Phillip Tutor: Beware Big Bird’s friends
Oct 04, 2012 | 2529 views |  0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Thank goodness for Mitt Romney.

Go get ’em, Mitt-man!

You tell ’em!

De-fund that PBS.

De-feather Big Bird.

Stick the knife to Sesame Street.

Who needs it, anyway?

Oh, hold on. Romney is a deeply religious man, a man of his word. If he says he’s a fan of Big Bird, then believe him. He wouldn’t fib. But after Wednesday’s night presidential debate, we’re left to believe Romney feels it will be his duty to pull the federal plug on mean-ol’ PBS, Big Bird’s boss, because if not, the country’s out-of-control spending will just roll on, undeterred, like Southern kudzu.

“I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m going to stop other things. I like PBS, I love Big Bird … But I’m not going to — I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for [it].”

Mitt loves Big Bird.

Thank goodness for Mitt.

He’s reminded us PBS-lovin’ children of yesteryear what we’re missing.

Big Bird last crossed my mind in about 1970 or so, back when I was learning to tie my shoes and like cooked carrots. (I mastered the first; I still loathe the second.) Gotta admit, Big Bird wasn’t my Sesame Street preference. Bert and Ernie ruled. The Cookie Monster was cool. That green thing in the trash can, Oscar the Grouch, scared me — like circus clowns and mean cats — but I watched anyway. Big Bird was more popular, more ubiquitous and more publicized.

Today, Big Bird owns a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, something neither Bert nor Ernie nor the Cookie Monster nor Oscar can claim.

Nevertheless, take that, Mitt!

Or, as President Obama said Thursday, “Thank goodness somebody is finally getting tough on Big Bird. It’s about time. We didn’t know that Big Bird was driving the federal deficit.”

Enough of that. Romney won the first debate, fair and square. He looked human; Obama looked as if he was missing his favorite TV show. But that’s not the point.

The point is: Lay off Big Bird!

Thanks to Big Bird-lovin’ Mitt, Sesame Street’s 8-foot, 2-inch star has become a bigger deal in this campaign than Joe Biden, though that’s no hard task. Doubt it? Well, look no further than Twitter, which in today’s modern world is the arbiter of all things trending in news and culture.

Once Big Bird-lovin’ Mitt affirmed his appreciation for the World’s Largest Canary, Twitter erupted with all things Big Bird. According to The Hill newspaper in Washington, the phrase “Big Bird” earned 17,000 tweets per minute. Snarky types created parody Twitter accounts and instantly gained thousands of followers: @BigBirdRomney, @BigBirdLives, @FiredBigBird.

A Thursday-afternoon check of my Twitter feed found a cornucopia of Big Bird-themed tweets. (Yea, I know.) An Iowa conservative wrote, “No wonder lefties identify with Big Bird. A 43-year-old welfare layabout with imaginary friends.” Ha, ha.

Ari Fleischer, the former Bush White House press secretary, chimed in. “Big Bird needs to ask Dora the Explorer (who is not on PBS) how she manages 2live without taxpayer money. Try it, Big Bird. You’ll be just fine.”

Even Sesame Street enjoyed some self-deprecating fun. “Big Bird: My bedtime is usually 7:45, but I was really tired yesterday and fell asleep at 7! Did I miss anything last night?”

See?

Big Bird is The Story of the Day.

Of course, if Big Bird were a different bird — a bird of prey — this Election Year tale would take a different course. If it were a falcon, Big Bird might swoop down at the next presidential debate, like Auburn’s eagle on Saturday afternoons, and give Romney a piece of its mind.

It’d scare me.

Romney had better be careful. Big Bird may not intimidate him, but the bird has friends, and that Oscar the Grouch is one tough dude.

Phillip Tutor — ptutor@annistonstar.com — is The Star’s commentary editor. Follow him at Twitter.com/PTutor_Star.
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