×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Romney: Big Bird Needs Mad Men

Speaking at a campaign event in Clinton, Iowa today, Mitt Romney said that he would not try to do away with PBS, but thinks that it should tap into the same stream of revenue as commercial networks.

“We’re not going to kill Big Bird, but Big Bird is going to have advertisements, all right,” Romney said during a Q&A session during a campaign stop, per the AP.

Public broadcasting has long been in the line of fire of many conservatives who believe that the government should not be in the business of TV programming. But efforts to scale back funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which provides a portion of the funding to public television stations, have been beaten back as viewers have lobbied lawmakers. Conservatives like Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) have complained about “the Muppet lobby,” referring to the oft-used strategy of trotting out Big Bird to Capitol Hill when public broadcasting funding is in danger.

Romney’s idea is not entirely novel, as detractors of public funding for broadcasting have long contended that private donations could make up the shortfall if government support was zeroed out. In fact, PBS earlier this year said it was considering a plan to include breaks during its programming with announcements from their corporate underwriters, a way to entice more support from foundations and private institutions.

Romney made it clear that he still likes PBS, but that government funding should be curtailed.

More Voices

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    WGA, Agents Face Tough Issues on New Franchise Pact (Column)

    The Writers Guild of America and the major talent agencies are seven weeks away from a deadline that could force film and TV writers to choose between their agents and their union. This is a battle that has been brewing for a year but few in the industry saw coming until a few weeks ago. [...]

  • FX Confronts Streaming Thanks to Disney

    Kicking and Screaming, FX Is Forced to Confront Future in the Stream (Column)

    During his network’s presentation at the winter Television Critics Assn. press tour, FX chief John Landgraf made waves — and headlines — by mounting perhaps his most direct criticism yet of Netflix. Landgraf, whose briefings to the press tend to rely heavily on data about the volume of shows with which FX’s competitors flood the [...]

  • Longtime TV Editor Recalls Working for

    How a Bad Director Can Spoil the Show (Guest Column)

    I have been blessed with editing some of TV’s greatest shows, working with some of the industry’s greatest minds. “The Wonder Years,” “Arrested Development,” “The Office,” “Scrubs,” “Pushing Daisies” and, most recently, “A Series of Unfortunate Events.” I have earned an Emmy, ACE Eddie Awards, and many nominations. But whatever kudos I’ve received, over my [...]

  • Stock market Stock buyback

    Stock Buybacks Leave Firms Without Funds to Invest in Future (Column)

    Corporate giants on the S&P 500 have spent more than $720 billion during the past year on stock buybacks. Media and entertainment firms account for only a fraction of that spending, but even $1 million spent on share repurchases seems a foolhardy expenditure at this transformational moment for the industry. The record level of spending [...]

  • Hollywood Has Come Far With Diversity

    An Insider's Look at Hollywood's Diversity Efforts and How Far It Still Needs to Go

    I am a white man working in Hollywood. I grew up in Beverlywood, an all-white, predominantly Jewish, Los Angeles neighborhood sandwiched between 20th Century Fox Studios and MGM, where my elementary school had only one black student. I am compelled to write about diversity in Hollywood because “diversity” — in front of and behind the camera [...]

  • Venice Film Festival A Star is

    How Venice, Toronto and Telluride Festivals Stole Cannes' Luster (Column)

    In all the years I’ve been attending film festivals, I have never seen a lineup that looked as good on paper as Venice’s did this fall, boasting new films by Alfonso Cuarón (“Roma”), Damien Chazelle (“First Man”), Paul Greengrass (“22 July”), Mike Leigh (“Peterloo”) and the Coen brothers (“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”) in competition, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content