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PBS CEO Responds To Mitt Romney's "Big Bird" Remark

Responding to Mitt Romney's statement that he would cut federal funding for public broadcasting if elected President, PBS CEO Paula Kerger was stunned to hear PBS mentioned in the debate and suggested that it was politically motivated.

 

Big Bird vs. Mitt Romney
During last night's debate between Romney and US President Barack Obama, the Republican candidate was talking about the cuts he would make to balance the budget. He told long-time PBS host Jim Lehrerserving as the much-maligned moderatorthat as much as he likes PBS, Big Bird, and Lehrer himself, he planned to eliminate the government subsidy to the public broadcaster.

Speaking to CNN's Carol Costello today, PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger pointed out the absurdity of focusing on PBS' federal funding when the country is facing much bigger problems. Referencing both candidates' comments about increasing the emphasis on education, she noted that PBS is "America's biggest classroom" and has long been a tool for parents across the country to prepare their children for school.

Paula Kerger

When asked how much money Big Bird and the rest of the Sesame Street gang receive, Kerger explained that a majority of the funding goes to local stations, particularly in rural areas, to help keep them on the air. Without the subsidy, many of those stations will no longer be able to broadcast PBS' commercial-free educational programming. She also cited a survey last year that found 70% of Americans oppose measures to cut public broadcasting.

The government grant issued to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting totals $445 million over two years, barely a drop in the bucket of the federal budget worth upwards of $3.5 trillion. There's no question that Romney's snide Big Bird remark was designed to appeal to the hardcore conservative base who have no grasp of the numbers involved. Without the alternative offered by PBS, the only children's programming available is rife with obnoxious commercials for toys and sugary breakfast cereals.

Would you and your kids miss PBS? Do you think it should be federally funded?


Details
Person:
- Mitt Romney
- Jim Lehrer
Show:
- Sesame Street
Network:
- PBS

Written by: Chrononaut
Oct 4th, 2012, 7:31 am

Anonymous

Message Posted On Nov 7th, 2012, 7:32 am
If it really deserves to survive, it shouldn't need public money
Anonymous

Message Posted On Oct 6th, 2012, 12:19 am
PBS is supposed to be funded by viewers. As a taxpayer, I don't want my tax dollars funding something I can choose to fund or not.Leave me some choice, please!
Anonymous

Message Posted On Oct 5th, 2012, 11:20 am
If the feds cut subsidies to PBS, the people that watch it will just have to donate more (or donate period because I guarantee that 75% of the people that watch don't donate). If that doesnt work, they'll, god forbid, add commercials. If not, they go down the drain. It's called a free market.
Anonymous

Message Posted On Oct 4th, 2012, 10:36 am
I wouldn't miss it. Cartoon shows are illegal!
Anonymous

Message Posted On Oct 4th, 2012, 10:34 am
It's very simple. PBS is for poor people. How does PBS make money for Romney now? He doesn't care about America if it doesn't involve making $$$ for himself and his friends.
MACKerMD

Level 1 (46%)
Points: 3.6
Since: 10/Jan/10
Message Posted On Oct 4th, 2012, 10:27 am

Hands off of Kermit, Elmo, Bert, Ernie, Big Bird, Oscar, Grover, Cookiemonster and the rest of the gang.

1..2.. Mitt will be bitten, ha-ha-ha, 3..4.. Count Countula will bite him some more ha-ha-ha..

My guess is that Mitt has a grudge against Sesamestreet, because his mommy didn't let him watch it and the rest of the PBS stuffs. Explains some of the 'intelligent' comments he does/did during his campaign. 

Hey Mitt, help the economy and buy the stock of Sesamestreet's Educational Videos.. You might learn something. 

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