ABC and NBC Resort to Using 'Bert and Ernie' and 'Big Bird' to Undermine Effort to De-Fund NPR
Demonstrating how the mainstream media are an obstacle to any efforts
to make any cuts to any federal spending, NBC and ABC on Wednesday night
resorted to citing Sesame Street characters as potential "casualties in a war over culture and spending cuts," without any regard for how the Children's Television Workshop
is a huge generator of revenue from corporate donations and product
sales, as NBC's Lisa Myers went so far as to exploit the kids of the
With American children already falling behind, public broadcasting supporters fear Bert and Ernie could become a casualty of the political wars.
With House conservatives hoping to eliminate funding to the Corporation
for Public Broadcasting, which funds PBS and NPR stations and
production projects, Myers warned: "Officials say some stations would go
under. Also at risk, programming like Sesame Street."
On ABC's World News, Jake Tapper had invoked "Big Bird and Elmo," asserting:
The CEO of NPR submitted her resignation today. Their chief fundraiser was also shown the door. They're casualties in a war over culture and spending cuts that threatens the very existence of public broadcasting, including Big Bird and Elmo. The rain clouds gathering over Sesame Street today are due in no small part to this man, NPR now former senior vice president for fundraising, Ron Schiller...
The end of a story on the March 9 NBC Nightly News, as transcribed by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth:
LISA MYERS: NPR says it gets only two percent of its budget from taxpayers. Most of the federal money - 71 percent - goes to local public TV and radio stations. Losing that would hurt.
RALPH JENNINGS, WFUV RADIO GENERAL MANAGER: I think we would survive without the money. Would we do as good a job as we do now? Absolutely not.
MYERS: Officials say some stations would go under. Also at risk, programming like Sesame Street.
PATRICIA DE STACY, CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING CEO: We have studies that prove our programs get these children ready for school, ready to learn.
MYERS: With American children already falling behind, public broadcasting supporters fear Bert and Ernie could become a casualty of the political wars.
February 15: "ABC News Frets Over PBS Cuts: 'Big Bird on the Chopping Block?'"
- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.