What Is The Fuss About Big Bird?
You’d think he suggested that we throw Big Bird off the cliff on national television. Mitt Romney made mention of his view that PBS should not get government funding during the debate and all of the sudden, there is this backlash that he is so insensitive.
I really have nothing against Sesame Street. I grew up with it and so are my kids. It is usually a pretty good show that teaches the basics to children through fun situations with favorite characters. But, would Sesame Street survive without government funding? Absolutely 100% yes, it would.
According to the IRS forms that they filled out, they make a lot of money and a lot of it is off of merchandising. You can see it just by visiting any store that sells toys. There are all sorts of varieties of toys that are sold with Sesame Street on them. Who can forget Tickle Me Elmo? How much do you think that Sesame Workshop, the parent company for Sesame Street, made on that little marvel? They are not hurting, not by any stretch.
The bottom line on all of this is that PBS can survive on without government support. Having worked at a non-profit during my career, I can tell you that you learn what you need to do when it is time to raise funds. You know what to do to make things work smarter when the money doesn’t come in. You also learn to deliver what people want to see. There are things that are terrific on PBS, but there is also a lot that really shouldn’t be on television. If they had to rely on donations from people, you would see their programming start to shift toward those that they are getting money from. Granted, they won’t be running Family Guy reruns and you probably would see a lot of educational programming. That is totally fine.
PBS normally has 12 percent of their funding provided by the government with the rest coming from other sources. Do you think they might find a way to live without that funding? Yes, it would mean changing the way they do things, but we have all had to deal with that over the years.
No, Mitt Romney is not for firing Big Bird. The bird is doing just fine as is PBS. We really don’t need to fund this organization anymore.