Not too long ago much of the political chattering class bemoaned the fact that this election has become preoccupied with tiny things like the gaffe du jour. The media has finally responded by reporting on something far bigger: Big Bird.
In the presidential debate last week Republican challenger Mitt Romney said if he wins the election, he would cut federal spending, in part by ending subsidies to PBS. This, despite the fact that as Romney said in the debate, “I love Big Bird.” Since then, it feels like it’s all we hear about. (“Three of the top 10 most-read Politico stories are about Big Bird,” Politico‘s Byron Tau tweeted yesterday.)
Injecting a puppet into a presidential election is silly. And so, it follows reason that news coverage of it will also be silly. And it is…
6 Bizarre Big Bird Stories
1. The New York Post has an actual staff editorial regarding Big Bird. The editorial accuses President Obama of “disrespecting an icon” by using Big Bird in a political ad. You’d think Obama had just spit on a portrait of George Washington.
2. The more serious WSJ also has a staff editorial. “[T]he President has made this adorable critter the symbol of federal programs that allegedly require eternal taxpayer aid, even if it has to be put on the future tax bill of today’s pre-schoolers,” it says. “Is that funny?” (Should we answer?)
3. The Washington Examiner managed to quote an unnamed “former Obama campaign adviser” who literally said “ugh” in disapproval of the Big Bird ad: “It smacks of stupidity,” the former adviser said. “The polls are tightening. Romney is surging. And this is [Obama’s] message? Ugh.” We agree already: Ugh.
4. What would news coverage about Big Bird be without a cheesy bird reference? “Sesame Street cries ‘fowl’ over Obama campaign ad,” a Daily Caller headline reads. We see what ya did there, DC. You nailed it.
5. In WaPo, Nia-Malika Henderson pondered the imponderable. “One wonders why [Romney] didn’t pick Oscar the Grouch, perhaps not as beloved as his neighbor,” she wrote. Yeah, how come Oscar got off so easy?
6. If there were a “reading too far into it” award, The Free Beacon would have earned it. Officials from the Romney campaign ordered fried chicken for lunch from a Popeye’s Chicken yesterday. Free Beacon was on it. They asked Team Romney if they were sending a message to the Obama campaign by ordering chicken “amid [the] Sesame Street furor.” The Romney campaign wouldn’t comment, we’re sad to say.