In his Denver speech, he jabbed back at Mitt Romney's statement from last night's debate that the former governor would take away funding for PBS's Sesame Street Show, despite his fondness for Big Bird.
"Thank goodness somebody is finally getting tough on Big Bird," he said to laughs. "It's about time."
In a statement issued today, PBS said “We are very disappointed that PBS became a political target in the Presidential debate last night. Governor Romney does not understand the value the American people place on public broadcasting and the outstanding return on investment the system delivers to our nation. We think it is important to set the record straight and let the facts speak for themselves.”
Other excerpts from the PBS statement:
–”The federal investment in public broadcasting equals about one one-hundredth of one percent of the federal budget. Elimination of funding would have virtually no impact on the nation’s debt. Yet the loss to the American public would be devastating.”
–”As a stated supporter of education, Governor Romney should be a champion of public broadcasting, yet he is willing to wipe out services that reach the vast majority of Americans, including underserved audiences, such as children who cannot attend preschool and citizens living in rural areas.”
–”For more than 40 years Big Bird, has embodied the public broadcasting mission – harnessing the power of media for the good of every citizen, regardless of where they live or their ability to pay. Our system serves as a universally accessible resource for education, history, science, arts and civil discourse.”
–”Each day, the American public receives an enduring and daily return on investment that is heard, seen, read and experienced in public media broadcasts, apps, podcasts and online – all for the cost of about $1.35 per person per year.”
"I'm sorry, Jim, I'm going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I'm going to stop other things. I like PBS, I love Big Bird. Actually I like you, too. [Moderator Jim Lehrer whose show is on PBS.] But I'm not going to -- I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for [it]."
Cutting PBS support (0.012% of budget) to help balance the Federal budget is like deleting text files to make room on your 500Gig hard drive
I agree that PBS funding isn't going to help - but why is the government supporting this?
I think in times when there is a recession you do need to consider cutting where ever you can - is it necessary to fund PBS? I'd rather use that money to feed people.
Doesn't sesame street make any money off things like tickle me elmo that would/could support the show?
“Stations in rural parts of the country, where their parts of the federal funding is 40, 50, 60 percent, those stations will go off the air,” PBS chief executive Paula Kerger told CNN this morning. “The reach of our work is so extensive and so deeply rooted in education … the fact that we are in this debate at all is just incomprehensible.”