Big Bird spared, for now


You know who’s even happier than President Obama about the results of Tuesday’s election? Big Bird. He’s still employed, which was at least in doubt had Mitt Romney won and followed through on his pledge to defund PBS. During the first presidential debate, you’ll recall, the former Massachusetts governor told moderator Jim Lehrer: “I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m going to stop other things. I love Big Bird. . . . I’m going to stop borrowing money from China to pay for things we don’t need.” Twitter immediately blew up with “Save Big Bird” campaigns, and Obama mocked Mitt’s “Sesame Street” scheme on the campaign trail. (The allocation for PBS is 1/100th of 1 percent of the federal budget.) We couldn’t reach Caroll Spinney, the Waltham native who’s voiced the beloved “Sesame Street” character for more than 40 years, but WGBH spokeswoman Jeanne Hopkins did respond to our e-mail. “It’s feeling a bit more secure today here in Big Bird’s Boston nest,” she wrote. “But we certainly don’t take our federal funding for granted. We’ll continue to demonstrate to the Administration, and to Congress, the value we provide as a trusted source of educational media.”

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