Sesame Street -- 40 years of laughs, joy, and communism?
Sesame Street is 40 years old today. Google is celebrating Sesame Street's anniversary with a new logo. While others are not so happy.
Happy Birthday, Sesame Street.
The timeless children's program celebrated its 40th anniversary Wednesday to much celebration. Even Google commemorated the big day by changing its logo on their home page.
But not everyone's happy with the PBS offering. One high profile website featured a blog questioning the political leanings of everyone's favorite trash-loving muppet. Or perhaps, more accurately, the writers behind Oscar the Grouch and all the gang at Sesame Street.
Surprising? Well, when you produce a satirical skit on a network that receives a chunk of its funding from the federal government, some people are going to get upset. Especially if the satire doesn't bend their way.
Controversial video exposed
One such skit, apparently produced two years ago but was re-released last week, is in the crosshairs of a conservative blogger who penned a 900-word manifesto Wednesday condemning the program.
No, the video doesn't contain footage of Oscar attending an ACORN meeting or delivering a sermon with Jeremiah Wright. Instead, he appears at the helm of a new news network he founded. Oscar calls it GNN -- the Grouchy News Network (see a portion of the video below).
But there's a problem with GNN. An unnamed muppet in the skit calls Oscar to complain that his programming isn't grouchy enough. So she's switching to another network.
"I am changing the channel," she rants to Oscar. "From now on I am watching ‘Pox’ News. Now there is a trashy news show."
POX news or FOX News
Pox News? A not-so-subtle slam at FOX News? They're getting beat up everywhere. Sure, some of it's self-imposed like yesterday's blooper, but this "Pox News" thing is not coincidental says the blogger who calls himself "Stage Right" on Andrew Breitbart's conservative Big Hollywood site.
"If Mom and Dad watch cable news, it’s better than 50/50 they watch 'POX News," he writes. "So what gives? PBS — a network partially funded with my tax dollars — has the right to tell my kids that their parents watch 'trashy' news?"
"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," he said. "And don’t tell me, 'If you don’t like it change the channel.' There are no channels left! It’s everywhere."
On the other hand
Well, maybe it's not that bad. Perhaps "Stage Right" just needed to blow off some steam. Because at the end of his missive, Mr. Right changes his tune.
Sesame Street? Meh.
"Sesame Street can awkwardly slam FoxNews from the comfort of their stodgy old PBS studios," he writes. "Meanwhile, we have the cool kids on our side: Dennis Miller, Greg Gutfeld, Andrew Breitbart and yes, even Glenn Beck. And our cool kids are pointing out just how boring, lame, predictable and lazy the other side has become."
"We no longer NEED their approval. We see them for what they are: bitter, pompous and desperate," he adds.
A tempest in a teapot, it appears. But Right's rant was something that the left side of the blogosphere took great enjoyment in lampooning.
"Call the Waahhmbulance! Wingnuts upset over 'Pox News' on Sesame Street," reads Susie Madrak's headline over at the popular Crooks and Liars website.
Right, Left, Center?
Regardless, the "controversy" appears to have subsided. In the meantime, we tried to identify Oscar's political persuasion by reviewing video on YouTube. But we weren't that successful.
All that we could come up with is that he's kind of a cross between Bill O'Reilly and Keith Olbermann. His personality is more like O'Reilly. Yet he's green. So that would make him Olbermann-like.
As for his appearance, Wolf Blitzer probably comes the closest. Not that Blitzer looks like he lives in a garbage can or anything but there aren't many TV commentators with facial hair.
Hey, we don't care if you're green and live in a garbage can. We'll never accuse you of communism. So follow us on Twitter!