Aug. 11, 2008
Sesame Street turns 39 today with the start of a new season and I see no better time to wean them from the public spigot. We, as taxpayers, give over $420 million a year to underwrite the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which includes both PBS (which produces Sesame Street) and National Public Radio. Don't get me wrong, I grew up on the Street (back when Snuffleupagus was just a part of Big Bird's slow walk towards insanity) and my nieces and nephews always have me do my dead on version of Rubber Ducky anytime they see me, however there is no need a billion dollar industry like Sesame Street needs to continue getting federal funding.
Most of the topics of programs seen on PBS now have whole channels dedicated to them like The Learning Channel, Discovery Channel, Food Network, etc. Unfortunately both PBS and NPR know how to effectively use taxpayer dollars to lobby Congress to give them even more money. Who can forget when Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-eprobate), currently in a taxpayer funded facility himself after taking in more than $2 million in bribes, allowed Elmo, the muppet, to testify before Congress on increased taxpayer funding of music programs. Every time someone suggests cutting the budget of these shows even Republicans in Congress act as crazy as if you were taking Chip's Ahoy away from the Cookie Monster (I mean of course back before the PC police turned Cookie Monster into a broccoli eating wimp.)
Since its inception in 1967, Congress has appropriated over $8 billion of taxpayer funds to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, this despite the billions in merchandising made from Dora the Explorer lunchboxes and Tickle Me Elmos.
Happy birthday Sesame Street! Now can you move out and get yourself a real job?