A funny thing happened on the way to leftists claiming President Trump’s budget proposal defunding PBS would axe the iconic figures of Big Bird and Elmo; they forgot that Sesame Street isn’t on PBS any more.
Despite the fact that Sesame Street has been broadcast on HBO, not PBS, since January 2016, Jimmy Kimmel first asserted that Trump’s budget would cut PBS, then played a video of shots of Trump saying, ““I say you’re fired,” followed by Big Bird, responding, “I guess we’ll have to find a new place to live.” Kimmel doubled down, suggesting Trump should watch Sesame Street before cutting PBS:
I think we should make the president watch it a couple of times. That show teaches so many things he needs to know, which thing is bigger than the other, how to spell, the importance of telling the truth and sharing, listening to others. Maybe throw in some school house rock: He could find out how government works.
Kimmel wasn’t alone; another video, from the site “What’s Trending,” showed poor ol’ Elmo worrying about being cut. The exchange went like this:
Elmo: Hey, what’s going on?
Voice off-screen: Oh! Thanks for coming in, Elmo. We have something very important to discuss.
Elmo: Elmo happy to help. Elmo loves to help.
Voice: Elmo, it does me no great joy to inform you that due to recent cuts in government funding to PBS you are no longer employed by Sesame Street Workshop.
Elmo: Huh? What?
Voice: Elmo, you’re being laid off.
This drivel is followed by Elmo complaining that he hasn’t been unemployed since the 1980’s, that his rent is rising, and that he has a preexisting condition which will make his loss of insurance a problem.
(He didn’t mention that he looks like an alien, and may be targeted by Trump’s immigration policies.)
All of this sound and fury is based on nothing; Sesame Workshop announced in November 2015, “On January 16, 2016, Sesame Street will launch season 46 of the award-winning show on HBO with the boldest changes to the Street to date …”
“Elmo, it does me no great joy to inform you that due to recent cuts in government funding to PBS you are no longer employed by Sesame Street Workshop.”
Video claiming Trump’s budget proposal cutting PBS affects Sesame Street
Video of Kimmel here:
Video of Elmo here: