Mitt Romney had plenty of awkward tussles with PBS news anchor and debate moderator Jim Lehrer throughout the first presidential debate on Wednesday, not the least of which came when he said that he wanted to cut federal funding for the veteran news man’s long-time network.
“I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS,” Romney said; perhaps realizing Lehrer is employed at the station, he quickly added the caveat, “I like PBS. I like Big Bird. I like you, too.”
The Big Bird line — a reference to Sesame Street, the long-running children’s program that has anchored PBS since the 1960s, instantly drew an explosion of commentary and snark on Twitter. PBS became the top trending topic, and multiple parody accounts, such as @SadBigBird, quickly sprang up to milk the line for all it was worth. (Among the tweets: We love everyone. Especially #zingers).
The federal government spent $444 million on the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funds PBS and NPR, in fiscal 2012; Romney said earlier this year that he was a fan of its programming, but not its cost.
“Some of these things, like those endowment efforts and PBS I very much appreciate and like what they do in many cases,” he told Fortune, “but I just think they have to stand on their own rather than receiving money borrowed from other countries, as our government does on their behalf.”
Honestly , Do we need Big Bird? He had a good run, He gave crappy parents an easy way our of spending quality time with their kids. Too bad PBS costs the tax payers so much money every year. Our economic system is in a hole and Big Birds milking the nipple days are hopefully nearly over. Who knows maybe Mark Zuckerberg will buy up PBS and save old Big Bird’s ass from the homeless shelter.