Big Bird has no comment on Romney’s PBS comment
Never mind the voters, what does Big Bird think of Mitt Romney’s plan to unfund PBS? Thursday, we tried to reach Caroll Spinney, the Waltham native who’s voiced the beloved “Sesame Street” character since the 1960s. Spinney wasn’t home, but his wife, Debra, was. “He really has no comment on any of this,” she told us. “We don’t have the Internet or Twitter or anything.” Big Bird’s bride told us neither she nor her husband had watched the debate, so didn’t even know what Romney had said. Talking about government spending, the Republican presidential nominee said: “I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m going to stop other things. I love Big Bird.” He then looked at debate moderator, Jim Lehrer, anchor of PBS’s “News Hour,” and said: “I actually like you too, but I’m going to stop borrowing money from China to pay for things we don’t need.” The comment sparked a flood of Big Bird-related posts on Twitter. “Mitt is smirky, sweaty, indignant and smug with an unsettling hint of hysteria,” actress Olivia Wilde tweeted. “And he wants to kill BIG BIRD. #debate2012” When we couldn’t reach Spinney, we called PBS. “There’s certainly been a lot of conversation about it,” said network spokeswoman Jeanne Hopkins. “It’s unfortunate that Governor Romney doesn’t understand the full impact and value of PBS.” She noted that the allocation for PBS is 1/100th of 1 percent of the federal budget. “[Unfunding] would not have an impact on the national debt,” said Hopkins.