For whatever reason I can’t get enough of this topic. Here’s an example of an email sent to the PBS ombudsman (who in my estimation is being far too even-handed about this. I suppose there’s a reason I never found work as a public editor.)
I was incredibly disappointed in PBS and the Sesame Street episode aired on October 29, 2009. The parody of Oscar acting as an obvious Fox reporter was truly a new low. Even more shocking was the mention of Fox News as “trashy.” I will never watch Sesame Street again and find it pathetic that you would use it as a platform for pushing the White House message and apparent conflict with Fox. I am a Fox News watcher and PBS children’s show watcher. Some things should not mix. I refuse to let children’s programming brainwash my child into certain political views. It is not right and should be addressed. Having conservative views is not a bad thing and I plan to raise my children to think for themselves and not listen to radical liberal thought. It is not right. Save it for the NewsHour and not Sesame Street.
Andrea Tarr, New Boston, NH
What Andrea Tarr – Concerned Mother and Dumb Person, NB NH – fails to realize is that Oscar was working for GNN. Apparently changing a single letter in a news org’s acronym has an effect that is not unlike Superman donning a pair of glasses. At any rate, my point is that whatever insults she perceived PBS as making toward Fox were actually directed at CNN with the sole exception of the “trashy” pun. It also bears pointing out that this is a re-air of an episode from 2007, so she is once again projecting her current perception of the “President’s agenda” onto an episode that dates to a time where the President would’ve been hostile to CNN if anything. You see what you want to see.
ps. Speaking of single-letter changes, I know that I personally wouldn’t have hesitated to call Andrea harsher names like stupid, moron, idiot, etc. if her name was Andrew instead. I almost skipped the obligatory personal slam entirely but I figured that would be morally inconsistent and settled on “Dumb Person” as a compromise. I think the sentiment is idiotic but I hesitate to call a woman who expresses it the same. Is this a form of sexism?