He sure did! During last night’s debate, Mitt Romney vowed to cut taxpayer funding for PBS if elected, leading to a massive freakout across the Twitterverse over Big Bird’s fate. Today, even David Axelrod is making his concern known:

Surely if PBS were to become privately funded, poor Big Bird would be forced to leave his nest! A new Twitter account, @FiredBigBird, sprang up last to let the world know how our feathered friend is taking the news:


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(In spite of the impressive follower count, @FiredBigBird has since been suspended. Sorry, Joan Walsh.)

But Big Bird needs to take a deep breath and chin up; we don’t need to tell him how to get to the unemployment office just yet. Plenty of people still understand that he’s more than capable of maintaining a comfortable lifestyle for himself:




Last year, Senator Jim Demint addressed PBS’s Washington push for more government funding, and he pointed out that in just four years, “Sesame Street” generated over $200 million of private revenue:

Shows like Sesame Street are multi-million dollar enterprises capable of thriving in the private market. According to the 990 tax form all nonprofits are required to file, Sesame Workshop President and CEO Gary Knell received $956,513 — nearly a million dollars — in compensation in 2008. And, from 2003 to 2006, “Sesame Street” made more than $211 million from toy and consumer product sales.

Public money currently being allocated to PBS could be better used elsewhere:

It’s not as if PBS is hurting:

Even “Sesame Street” execs have to admit that they’re doing just fine:

Via CNN:

[Sherrie Westin, Sesame Workshop’s executive VP and chief marketing officer] says, “Sesame Workshop receives very, very little funding from PBS. So, we are able to raise our funding through philanthropic, through our licensed product, which goes back into the educational programming, through corporate underwriting and sponsorship. So quite frankly, you can debate whether or not there should be funding of public broadcasting. But when they always try to tout out Big Bird, and say we’re going to kill Big Bird – that is actually misleading, because Sesame Street will be here.”

Defunding PBS will not put Big Bird and friends out on the street. This message has been brought to you by common sense.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7BG44DBU5IHJQ5ZAYWNT3RSPBM Jack Offelday

    I hope Big Bird knows he will need a photo ID to collect unemployment/welfare/food stamps.

    • Pigs

      But not to vote for Barry.

    • http://twitter.com/AUBraves AUBraves

      I see that you fall into the liberal point of view. You aren’t concerned that Obama has created high rates of unemployment and high rates of people forced onto welfare,,, Your concern is over the ID required to collect these entitlements??? Yeah, you’re on top of things.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/7BG44DBU5IHJQ5ZAYWNT3RSPBM Jack Offelday

        My comment was sarcasm regarding voter ID. I thought it was quite obvious. Next time I’ll include an explaination or /sarc so that witless dolts will be able to follow along.

    • http://twitter.com/DaffJtap jtap

      Yes but not to vote.

  • http://pinterest.com/j0s1395/ Josephine (D)

    This is what my Mom and I were saying. Sesame Street is big enough that even if PBS had issues after being defunded, it could probably just move to another channel if necessary. It’s a huge enterprise; it’s not like it’s been struggling financially.

  • Jack Deth

    With the amount of money in PBS’s coffers, there’s no reason for it NOT to succeed in the open market of ideas and capitalism.

    I’ve been funding it for more than forty years and it’s time for Big Bird to leave the nest and test its wings!

  • CalCon10

    My lib and “independent” (i.e., too cowardly to call themselves libs) friends are out in force: “PBS is awesome! It’s only half a billion! In Washington terms, that’s NOTHING!”

    Really? $500M pays for a lot of vital services, even at (inflated) govt contracting rates!

    • TomJB

      10,000 teachers!

    • grais

      Have you explained to them that it’s just the start; the tip of the unnecessary iceberg of debt that they & their children & grandchildren (even if unborn) owe TODAY?

  • WheresPatton

    And Fired Big Bird is no mas, thanks twitter! NOT!

  • Owen007

    Sounds like Big Bird is another phony 99%er. No wonder the left is rallying around him.

  • Right Wired

    PBS is a private nonprofit who business model is completely antiquated, yet continue to gets tax payer dollars.

    “PBS is a private, nonprofit corporation, founded in 1969”


    “PBS was founded to provide diversity in programming at a time when most television was broadcast over the public airwaves by only three privately owned national networks (as opposed to the multitude of programming sources provided by today’s private cable or satellite delivery services). ”


    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002109532283 Jillane Kent

      The licensing fees are placed in trust and that trust is substantial They’ll be fine during the transition.

