Republicans today added another icon of public media to their targets for broadcast de-funding – Sesame Street, the popular children’s educational program on PBS. Following congressional threats to defund NPR, and the firing of an NPR correspondent over comments ridiculing neoconservatives in an “ideological sting” video, that critics say is evidence of a liberal agenda, a new, even more [controversial video] has surfaced.
The [segment] features Sesame Street character Pino in a skit on collaborating with those who aren’t like ourselves, achieving goals by mutual coooperation, and not bullying others because we don’t share their views. Under pressure from conservative activists, who say the skit expresses liberal values and portrays conservatives in a bad light, Sesame Street is reportedly considering the termination of Pino’s contract, but nothing is confirmed as of yet. In the meantime, freshman Tea Party Republicans are calling for an end to any public funds for the educational TV show.
“The statistics are quite damning,” said an unnamed source. While roughly half of NPR listeners consider themselves moderate, and the other half are neatly divided between conservatives and liberals, PBS viewer research shows that school age children who view Sesame Street are five times less likely to make requests they know others can’t possibly agree to, and seven times more likely to resolve disputes by looking for genuine ways to compromise. Conservative spokespersons say this proves Sesame Street is “anti-God, anti-family, and unpatriotic”. Time will tell if Bert, Ernie, Big Bird, Elmo, Oscar the Grouch, and Pino will lose their funding for what some are calling, “a despicable cultural bias in children’s broadcasting”.