Though he’s been a mainstay on Sesame Street for decades, Big Bird said getting name-dropped by Mitt Romney this past week made him feel like he’s famous.
“I was walking down the street and I felt like everybody recognized me,” he said during a rare nighttime sojourn, an appearance on Saturday Night Live. “It’s so weird to think that just a few days ago, I could just blend in like any other normal eight-foot-tall talking bird.”
Big Bird and his show’s network, PBS, became a hot topic after the Oct. 3 debate between Romney and President Barack Obama, when Romney said he would end the subsidy to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting as a means to trim the national deficit.
“I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you, too,” Romney told moderator Jim Lehrer. “But I’m not gonna keep on spending money on things to borrow from China to pay for.”
Romney’s specific targeting of PBS attracted criticism, given that the $444 million subsidy accounted for .037 percent of the $1.2 trillion deficit. However, Sherrie Rollins Westin, executive producer of Sesame Workshop, the non-profit group behind the show, recently told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien the bulk of the show’s funding comes through sales of licensed products, sponsorships and donations.
“Quite frankly, you can debate whether or not there should be funding of public broadcasting,” Westin said. “But when they always try to tout out Big Bird and say, ‘We’re going to kill Big Bird,’ that actually is misleading. Because Sesame Street will be here. Big Bird lives on.”
Big Bird didn’t directly address Romney’s threat to fire him, but he did tell “Weekend Update” host Seth Meyers he got a lot of tweets on the subject — just not the social media kind.
“No, I’m a bird,” he said. “Tweeting is how we talk.”
Watch Big Bird’s appearance on SNL, posted Sunday on Hulu, below.
I think Trump’s people sit around ‘thinking up new ways to be cruel’: Senator
On Wednesday's edition of MSNBC's "All In," Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) tore into the Trump administration for its treatment of migrant children, as yet more reports come in of children being denied basic services in squalid conditions, and as Trump considers ways to get around the federal consent decree placing limits on how long they can be detained.
"We already know from so many child specialists that detaining children in these kinds of facilities does irreparable damage to them," said Hirono. "There are alternatives to family detention this administration could care less about ... the only way to get around the consent agreement is by getting around it by proposing or having this rule, which will be immediately challenged. They want to detain families indefinitely, children indefinitely, held in situations that do them absolutely no good when there are alternatives."
Maddow: You have to watch what the lying White House does — and not what they say
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow opened her show with a quick assessment of her thoughts on the ridiculous that the president of the United States regurgitated into the mouths of his supporters Wednesday.
She began by noting that they don't do press briefings at the White House anymore; instead, they've turned to talking to the president directly as he enters or exits the building to go off on his campaign trips or vacations.
"Today the president held a long one of these," she said. "One of the ones where he tried to push everyone's buttons, the president is denouncing the prime minister of our allied Denmark. He's calling her nasty. That will get some headlines. The president attacked American Jews for a second straight day today, saying they have dual loyalty because they're Jews. Americans of other religions don't have that dual loyalty or his suspicions of dual loyalty, Jewish-Americans do, because of their religion."
Trump’s economic policy is like ‘burning all your furniture to heat the house’: New York Times columnist
On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," New York Times columnist Tom Friedman scorned President Donald Trump's economic policy of endless tax cuts and cheap credit as a cynical ploy to get elected, rather than something in the long-term interest of economic stability.
"You know, under Obama, Republicans were screaming about the deficit, about deficits, the whole Tea Party was about deficits," said Cooper. "No one seems to care about that at all, and the deficits have exploded, and certainly this president doesn't care about that."
"You know, look, the party is clearly a cult of personality, it's not a 'party' in any sense that it was before," said Friedman. "What is more conservative than to say that, running up a debt this high and then beating on the Fed to lower interest rates is kind of like burning all your furniture to heat the house, and one day you'll run out of furniture?"