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Cartoon Aardvarks Lobby for PBS/NPR Funding, and So Does That ‘Arthur’ Character

By Doug Powers  •  February 17, 2011 09:58 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

Someday far into the future, people might look back at the fact that a country suffocating beneath a $14 trillion debt continued to satisfy pleas for big money from cartoon characters, muppets and public trough lampreys in Congress (pardon the redundancy) and chuckle, but for me that day is not today:

House Democrats made their case for continuing taxpayer funding of public media outlets such as NPR and PBS with a little help from Arthur the PBS cartoon character, who visited the Capitol Wednesday morning.

The friendly but silent aardvark joined Democratic Reps. Edward Markey of Massachusetts, Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and others to hit back against Republicans who have pledged to cut the funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in the next budget.

“We need your help today,” Markey said as a person dressed as the character walked toward the Capitol building. “We can’t leave Arthur and all of his pals in the lurch.”

Can’t leave Arthur & pals in the lurch? To quote the president, “Yes we can!” But they got one thing right — what better symbol when it comes to digging snouts into pockets than an aardvark? Next time they should bring Snuffleupagus, because he can get down in there a little deeper.

They even brought charts (full picture at the Daily Caller here):


Bert needs to lay off the Skoal.

Why do Bert and Ernie look a little rough? The horrible thought of having to scrape by only on tens of millions of dollars per year in licensing and merchandising fees with no extra taxpayer money can take its toll on a muppet.

Alan Grayson would have been great at this:


As for the NPR half of this equation, I don’t know what they’re worried about, since their CEO seems to believe their level of taxpayer support is fairly insignificant. Not insignificant enough however to forget to send President Obama a gracious thank-you note for the increase in funding in his recent budget.

**Written by Doug Powers

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