It’s All About Context

Wow. Who knew Big Bird and his Sesame Street friends were responsible for the nation’s budget deficit? That claim got a laugh from the president’s supporters yesterday And cartoons abound about the big yellow guy being out of work. Four national talk shows have contacted his agents to make appearances, Jimmy Kimmel included. According to Sesame Productions, he’s declining all invitations.

Of course, Big Bird and friends are not responsible, and of course, that was never the charge in the first place. It’s amazing what a little context provides. Romney’s assertion was that he would evaluate every federal program against this standard: Is it so critical that we need to borrow money from China to pay for it? He went on to add that PBS could be in the cross hairs.

As it turns out, federal monies provide 15% of the PBS budget. Would they struggle if that was cut? Most likely. Fold completely? Probably not. Is it worth borrowing money to continue contributing to it? That’s for you to decide. And the next question is: If it’s worthwhile, are you willing to pony up during the next PBS fund drive?

And in all this hullabaloo, it makes me wonder: How does Jim Lehrer feel about be far less important than Big Bird. After all, I haven’t seen any outcries for his job. Just wondering.

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