**Written by Doug Powers
One of the most important issues of the day will be addressed en masse at the National Mall in Washington, DC just three days before the election. Unemployment? No. Massive debt? Negative. Ballooning dependence on government? Nah. Steady decline in middle class income? Nuh-uh. Terrorism? Don’t think so. This will be an event to draw attention to an even bigger problem that could bring an end to America as we know it — or 12 percent of PBS’s funding, whichever comes first: Mitt Romney’s plan to slash federal funding for the home of Sesame Street:
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 November 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 October 3, two men who had never met each floated the Million Muppet March idea on social media. They immediately united to defend public broadcasting.
Romney pledged during the debate to end the U.S. federal government’s subsidy for the Public Broadcasting Service despite his professed love for Big Bird, one of the characters on PBS’s 43-year-old children’s educational program “Sesame Street,” which features the Muppets.
Michael Bellavia, 43, an animation executive from Los Angeles, and Chris Mecham, 46, a university student in Idaho, separately came up with the Million Muppet March idea in response.
The last time Big Bird went to a protest he got a little out of control, but he’s pledged to behave himself this time.
I managed to obtain an advance copy of Big Bird’s speech to the Million Muppet March (title: “I Have a Federally Funded Dream”). Here are a few excerpts:
“We’re here today to call attention to a national tragedy in the making: The possibility of PBS losing 12 percent of its funding.”
“We are endowed by our Creator with these rights — and by ‘Creator’ I’m of course referring to Jim Henson.”
“I’d like to give a shout-out to the latest edition to the Sesame Street family who is here with us today. Put your wings, paws and fuzzy green, blue and orange hands together for this cute, fluffy chicken and Sesame Street’s new resident reproductive rights advocate, Sandra Cluck!”
“It’s imperative that we all vote for President Obama. Remember, it’s because of him and not Romney that Bin Laden is dead, and I’m alive!”
“We’re not here to allege that America is an unfair nation. After all, where else can a guy pull down over three hundred grand a year for wearing a giant bird costume? But we are an unfocused one.”
“I have a federally funded dream that one day our nation’s leaders are not judged on the content of their character or the justness of their causes but rather on how much taxpayer money they want to give to public television.”
More on the organizers here.
It promises to be a special event.
**Written by Doug Powers
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