Big Bird And Bullies

These have no connection to one another, except they were talked about last week.

Judging by the flap over one sentence in an hour and a half debate last week, you would think Mitt Romney lost.

Pledging to withdraw government funding for PBS (not a new issue, by the way, with Republicans), he mentioned Sesame Street, and, more specifically, the Big Bird character.

Reaction was immediate. Everyone from President Obama (who, it is generally agreed, turned in a poor debate performance) to political cartoonists and, of course, Saturday Night Live, jumped on the issue.

This isn't anything new. Every time I've seen a pledge drive at a PBS station (and I even participated in a couple in college), one thing the hosts always emphasize is Sesame Street.

The thing is, SS is the one PBS franchise with the best chance of surviving on its own.  There's all sorts of merchandise from the now-43 year old show for sale, from toys to videos.  I haven't looked, but I imagine it's also on the web.

If PBS one day goes away (something I doubt will happen soon), Sesame Street-and Big Bird-will somehow live on.


Now, for the Wisconsin anchor who was chastized for her weight.

I don't agree with her characterization of a viewer's e-mail, which led to her four-minute commentary, as "bullying". Based on what I've read, it is overly (and perhaps, unfairly) critical, but bullying is a stretch.

But as for the writer's suggestion that she's a poor "role model" because of her weight, I ask: has this guy ever heard of Oprah Winfrey?

Oprah has struggled all her life, both openly and publicly, with weight problems. Yet, she's not only considered a role model, but a television and cultural icon.

Frankly, the television station this anchor works for should be commended for hiring her. Thank goodness, someone thinks ability matters as much as appearance does.


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