Governor Romney and PBS Big Bird
Ward Room Blogger Edward McClelland often empoys satire as a device to take on big topics. This is one of those cases. Please read the following imagined conversation between Mitt Romney and Big Bird with satire in mind.
This episode of Sesame Street is brought to you by the letter R and the number 47.
(The day after President Romney's inauguration. Children are playing hopscotch with Big Bird when Romney and several aides enter.)
ROMNEY: Wow. Quite a mix on this street. Negroes, Chicanos, Orientals. I’m sure they didn’t vote for me, but I’m the president of 100 percent of Americans now.
AIDE: Mr. President, birds and children can’t vote.
ROMNEY: That’s OK. We’re not campaigning anymore. We’re governing. And this is the first tough decision I have to make.
(Romney approaches Big Bird.)
BIG BIRD: Hello, sir. Are you here to play hopscotch?
ROMNEY: Mr. Bird, it’s nice to meet you. I love your work. I’m sorry, I’m not here to play. I’m here with bad news. Your hopscotch game is over. In fact, your show is over. I’m cancelling it. Middle-class Americans can no longer afford the burden of paying for educational television.
BIG BIRD (crestfallen): But I’ve lived on Sesame Street for 44 years! I was hatched in a nest in that tree there. How is a bird my age going to find a new job if you lay me off? How am I going to pay my veterinary bills?
ROMNEY: I heard that question a lot when I was with Bain Capital. The answer is, the American people are resilient, and there’s always work for people willing to work. Also, most veterinary offices have after-hours emergency rooms.
CHILD: Who’s going to teach us how to count?
ROMNEY: Kids, you should have been watching the presidential debates, when I laid out my five-point plan. One, get us energy independent. Number two, open up more trade. Number three, make sure our people have the skills they need to succeed and the best schools in the world. Number four, get us to a balanced budget. Number five, champion small business.
CHILD: That’s only to five.
ROMNEY: Well, I have a ten-point plan, but it takes too long to explain. Especially since this show is going off the air. Hey, Rich, can you get the bird suit off this guy?
(Aide pulls bird head off actor playing Big Bird.)
BIG BIRD: Hey, what are you doing with my head?
ROMNEY: We’re going to ship the costumes and the entire set to India. The actors will work a lot cheaper over there, but they still speak English. If we can find some advertisers, we might be able to re-package this show for commercial television. Maybe on late nights. I don’t think there’s much of a market for a show about a giant bird hanging out with a bunch of little kids. It’s not exactly reality TV, is it?