Sesame Street wants Big Bird out of Obama ad

This is one of those days when you suspect that the 2012 presidential campaign is working off a script generated by a room of underpaid and, perhaps, under-performing gag writers. From the Associated Press:

NEW YORK — President Barack Obama deployed Big Bird in a new campaign ad Tuesday mocking Mitt Romney’s vow to end federal funding for public broadcasting. Romney’s campaign dismissed it as an example of Obama being small-minded while the foundation behind Big Bird’s program, “Sesame Street,” asked that the ad be taken down.

The satirical spot, set to air on national broadcast and cable TV stations, shows images of convicted financiers, including Bernie Madoff and Enron’s Ken Lay, and suggests Romney thinks Big Bird is behind their crimes.

“Only one man has the guts to speak his name,” the ad says.

Romney said in last week’s nationally televised debate with Obama that he liked Big Bird but would, if elected, end federal subsidies for the Public Broadcasting Service to help balance the budget. PBS airs “Sesame Street.”

Obama seized on that comment the day after the debate and has used it every day since to poke at Romney.

“He’ll get rid of regulations on Wall Street, but he’s going to crack down on Sesame Street. Thank goodness somebody is finally cracking down on Big Bird,” Obama joked at a campaign rally in Madison, Wis., the day after the debate, as his audience roared with laughter. “Who knew that he was responsible for all these deficits? Elmo has got to watch out.”

But Sesame Workshop, which supports “Sesame Street,” didn’t see it as a laughing matter.

“Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns,” the organization said in a terse, two-sentence statement. “We have approved no campaign ads and, as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down.”

Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said the campaign was reviewing Sesame Workshop’s concerns.

Romney’s campaign countered that the ad shows Obama is focusing on inconsequential matters rather than the urgent issues voters care about, like the economy and unemployment.

“Right now you’ve got 23 million Americans struggling to find work,” spokesman Kevin Madden told reporters Tuesday. “I just find it troubling that the president’s message, the president’s focus 28 days from Election Day, is Big Bird.”

PBS receives a portion of its funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which receives an annual appropriation from Congress. In 2012, CPB received $445 million in federal funding. PBS said in a news release after last week’s presidential debate that public broadcasting receives about one one-hundredth of 1 percent of the federal budget.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

124 comments Add your comment

DJ Sniper

October 9th, 2012
1:17 pm

I guess this disproves cc’s claim that Sesame Street indoctrinates children at a young age with a liberal agenda. Yes, he actually said this yesterday.

shakal

October 9th, 2012
1:23 pm

Poor big bird got caught up in their in this crazy election.

Bryan

October 9th, 2012
1:26 pm

If by Liberal Agenda he means accepting others for who they are and getting along with them, then I guess Sesame Street is guilty as charged. Oh, the horror!

cc

October 9th, 2012
1:35 pm

I did indeed say that, and I stand by my comment.

Kris

October 9th, 2012
1:37 pm

It goes to show, you never know when the great speckled bird of faith will take a crap on ya..

Save Big Bird and PBS.

Re-elect President OBAMA.

Rafe Hollister

October 9th, 2012
1:48 pm

Obama is set on protecting Big Bird, even though Big Bird doesn’t want his help. Wish Obama had cared as much about the four people in Benghazi.

honested

October 9th, 2012
1:49 pm

Ain’t it a b*tch.
CTW CANNOT participate in a political endeavor, but the nitwits who believe that all our funding problems originate with PBS/NPR have no compunction about dragging them in.

And of course robme will continue to pander for more wasteful military spending, the line item that is at the HEART of our deficit!

cc

October 9th, 2012
1:49 pm

Save Big Bird – until Thanksgiving. Big Bird would probably roast well, and served with dressing and all the trimmings will make your Thanksgiving Day a treasured memory.

honested

October 9th, 2012
1:50 pm

rafe,

At least we learned that is a situation where ‘private contractors’ (read mercenaries) are not the appropriate method for protecting diplomats.

cc

October 9th, 2012
1:52 pm

“the line item that is at the HEART of our deficit!”

You don’t REALLY want to discuss the heart (true causes) of the deficit, and you know it.

honested

October 9th, 2012
1:55 pm

cc,

I did identify the true cause.
That you refuse to accept it changes nothing.

cc

October 9th, 2012
1:57 pm

“At least we learned that is a situation where ‘private contractors’ (read mercenaries) are not the appropriate method for protecting diplomats.”

