Louis DeBroux / November 13, 2019

Time for Sesame Street Federal Funding to Meet Dead End

The show is beloved by millions, but it’s becoming more politicized each year.

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the premier of Sesame Street on PBS. At its inception, its creators said the goal of the show was to be an “experimental laboratory to stimulate the educational development of preschool children via television.”

Since its premier, Sesame Street has been beloved by countless millions of American children, who were taught the alphabet, counting, and basic principles of respect and civility by a cast of humans interacting with adorable puppets.

One favorite of the children is grumpy old Oscar the Grouch, a furry curmudgeon the color of mashed peas whose residence is a metal garbage can — which is apparently much roomier on the inside than it appeared from the outside. Oscar was a mildly combative sort who was quick to challenge your opinion, but if you made a strong case for your viewpoint, well, you had earned his respect.

Alas, even Sesame Street is not immune from the influences of, or attacks by, the politically correct mafia. Last year, Mark Saltzman, a writer on the show from 1984 through 1998, argued that, in his view, Bert and Ernie (two other puppets on the show) were homosexual, just like Saltzman and his roommate.

Said Saltzman, “I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert & Ernie, they were [homosexual],” he opined. “I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them. The other thing was, more than one person referred to Arnie & I as ‘Bert & Ernie.’”

Of course, while homosexual activists cheered this “woke” revelation, sane Americans responded with a shake of the head and a sigh of exasperation. Is there nothing left in our culture free from politicization or sexualization?

It’s bad enough that author J.K. Rowling of “Harry Potter” fame earlier this year retroactively made Hogwarts School headmaster Albus Dumbledore homosexual, a revelation greeted with contempt or apathy by most Potter fans. (Notably, Rowling made this revelation after she’d made her fortune from the popular series.)

Luckily, Sesame Street rejected the assertion of Bert and Ernie’s sexual orientation, and for that matter, denied their sexuality altogether. Famed puppeteer Frank Oz dismissed such a claim, responding, “It seems Mr. Mark Saltzman was asked if Bert & Ernie are gay. It’s fine that he feels they are. They’re not, of course. But why that question? Does it really matter? Why the need to define people as only gay? There’s much more to a human being than just straightness or gayness. … I created Bert. I know what and who he is.”

Exactly so. Still, it is disappointing that a gay writer is so desperate for validation of his sexual preferences that he had to sexualize puppets. That’s just sad, and a bit pathetic.

Unfortunately, there is a concerted effort underway to advance the normalization and celebration of LGBT agenda. Last week, Sarah Kate Ellis of GLAAD (a militant LGBTQLMNOP rights group) revealed their goal of having 20% of television’s characters be LGBT by 2025. Even assuming one agrees with that goal, it seems an unreasonable demand considering less than 3% of the U.S. population identifies as LGBT.

What homosexual activists understand quite clearly is that they have a much better chance of advancing their agenda if they can get children to accept it in their formative years, before cognitive reasoning skills have developed, and before they have much life experience.

And many are quite open about their desire to indoctrinate the children of those awful, religious, conservative parents. They freely admit it. And it has been going on quietly for years, with activists targeting children as young as kindergarten. Not to mention the explosion of Drag Queen Story Hours, where men flamboyantly dressed as women read stories to small children. A number of these men have been exposed as convicted pedophiles, even caught fondling children they were reading to.

And though leftists get the vapors every time it’s proposed, it is long past time to end federal funding for PBS, and for the arts in general. With annual deficits now running roughly a trillion dollars, it is immoral to continue to rack up mountains of debt on anything not specifically authorized by Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution.

This is specifically true of Sesame Street. A few years ago, when it appeared funding for the program might finally be cut, Sesame Workshop (the creator of Sesame Street) teamed up with HBO, and now produces twice as many shows, free to children everywhere on PBS just a few months after release.

In a day where more than 80% of Americans own smartphones, and where we have literally hundreds of shows produced not only by network television, but Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, and other media services, there is simply no longer any justification for taxpayer-funded media.

And this is especially true when taxpayers are forced to fund content that undermines their beliefs and values.

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