Skip to main content

Mitt Romney’s Big Bird swipe during Wednesday’s debate raised some hackles: PBS’s, many on social media and mine.
So begins the Saturday New York Times column by Charles M. Blow.  As is usually the case with Blow's columns, it is a must read.

He quotes Mitt Romney from the debate, then says simply of what Romney said

Those are fighting words.
He mentions the explosion on social media, quotes from the PBS response to Romney, then offers another one liner:
Exactly! What they said!
But there is so much more. . .

Immediately after the one liner I just quoted, Blow begins an explanation of the importance of Big Bird.

Here is the start of that explanation:  

Big Bird is the man. He’s 8 feet tall. He can sing and roller skate and ride a unicycle and dance. Can you do that, Mr. Romney? I’m not talking about your fox trot away from the facts. I’m talking about real dancing.

Of greater importance is this:  

Big Bird and his friends also showed me what it meant to resolve conflicts with kindness and accept people’s differences and look out for the less fortunate. Do you know anything about looking out for the less fortunate, Mr. Romney? Or do you think they’re all grouches scrounging around in trash cans?
But Blow is just getting started.

He refers to the 47% comment, and concludes that paragraph with

Do you really believe that Pennsylvania Avenue is that far away from Sesame Street? It shouldn’t be.
And to put it bluntly:  
Let me make it simple for you, Mr. Romney. I’m down with Big Bird. You pick on him, you answer to me.
Romney will answer to Blow because Blow personally knows the importance of PBS, starting with his childhood in a poor family without daycare except for a great-uncle or preschool.  But he could watch PBS.  Later he was able to overcome the lack of specific instruction because of watching nature shows on PBS.

He offers more personal testimony, concluding that portion of his column with this simple statement:  

I honestly don’t know where I would be in the world without PBS.
He quotes from the PBS statement in response to Romney, including that the cost of PBS to the average American is $1.35/year.   That pales when placed next to the waste in the defense budget, a budget that Romney wants to increase with spending on things the Generals and Admirals do not even want.  

Whatever else he might have gained from the debate, Romney did himself more than that amount in damage by messing with Big Bird.  Too many of the people whose votes he wants treasure what PBS offers.  That is especially true of Sesame Street, and has been for decades.

Romney thought he was being clever.  Right.  About as clever as his jokes about cookies in Pennsylvania or rain gear at Nascar.  

I think Blow absolutely nails it in his close:  

PBS is a national treasure, and Big Bird is our golden — um, whatever kind of bird he is.

Hands off!

It is one of our true national treasures.  We who value it -  which is a huge proportion of the American population - do not like it being used as a political kickball.

Major fail on the part of Mitt Romney.

And one terrific column by Charles M. Blow.  

Read it.

Pass it on.


Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

True North, mwm341, Powered Grace, Emerson, SanJoseLady, Stein, Troutfishing, jdld, freelunch, Norwegian Chef, Theodoric of York Medieval Liberal, DemInSeattle, cyberKosFan, amsterdam, Dhavo, Ignacio Magaloni, retLT, itskevin, bwren, TampaCPA, revsue, Serendipity, Lilyvt, Texknight, annan, elmo, yet another liberal, texasmom, defluxion10, FlyingToaster, zerelda, Sembtex, Kitsap River, Marianne Benz, Emmy, Leaves on the Current, Gowrie Gal, 3goldens, Jeffersonian Democrat, UFOH1, JanetT in MD, revbludge, OpherGopher, KnotIookin, kitchen sink think tank, Dobber, owlbear1, Beetwasher, jimstaro, paxpdx, kaliope, Savvy813, peacestpete, orphanpower, irishwitch, Mr Bojangles, hungrycoyote, global citizen, philipmerrill, Crashing Vor, real world chick, Preston S, BB10, Statusquomustgo, ms badger, Palmetto Progressive, out of left field, Donkey Underpants, dotsright, Cronesense, Habitat Vic, Loudoun County Dem, LSophia, yoduuuh do or do not, Mary Mike, Matt Z, newpioneer, hopi13, RudiB, I am a Patriot, uciguy30, leonard145b, BasharH, Empower Ink, TheOtherMaven, jwinIL14, MKinTN, JeffW, TX Freethinker, GAS, MikePhoenix, Marko the Werelynx, Cordwainer, Youffraita, parakinesis, crescentdave, dadadata, bythesea, TomFromNJ, tofumagoo, hwmnbn, icebergslim, mofembot, Gemina13, glendaw271, petulans, Fortunalee, JamieG from Md, Guadalupe59, Fiddlegirl, Ran3dy, weaponsofmassdeception, Kansas Born, litoralis, The Dead Man, Michael James, jtraynor, WakeUpNeo, DefendOurConstitution, petral, johnosahon, Shelley99, IreGyre, stevenwag, reesespcs, northernlights, Livvy5, BlueOak, coppercelt, mamamorgaine, marabout40, flitedocnm, estreya, legalchic, RJP9999, gulfgal98, Anne933, anonevent, DiegoUK, sharonsz, rja, orlbucfan, ericlewis0, Floande, Oh Mary Oh, Belle Ame, Onomastic, annieli, ozsea1, spooks51, jardin32, vahana, Olympia, fishboots, OhioNatureMom, mrsgoo, beka, Yogurt721, chira2, DRo, Mentatmark, Pierretrudeau, left over flower child, Only Needs a Beat, KiB, StonyB, Siri, ahumbleopinion, David54, a2nite, Purdue219, Horace Boothroyd III, smokey545, idbecrazyif, Ree Zen, ApatheticNoMore1966, blue91

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site