Why don’t you enlighten us as to how much ‘help’ the embassy was given when they expressed concern for their security. While you’re at it, tell us a little about the major administration cover-up in progress?

Road Scholar

October 9th, 2012
2:03 pm

“Right now you’ve got 23 million Americans struggling to find work,” …

And soon we will be adding Big Bird! And the members of the only non slanted news team in America!

“. In 2012, CPB received $445 million in federal funding. PBS said in a news release after last week’s presidential debate that public broadcasting receives about one one-hundredth of 1 percent of the federal budget.”

Just imagine the savings if we don’t go to war again! (Each war has cost about $2B each!) And /or cancel healthcare for the Congress! Or how about Congress’s retirement? Or their health club?

cc: I bet you shared your comment above (Thanksgiving) with your children/grandchildren? Right?!

cc

October 9th, 2012
2:10 pm

“cc: I bet you shared your comment above (Thanksgiving) with your children/grandchildren? Right?!”

Haven’t even thought about it, but I don’t mind doing so at all. TV was not used as a babysitter in my home. My children were taught to be (and are) voracious readers and have a great appreciation for all types of music, including the music of the great masters and opera.

[...] original post here: Sesame Street wants Big Bird out of Obama ad – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) Posted in Abby Cadabby Articles | Tagged audience, crack-down, daily-news, debate, down-on-big, [...]

come on november

October 9th, 2012
2:15 pm

It is amazing that Obama tanked the other night and all the press wants to let people know about big bird. Folks, Obama is not presidential, never was and won’t be. He is not a speaker and not a leader, has not delivered on anything and won’t. So, you can try to convice people that he is some lovable husband and father trying to protect the puppet, but he is the puppet and knows nothing.

Baron DeKalb

October 9th, 2012
2:34 pm

HopeNchaynege: Wow, another self-styled “expert” on how great the poor have it and how they are living it up on our dime. And written in negro dialect, to boot… do you also write minstrel shows? If you are trying to lend credence to the idea that the opposition to Obama is based on crude racism, well done!

RAMZAD

October 9th, 2012
2:48 pm

I bet Romney will note even ask Big Bird to see his tax return before putting the bird in the deep fryer.

Nate

October 9th, 2012
2:54 pm

I’m sure PBS could be fully funded with taking all of the money Sesame Street generates when selling all the Elmo dolls.

ideas

October 9th, 2012
2:56 pm

You liberal fruitcakes just do not understand how dumb and moronic you sound. You should read this from an unbiased point of view. I HAVE.

Tag

October 9th, 2012
2:57 pm

Yes, it’s a small part of the deficit but you have to start somewhere.
A penny saved is a Penny earned.
They add up.

Big Bob

October 9th, 2012
2:59 pm

I am sure Big Bird wouldn’t want to borrow from China and give his Young Fans the bill with interest attached.

td

October 9th, 2012
3:00 pm

honested

October 9th, 2012
1:49 pm

“$445 million in federal funding”

This amount per year is nothing? It is the attitude like this is the reason we are so in debt. Start with CPB and planned parenthood, 27 Federal job training programs and then the money starts adding up.

“If it is not worth borrowing the money from China to continue then get rid of the program”

Is Big bird worth borrowing money from China to continue to pay for?

anon

October 9th, 2012
3:08 pm

td: Public financing for PBS takes up 0.0014% of the Federal Budget. If you’re going to hee and haw on about wasteful spending, how about looking elsewhere first/

MoFaux

October 9th, 2012
3:21 pm

td: I agree with you and Romney, in that “If it is not worth borrowing the money from China to continue then get rid of the program”. I just don’t trust Romney to be making that decision, sorry.

honested

October 9th, 2012
3:26 pm

td,

I’d rather start with closing ALL offshore military bases and cut all attached contracts.

Now that’s real money with no real costs.

cc

October 9th, 2012
3:26 pm

DJ Sniper:

“I guess this disproves cc’s claim that Sesame Street indoctrinates children at a young age with a liberal agenda”

Not at all. It does prove, however, that at least Big Bird has come to understand that Romney will be elected and that it is best not to antagonize the new president needlessly.

Mike

October 9th, 2012
3:39 pm

Whenever you watch a PBS show, they always have a section where they say who paid for it. Some of it is the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, sometimes it’s ExxonMobil or another big company, sometimes it’s the MacArthur Foundation… but it always ends with “Viewers Like You.”

