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Patch's Poll: Should the Federal Government Subsidize Big Bird?

As Sesame Street execs blow up over the use of the famous yellow feathered guy in an Obama ad, the question still remains: Should the federal government fund PBS?

In the days following the first presidential debate, the Twitterverse and Facebook exploded with references to Big Bird after Mitt Romney said he would cut subsidies to PBS, even though he liked the character.

The Obama campaign pounced on that pronouncement, claiming that Wall Street had nothing to fear from Romney, but Sesame Street better watch out.

On Tuesday, Sesame Street executives asked the Obama campaign to take down its Big Bird-related ad, according to CNN.com.

"Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns," the group wrote. "We have approved no campaign ads, and as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down."

The Obama campaign says it's reviewing those concerns, but in the meantime, the question remains. Should the federal government provide funding to PBS?

According to PBS, federal funding makes up about 15% of the system's revenues, but that percentage is much higher in underserved communities and could mean the difference in keeping educational and commercial-free programs on the air. Romney's argument is that the funding would be better used to help close the federal deficit.

How do you feel about it? Take our poll and tell us in the comments.

Jenn Bryson October 11, 2012 at 01:33 PM
Better the tiny subsidy for Big Bird than the huge subsidies to the big oil companies
Richard Poulton October 11, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Oil subsidies are not something new. Actually started in 1916 to allow new drilling companies to deduct the cost of drilling for tax purposes. In 1926 another deduction was allowed, called cost depletion. Both still exist today. These deductions were designed to help "start-up" companies in pursuit for the increasing energy demand. Are they still needed in today's world? That's the question we need answered.
Lance Coughlin October 11, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Sesame Street made over 40 million in royalties from the sale of products, and got a bunch more in private donations. And big bird still wants a handout? As someone put it, that makes big bird a bad one percenter. PBS told Obama to yank the ad, so there you go.
Lance Coughlin October 11, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Clarification: over 40 million in royalties in 2011 alone.
tkp October 13, 2012 at 08:09 PM
take a look at at the subsidies we give to oil companies and how much tax revenue it produces overall and how much we give to PBS and how much tax revenue it produces . I think since our goverment is getting something like 35 cents per gallon I think oil is the better investment. Take a hike Big Bird

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