“Don’t Mess With Big Bird” is the title of Charles M. Blow’s Op-Ed piece in the New York Times on Saturday. I wonder if the Times editors even read the piece before it was published.
The pathetic performance of President Obama last week at the hands of conservative Mitt Romney is really raking on the Times’ liberals, which includes about 99.9% of the staff (my estimate).
Blow tried to come to Obama’s rescue by telling the world he was outraged by Romney’s promise to cut funding for PBS ($280 million annually); PBS airs Sesame Street, so Big Bird would be in jeopardy. This, of course, is untrue as the Sesame Street franchise is extraordinarily profitable (it earned $211 million between 2003-2006), and it could easily move to another network (free television), so young children in rural places would not be deprived of a “PBS education.”
After accusing Romney of telling lies on a regular basis, liberals are now resorting to some fact twisting of their own. When Romney threatened Jim Lehrer and Big Bird, he was referring to the millions of dollars of subsidies PBS receives that are being funded by Chinese loans. That was a pretty dramatic statement by Romney, but the fact is that every incremental dollar of expenditures by the federal government is being funded by new debt, a lot of which is being purchased by China.
Personally, I would rather have the PBS subsidy go to purposes that are more directly affiliated with education, like teacher salaries and school renovation. But, that’s just my opinion.
Blow thought it important for his readers to know that “[He] was poor. [His] mother couldn’t afford day care. [He] didn’t go to preschool. [His] great-uncle took care of [him] all day.”
Blow attributed his ability to understand “the reading passages toward the back of the test” to “innumerable nature shows on PBS.” Note: I’d like to check this fact.
He then tells us how successful he has been in college, at the Times and at National Geographic; it was a biographical moment. PBS really helped Blow with all these great accomplishments.
I’m sure many people are impressed with Blow’s success and the impact of PBS on his amazing career. I am as well, but this is a very strange context to discuss these things.
This type of “journalism,” even in the Op-Ed section is over the top. Blow would better serve his followers by sticking to his usual agenda; all-out attacks on anyone right of center and anyone who earns more than $250,000.
I wish I never read the piece; it was a colossal waste of time. And then, I wasted even more time trying to diminish the importance of Big Bird on the education of needy students throughout the country.