Everyone who thinks the government shouldn’t be funding PBS should donate $25 a year to keep it on the air. Everyone who thinks the government should be funding PBS should donate $50 a year so they don’t need government money.

cc

October 9th, 2012
3:40 pm

“It is amazing that Obama tanked the other night and all the press wants to let people know about big bird. Folks”

I do not find that ‘amazing’ at all. Obama is in his depth when he talks of Big Bird. Obama has proven to the world what I had recognized early on, and that is he is not as intelligent as the MSM built him up to be. In fact, Obama is a very superficial thinker who has relied on the MSM to coddle and protect him, which they have done right up until the now infamous drubbing he took in the first debate. It will get far worse for him in the remaining days before his loss in the election. The intelligent people who voted for Hussein strictly on racial or party lines will never publicly admit it, but even they have had to accept the truth of what I say. Others, such as honested, will never know the truth.

JRHD

October 9th, 2012
3:40 pm

There is no way PBS/Sesame Street/This Old House, et al cannot be self-supported with all of the merchandising that is associated with these programs. Sesame Street on Ice, Tickle Me Elmo, Bert and Ernie dolls, the licensing list is endless and yet we as taxpayers are asked to give CPB $445mm for what reason? Cut the apron strings and let them survive or perish on their own.

DJ Sniper

October 9th, 2012
3:41 pm

CC, you criticize people who are guaranteeing an Obama victory, but you’re just as bad by saying that a Romney victory is now in the bag. To quote a sportscaster: “That’s why they play the game.”

Anon, that’s a great point you just made. Cutting PBS’s funding to fix the deficit is like deleting several text files to free up space on a 1TB hard drive.

Ideas, please tell us what this unbiased point of view is that you’ve read. If it involves Fox or Breitbart, then please try again.

Jason

October 9th, 2012
3:45 pm

@anon: Ok. So what if PBS is 0.0014% of funding? Its still $445 million. By your reasoning, a person who can’t afford to pay his mortgage shouldn’t worry about cutting out cable tv, cell phone data plans, ice cream, and other trivial things because their only 0.0014% of the budget. Nobody (including Romney) is arguing that changes to larger budget items don’t have to be made. They are just saying that it makes sense to save on non life or death budget items like PBS. The 0.0014% items add up when you reailze that there are a couple hundred of them out there.

And by the way, Seasame Street turns a good profit even without the funding from PBS. Enough to be able to stand on its own. You do realize that the show makes profit off all those toys at Toys R Us and Walmart, right?

And the leaders of PBS make money in line with the supposedly greedy corporate CEOs that Obama is always railing on. So if those CEOs are so greedy, then what does that say about the leaders at PBS?

Jason

October 9th, 2012
3:55 pm

The PBS President earns a $600,000 salary. Still want to fund that with your taxes?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703559604576176663789314074.html

An NPR President earned $1.3 million. Still want to fund that with your taxes?

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tim-graham/2009/09/29/survey-npr-ceo-made-1-3-million-bucks-year

An NPR Anchor earned a $300,000 salary. Still want to fund that with your taxes? (Same link as above)

The truth is that there are MANY staffers at PBS and NPR making huge salaries (well in excess of the $250,000 that Obama defines as rich) that are making these large salaries while taking your tax money and asking for donations. If they are in such need, then why are they receiving such high salaries? The truth is, PBS and NPR are capable of operating without tax assistance, and their salaries confirm this.

Kris

October 9th, 2012
3:58 pm

“When you’re commander in chief you don’t get to bring an Etch A Sketch into the Oval Office. You don’t get second chances, never mind seventh chances. “
And you Don’t mess with Big Bird..

“You would need to cut PBS more than 1,000 times to fill the hole in romney’s debate promises,” an Obama campaign email pointed out.

When is smitty going to share his so called plan. I have a plan 999 does not cut it.

Save Big Bird (I have just donaited $47 to PBS). Who will match me??

Jason

October 9th, 2012
4:02 pm

@Mike – You miss the point. Would kids cease to learn to cope with the world should the government stop funding PBS? I doubt it. Yes, Seasame Street is helpful for kids. But I’m sure that if Seasame Street suddenly needed a new home, then ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, etc. would LOVE to make a home for it somewhere in their morning time slots. You don’t think that they could earn some money off of Seasame Street?

Get It Right

October 9th, 2012
4:03 pm

For some real insight check out Darden Restaurants answer to Obama Care. They will now reduce their employees to part time so they don’t have to pay the medical. This is Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and others. Does that sound like it will help the middle class? Oh, it will help add to the jobs to make Mr. Obama look good, because they will have to take on another job to pay the bills.

VOTE 2012!!!

