may have been declared the winner of the first presidential debate, but his attack on Big Bird has made him a loser in countries all over the world.
"Mitt Romney’s promise, during Wednesday's debate, to cut into America’s debt by ending the federal subsidy for public broadcasting generated an Internet backlash, and at least one popular new Twitter account, largely because the former management consultant appeared to suggest that the beloved 'Sesame Street' character Big Bird was surplus to requirements," according to the New York Times.
Big Bird lovers in Germany, Brazil and France fought back against Romney's promised funding cut to PBS, with tweets, Facebook comments and YouTube videos in support of the six-foot-tall yellow bird.
Grants to PBS are actually a very small portion of the federal budget, at $445 million. By comparison, it takes the Pentagon about six hours to go through the same amount of money.
So why is Romney trying to convince people that funding cuts to PBS will even put a small dent in the deficit?
It's all about censorship.
Republicans seem to fear viewpoints that don't promote their conservative social agenda. And the battle to censor free speech on PBS is not new to the Republican Party.
In 2005, the New York Times reported, "The Republican chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is aggressively pressing public television to correct what he and other conservatives consider liberal bias, prompting some public broadcasting leaders—including the chief executive of PBS—to object that his actions pose a threat to editorial independence."
Now in 2012, Romney has become the mouthpiece for Republicans who are still trying to censor all but their one-sided branding by targeting funding for Big Bird.
"The so-called age of austerity has some awfully convenient targets if you're a right-winger. House Republicans are proposing to defund National Public Radio (NPR) and Public Broadcasting (PBS) and auction off the 420-440 MHz band of the Amateur Radio spectrum to the highest bidder. ... NPR is no surprise, as the right has tried to smear it as a liberal organization. That's the trouble with reporting facts: reality has a well-documented liberal bias," according to the Lubbock Journal.
The Republican pursuit of censorship against viewpoints that offer a contrast to theirs is an agenda that looks more like socialism than anythinghas ever done.
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