Nightly News | October 05, 2012
>>> if your household is among the millions with children, perhaps including you at one time, were raised with the help of some friends named big bird , kermit, elmo, oscar and the count, then perhaps your ears picked up during this year's debate, when mitt romney talked about federal funding and took on pbs in the process. it was one of the memorable moments in the debate, when mitt romney called for an end to government funding of the moderator's own network.
>> i am going to stop the subsidy to pbs , i like big bird , i like you too, but i won't keep spending on things to get china to pay for it.
>> but while he didn't have an attack that night, president obama talked about it the next day.
>> he will get regulations on wall street , but he will crack down on sesame street . thank goodness, somebody is finally cracking down on big bird .
>> pbs has had mostly conservative politicians for years, when he was house speaker , gingrich called it the little sand box for the rich, prompting others to impact about pbs .
>> i think he chose the wrong target.
>> the network of sesame street and the civil war and masters, pbs has 179 stations across the country, including some smaller rural stations that couldn't make it without the subsidies. the share for the public broadcasting is about $450 million this year, that is 15% of their overall operating budget . for a perspective, that is about 1-100th of a person of our federal budget . and that 450 million is about what the pentagon spends every six hours. operator of pbs almost fell off her couch when he said that.
>> to suggest that defunding the public broadcasting seems really strange.
>> the sesame street workshop is not a part of pbs , but that is how their programs get distributed. and big bird learned how many friends he had on debate night. at one point he was the topic of 7,000 tweets. he got on pbs , and the number of others have sprouted up. if the federal money goes away, it will have to come from elsewhere, like charitable foundations, and you guessed it. viewers like you.