I’ll keep my FREEDOM

I’ll keep my CASH

I’ll keep my GUNS

YOU KEEP THE CHANGE!!!

Jason

October 9th, 2012
4:07 pm

…And to clarify my comments. I love Big Bird too. We have definitely done our fair share of supporting Seasame Street by purchasing thier stuffed animals, videos, and music cds. However, I just believe that Seasame Street can be self supportive, that PBS and NPR leaders are taking advantage of tax payers with their high salaries, and that it makes sense to cut all non-essential government spending no matter how trivial a percentage of the budget it takes up.

Thats all.

Baron DeKalb

October 9th, 2012
4:08 pm

And here I was thinking that Red Lobster was a lifetime career for me…Do you seriously think we’re going to be surprised that some union-hating, big business bean counters (like Romney) would rather see their employees go without decent health care than part with any of their profits?

mikekurliez

October 9th, 2012
4:08 pm

watch nfl (season 2012-13) all games live at http://www.livesports300.co.cc

DJ Sniper

October 9th, 2012
4:15 pm

Get It Right, you need to stop watching Fox News. There is no threat whatsoever of the Obama administration coming to take your guns. Jesus, some of you are so easily lead astray. Also, your “freedom” started to erode shortly after 9/11, which was well before Obama got elected.

Georgia

October 9th, 2012
4:20 pm

Big Bird is #1 in Tweets…..and may the bluebird of happiness fly up your nose.

honested

October 9th, 2012
4:43 pm

get it wrong,

Here’s a little detail for you.
When I heard about darden restaurant’s un-American decision over healthcare, I just added them to the boycott list.
Last year, I probably spent a couple of thousand dollars if not more at their restaurants…….no more.

If they don’t believe their employees should be able to see a physician then I don’t believe they need my money.

A dad

October 9th, 2012
4:47 pm

Obama certainly can’t run on his record, so of course try to divert attention from that lack elsewhere. Didn’t he say something to that effect during his first campaign, about if not having a record then attack the other guy. His 4 years in office certainly don’t provide much record in a positive light so all he can do is try and make fun of Romney instead of responding to Romney’s challenges.

Liberal Pariah

October 9th, 2012
4:57 pm

And what caused Darden to change their policy? Seems they were just fine before Obamacare. Besides, that’s what Obama and Liberals want, ruin healthcare so that the government can come in and ‘rescue’ the system.

Rafe Hollister

October 9th, 2012
5:01 pm

honested, if you keep adding restaurants to your boycott list that do not provide health care for their employees, you are soon going to be dining at home.

That is why many of us opposed to Obamacare, think that we need to rethink this employer provided health insurance. People should buy health insurance like they buy car insurance. Then if you get screwed you can move to a different company. The Gov could subsidize your premiums just like they are subsidizing the employer’s health care costs.

Save Big Bird, Obama would look good in the costume, come 2013. But if Obama was to play Big Bird, they would certainly have to allow him to speak, or he would explode. Talk, talk, talk, tweet, tweet, talk some more.

NobodyYouKnow

October 9th, 2012
5:05 pm

If by now anyone can’t see the big difference between O’bama and Romney after that so called debate they don’t want a best educated, best experianced, best man for the job. That debate was a lecture to O’bama. Its not that O’bama wasn’t prepaired. Its that he didn’t know the answers to the many problems this country has. The democrats pushed him as their man because of his big smile, clean cut, nice family, and he makes good speeches.He’s a likeable man.But as far as a president, he’s LOST. He’ll do better next debate I’m sure but he will not get my vote. HE DOSEN’T HAVE A CLUE!

Marlboro Man

October 9th, 2012
5:05 pm

Romney runs on greed and emotion, he cares little for the average American unless he can make money off of their labor. Its his record, not what he says that stands.

LydiasDad

October 9th, 2012
5:07 pm

If Big Bird is so great, he should survive just fine with private funding, just like all of the popular shows on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. It’s time for gov’t to quit money it doesn’t have.

Liberal Pariah

October 9th, 2012
5:07 pm

And what EXACTLY has Obama done for the ‘average American’? Unless you are privileged enough to be in a union….NOTHING. More average Americans are unemployed than ever and he hasn’t done ONE thing to make it better….like he promised. Mostly he has just hoped it would change.

LydiasDad

October 9th, 2012
5:08 pm

I’m still just amazed that about half of Americans are still willing to vote for Obama again. That 50% is either flat out stupid, or completely reliant on government handouts. Either way, it’s scary.