  • TomJB

    Even if PBS had to close up, Sesame Street would go nowhere. The franchise would go up for auction and Nickelodeon, Disney, and who knows what other networks would be bidding. Likely a record amount too for any show, and certainly a record for a childrens’ show – 9 figures easy, maybe over a billion. Big Bird could move his nest to the Penthouse at Trump Tower with a private elevator, swimming-pool sized bird bath, and daily deliveries of 1/2 his weight in seed by private helicopter directly onto his rooftop terrace.

  • Nov-cubed

    The problem the legacy media fears is how much of their Ad-dollar pie PBS would instantly consume if PBS went private.

  • Paul Robert Carr

    Is that all the left can come up with? It was the main headline on Ariuffington Post. Ariana could not report anything else. Why doesn’t she go back to her native Greece to see how socialism has destroyed her native land? She could pick olives while she is waiting for it to work.

  • tiorbinist

    Big Bird makes $211 Million/ year, pays no taxes. 47%-er.

    Interesting point: Even with ObamaCare’s meddling, my middle kid went off our family health insurance at age 26, Big Bird is on welfare after 43 years. I”m surprised he works so hard, being that Obama rescinded the work requirements.

    Maybe Big Bird is really just a shy Capitalist hiding in his shell, and it’s time to be hatched.

    Oi. Just thought a bit: We have sesame-based books and toys… Hard to believe they still need government funding.

    In fact, how much of the money that PBS earns off of sales of recorded shows (like major concerts) gets back to the artists? How much are they acting like a Burbank major label? How do they retain non-profit status with the humongous amount of ‘sales’? Yes, you don’t _have_ to pay to watch… but somehow, PBS gets millions+ every year, enough to pay their CEO better than most big commercial companies.

    I wonder what Marshall Efron would make of PBS and their funding demands.

  • Ron Morisseau

    Obama has been giving America #THEBIGBIRD for the last 4 years about time we can return the favor

  • Streetiebird

    Firing big bird, one of the only specifics Romney gave during the debate.

    • Pigs

      Big Bird needs to get off welfare paid for by borrowing money from China and make it in the market place like all other media.

      • Streetiebird

        What other middle-class programs is he going to cut if he went straight after big bird? I thought he said he would only cut programs for the rich LOL. It makes folks wonder why he’s spending so much time and effort hiding the specifics of the rest of his $5 trillion in cuts.

    • grais

      You’ve got a vivid imagination.
      Or you’re just flat-out lying.
      Or you’re not overly bright.

      • Streetiebird

        What other specific cuts to tax breaks or programs did Romney mention? You must have a vivid imagination if you think he called out anything except firing big bird. He has to cut $5 trillion without hurting the middle class, if you think he can do that then you may not be overly bright.

        • grais

          Your entire premise (that Romney intends to “fire Big Bird”) is astounding nonsense. Ridiculous.
          If you can’t understand what he meant when he said he intends to weigh the benefits of discretionary spending with the cost of BORROWING THE MONEY to fund that discretionary spending…well, maybe you’re choosing not to understand.
          I listened to what he said, and didn’t hear anything Remotely like, “fire Big Bird.”
          btw, Big Bird is a 1%-er

  • Danny Wheeler

    Seseme Street fans… chill. Big Bird’s just a puppet!

  • JettieG

    Pfft. Sesame Street is just lefty propaganda to brainwash our young. PBS is govt-funded so you think it would be impartial. Heck, it’s just a libbie mouthpiece. Defund it.

  • grais

    Think of all the children that Big Bird has been…

    … indebting to China.

  • Lg

    Prehaps Big Bird gets federal funding because it lied about …. having a gay family member?
    AKA like Elizabeth Warren was a …”cherokee!!

  • Jedd McHead

    Let the market bear what it will.

  • http://twitter.com/AUBraves AUBraves

    Nickelodeon is “tingling” at the thought of getting Big Bird on their channel.

  • tomincol

    Something tells me Big Bird will survive

  • http://twitter.com/DaffJtap jtap

    Its called PBS for a reason. If you love Big Bird then be generous and donate to PBS.

  • http://twitter.com/Stimulus4U Marty Luther

    I like Big Bird. (served with fava beans and a fine Chianti.)

  • porgiefirefighter

    Big Bird can apply for free agency. Will get a huge jump in pay though already part of the 1%.

  • porgiefirefighter

    Big Bird can apply for free agency. Will get a huge jump in pay though already part of the 1%.

  • Shelby is a Patriot

    PBS gets tons of money in private donations. Nuff’ said.

  • Shelby is a Patriot

    PBS gets tons of money in private donations. Nuff’ said.

  • ed jones

    Future Headline, coming soon: Big Bird Endorses Romney, calls Sesame Street “Stealth Capitalism inside of The Socialist Government Machine”

  • ed jones

    Future Headline, coming soon: Big Bird Endorses Romney, calls Sesame Street “Stealth Capitalism inside of The Socialist Government Machine”