PBS, Big Bird Trend On Social Media After Presidential Debate


Thursday, October 4th 2012, 7:00 pm
By: Dana Hertneky


There is still a lot of buzz about Wednesday night's presidential debate. The breakout topic on social media was Mitt Romney's mention of Big Bird and cutting government subsidies for PBS. 

The Romney remark produced a quarter-million tweets mentioning Big Bird according to @gov. Just here in Oklahoma more than 200 of you weighed in on our Facebook page.

"I'm sorry, Jim, I'm going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I'm going to stop other things. I like PBS, I love Big Bird," was the quote from Gov. Romney.

It may not be the biggest issue debated on Wednesday, but it's the one that lit up the twitter-verse.

American astrophysicist and radio host Neil deGrasse Tyson tweeted: "Cutting PBS support (0.012% of budget) to help balance the Federal budget is like deleting text files to make room on your 500Gig hard drive."

Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer countered: "Big Bird needs to ask Dora the Explorer how she manages 2live without taxpayer money. Try it Big Bird. You'll be just fine."

At Oklahoma City's Public Station, OETA station manager Bill Thrash says they receive about $1.5 million annually from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 

"Cutting $1.5 million in federal funding would be a devastating blow to OETA," said Thrash.

But in a time of rising debt, Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole says something has to go.

"I think that's when you have to start looking at things that you may not like to do. But if you can't afford to do them, you do what families do: you make some tough choices and I think this is a tough choice the federal government needs to make," said Congressman Tom Cole (R) - Oklahoma.

The corporation for public broadcasting also funds National Public Radio.