Sesame Street turns forty this year. I was already reading by the time Ernie and Bert rolled out, but I have many fond memories of laying in bed on sick days, watching that production of The Children's Television Workshop. Those memories are precisely the reason why I am so amused at the most recent dust-up between the Conservative Right and a bunch of Muppets.
A two-year old sketch that ran originally without any fuss featuring Oscar the Grouch playing a reporter for the "Grouch News Network," also known as "GNN," has a number of right-wing knickers in a twist. After Oscar conducts an interview in which he shares hugs and kisses with his royal interview subjects, an irate viewer calls him to complain that his coverage of the news wasn't quite grouchy enough, saying "From now on, I am watching Pox News," adding, "Now there’s a trashy news show!"
Forget for a moment that the bit seems to take on both CNN and Fox, it's a bunch of puppets. Muppets, to be precise. The ones who were recently sold to that liberal bastion, Disney. The ones who have been hanging out for the past forty years on Public Television. Guess which side was offended? One particular blogger, with the clever pseudonym "Stage Right," took umbrage at the way the Leftist Agenda of Sesame Street was being forced down his family's collective throats: "The message is clear, I can’t even sit my kids in front of “Sesame Street” without having to worry about the Left attempting to undermine my authority. And don’t tell me, “If you don’t like it change the channel.” There are no channels left! It’s everywhere. Just last week I had Obama’s service and volunteerism promoted on every single major network, including Disney and Nickelodeon...by the way, why SHOULD I change the channel? This is MY channel, I’m paying for it!"
Well, Mister Right, it would seem that the other choice you have is to stop paying for it. Yanking that cable out of the wall and silencing those felt demons with their ping-pong ball eyes for good. And while you're at it, check those fillings in your back teeth. They're really radio transmitters. And all you can get on them is NPR.