I Can’t Improve on Jim DeMint’s Headline: ‘The Muppet Lobby’
God bless Jim DeMint. The spectacle of House Democrats dragging out some poor volunteer to stand in a giant costume of Arthur, the bespectacled aardvark who has been around so long — even I remember those books, mostly from the Reading Rainbow episode. Even by the standards of Washington publicity stunts, this is unforgivably cheesy.
And as I noted, if you’re going to argue that cuts to PBS will endanger quality programming, you probably should pick a show that doesn’t already enjoy the sponsorship of several extraordinarily large corporations: Chuck E. Cheese, Juicy Juice, McDonald’s, and CVS.
Sen. Jim DeMint finally brings some actual numbers to the talk of a felt financial bloodbath: “Last year, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting was allocated $420 million by Congress. And, President Obama is asking Congress to give a whopping $451 million to CPB in his new budget, even though the nation is more than $14 trillion in debt. To put that in perspective, it would take Count Von Count more than 42 years to count the 451 million, one ‘Ah! Ah! Ah!’ dollar at a time. . . .
“It’s time to draw a clear distinction between the government and entertainment. Democrats shouldn’t cast our children’s most beloved creatures as characters for their big-government, big-spending causes. . . .
“Shows like Sesame Street are multi-million-dollar enterprises capable of thriving in the private market. According to the 990 tax form all nonprofits are required to file, Sesame Workshop President and CEO Gary Knell received $956,513 — nearly a million dollars — in compensation in 2008. And, from 2003 to 2006, Sesame Street made more than $211 million from toy- and consumer-product sales. When taxpayer funding for public broadcasting ends, rest assured, Cookie Monster will still be fed.”
When reached for comment, Cookie Monster responded to DeMint’s argument by declaring, “NOM NOM NOM COO-KIE NOM NOM NOM.”