HOUSTON – As Republican Mitt Romney pledged to cut funding to PBS—adding, “I like PBS, I love Big Bird”—commenters on Twitter leaped to the defense of their favorite “Sesame Street” characters.
Big Bird was a major Twitter trend throughout the night along with his friends Oscar the Grouch and Bert and Ernie. Twitter said shortly after Romney’s remarks, users were posting 17,000 tweets per minute mentioning Big Bird.
A spoof Twitter account, @firedbigbird, quickly won nearly 24,000 followers by Thursday morning with sarcastic tweets suggesting that Romney would "fire Big Bird" and "replace him" with the NFL replacement refs.
Many came to the defense of Romney’s Big Bird statement, saying if that’s the only thing “liberals” can call Romney out on, then he clearly won the debate.
Either way, it’s not likely Big Bird or Sesame Street are going anywhere anytime soon, even without a federal subsidy. Much of the PBS budget comes from various grants as well as corporate and private donations. (And let’s not forget Sesame Street has other ways of making money, too – like $45-Cookie Monster plush toys.)