Fowl Play?: Big Bird Enters the 2012 Presidential Debate

Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

It has been estimated that approximately 50 million Americans watched the first presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney that took place on October 3rd. Many viewers of the debate are diehard fans of Sesame Street. They were taken aback when Romney brought up the name of one of this country’s most well-loved TV avian characters that evening. It’s a good thing that John James Audubon wasn’t alive to hear the words that emitted from Mitt’s mouth in responding to Jim Lehrer about cuts that he’d make in federal spending if he is elected President:

“I’m sorry, Jim. I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m going to stop other things. I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you too. But I’m not going to — I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it.”

The following day,  PBS issued a statement expressing disappointment that it had become a target in the political discussion the previous evening. Big Bird himself issued no statement on his own behalf.  Since the debate, however, he has appeared on television entertainment and news shows and in a number of Youtube videos. It has been reported that our fine feathered friend was truly disheartened when he learned of Romney’s plan to eliminate funding for PBS programs like Sesame Street, the show that brought him fame and helped to make “Big Bird” a household name.

Big Bird will be happy to learn that his fans are organizing an event to show their support for him, for his fellow Muppets, and for PBS. The event is called the Million Muppet March. It is scheduled to take place on the National Mall on November 3rd.

Take heart, Big Bird!

PICTURES (From Million Muppet March site)


Million Muppet March’ Planned Against Romney (ThinkProgress)

 ‘Million Muppet March’ planned to defend U.S. backing for PBS (Reuters)

Why Is Mitt Romney Picking a Fight with Big Bird? (Time)

108 thoughts on “Fowl Play?: Big Bird Enters the 2012 Presidential Debate”

  1. Paul Ryan and the Soup Kitchen: A Ladle into the Lies
    By Charles P. Pierce

    Now this, this right here is the kind of thing that must make Al Gore want to dive to the bottom of a vat of Jack Daniels and drink his way to the surface again. For two years, his attempt to become president of the United States was bedeviled by journalistic malpractice based on things he hadn’t said, things he hadn’t claimed to do, and all around the general theme that he was a fake and a phony and a fraud. How lasting was the damage? How many idiots did you hear in the last ten days referring to how Gore “sighed” during that debate with C-Plus Augustus, despite the fact that, as Bob Somerby tirelessly points out, this alleged “sighing” didn’t matter at all at the time, but only became important when it was fitted over the following two weeks into the narrative that already existed. Now, though, Gore has to watch a Republican ticket bring fakery, phoniness and fraudulence to an almost epic level, and get away largely clean.

    The head of a northeast Ohio charity says that the Romney campaign last week “ramrodded their way” into the group’s Youngstown soup kitchen so that GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan could get his picture taken washing dishes in the dining hall. Brian J. Antal, president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society, said that he was not contacted by the Romney campaign ahead of the Saturday morning visit by Ryan, who stopped by the soup kitchen after a town hall at Youngstown State University. “We’re a faith-based organization; we are apolitical because the majority of our funding is from private donations,” Antal said in a phone interview Monday afternoon. “It’s strictly in our bylaws not to do it. They showed up there, and they did not have permission. They got one of the volunteers to open up the doors.” He added: “The photo-op they did wasn’t even accurate. He did nothing. He just came in here to get his picture taken at the dining hall.”

    I warned right at the start of this campaign that, to the Romneys, there are only two kinds of people in the world: themselves, and The Help. It is their job to live their god-kissed lives and it is the job of The Help to make those god-kissed lives as trouble-free as possible. We are scenery, set decoration. We are props in the long-running production of The Importance of Being Willard. It was the job, ordained from on High, for the people at that soup kitchen to be available for use by Romney’s running mate. It didn’t matter that there was nothing for them to do there. They exist only to serve the higher good of helping Willard Romney attain what he wants when he wants it.

    This, to me, should be something of a dealbreaker. It is a clear window not only into the sheer contempt the ticket has for people less fortunate than its two principal players — which, of course, is almost everyone — but also the sheer contempt it has for the intelligence of the voters to which it is ostensibly appealing. This should be something of a dealbreaker. At the very least, it should drain all the credibility from any further attempts to turn the Romneybot 2.0 into recognizably human form. Hell, the ridicule alone should go on for two or three days. In fact, the Romney-Ryan headquarters already should have been deluged with rubber gloves, SOS pads, and bottles of Palmolive dishwashing liquid. The zombie-eyed granny-starver has spent two weeks looking completely ridiculous, on and off the debate stage. (Learn how to wear a ballcap, foof.) He already should be Dan Quayle with spreadsheets.

  2. Matt Taibbi: Mitt Romney Campaign ‘Not Serious’
    The Huffington Post
    By Bonnie Kavoussi

    The media should be acting like Vice President Joe Biden and responding to to Mitt Romney’s campaign with “contemptuous laughter” because “it’s not serious,” according to Matt Taibbi.

    “Every single day in the newspapers it should be, ‘Romney-Ryan Tax Plan Still Makes No Sense,'” Taibbi, contributing editor to Rolling Stone, told Current TV host Eliot Spitzer on Spitzer’s show “Viewpoint” Monday. “They’re making this extravagant promise, they’re saying, ‘We’re going to cut everybody’s taxes by 20 percent, it’s going to be like Fairyland,’ and yet they’re being treated as though it’s a serious political campaign, and they should be [getting] slaughtered by the press for this.”
    The Tax Policy Center recently concluded that Romney’s tax plan is mathematically impossible without raising taxes on the middle class. Taibbi echoed this analysis on Current TV, saying that cutting deductions to help pay for a 20 percent cut in marginal tax rates would “disproportionately” hit the middle class and lower class, while helping the rich the most. But Romney and Ryan “haven’t been forced to give those answers,” Taibbi said.

    Taibbi said that instead of questioning the Romney-Ryan tax plan, the press has been lionizing Paul Ryan.


    The ‘Romney/Ryan tax plan still makes no sense’: Matt Taibbi urges the media to demand answers

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