big Bird, with reference to his desire to pull funding for PBS, something about the big yellow bird has been in the news on a daily basis. Now it looks like some "bird brain" has come up with a wacky idea to march on Washington, D.C., in support of Big Bird, on November 3, just three days before the election.
Though Romney's call for stripping subsidizing of PBS only really amounts to about $280 million, which is hardly any significant cut, there are still those determined to keep Big Bird on the government dole.
Plans to save Big Bird, the fuzzy yellow character on U.S. public television's "Sesame Street," from possible extinction are taking shape in the form of a puppet-based protest next month dubbed the "Million Muppet March."
The demonstration is planned for Nov. 3 at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., three days before the general election.
Before the presidential debate between Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney had concluded on Oct. 3, two men who had never met each floated the Million Muppet March idea on social media. They immediately united to defend public broadcasting.
The reality is that federal funding makes up about twelve percent of the PBS budget.
Shows like Sesame Street are multi-million dollar enterprises capable of thriving in the private market. According to the 990 tax form all nonprofits are required to file, Sesame Workshop President and CEO Gary Knell received $956,513 -- nearly a million dollars -- in compensation in 2008. And, from 2003 to 2006, "Sesame Street" made more than $211 million from toy and consumer product sales.
With numbers like this, it's ironic that Barack Obama and those promoting this "muppet march" are doing this in favor of a big yellow one percenter!