Right Hooks

Romney Was Right: Big Bird Heads to HBO

Turns out public funding isn't entirely necessary.

Nate Jackson · Aug. 17, 2015

“I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it,” Mitt Romney said in the 2012 campaign. He was referring to public funding for PBS in the current media age — such funding is a relic of a bygone era, on top of the fact that funding a guy in a big yellow bird costume is about as far from constitutional governance as one can get. But Romney took it on the chin from Barack Obama, who blasted him for refusing to “get rid of regulations on Wall Street, but he’s going to crack down on ‘Sesame Street.’” It was a clever line, and the millions of Americans who grew up watching Big Bird felt the emotional heart strings pulled. Fast forward to 2015, and Sesame Workshop, the company that produces the show, has announced it will team up with HBO to produce twice as many episodes for this season of the 46-year-old show, and then release them to PBS later. Oscar the Grouch meets Game of Thrones? Not likely, but it is a sign of the times. Sesame Street co-founder Joan Ganz Cooney said, “Over the past decade, both the way in which children are consuming video and the economics of the children’s television production business have changed dramatically. In order to fund our nonprofit mission with a sustainable business model, Sesame Workshop must recognize these changes and adapt to the times.” We realize that’s a novel concept for liberals still wearing capes and pretending to be Super Grover.

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