Friday, October 12, 2012

Fuck Big Bird...

The last time I looked, Big Bird was something on the order of a billion-dollar-a-year business.

Which brings us to the question:

"If Sesame Street is so successful, why does it require -- or at least the television network it appears on require -- a taxpayer-paid infusion of cash every goddamned year?"

And that's in addition to the proceeds from a concentrated program of organized, professional begging (hey, hope you enjoy that $1,000 plastic tote bag, and the Liza Minelli CD's!!) that according to PBS. itself, brings in almost as much as the federal subsidy (somewhere in the neighborhood of $400-500 million bucks).

So, let's do some basic math:

Big Bird brings in a billion-plus all by himself for the Sesame Street people, while Masterpiece Theatre, NOVA, and a bunch of operas bring in another half-a-bil in voluntary donations, and on top of that, is a federal subsidy of some 400-500 million bucks. So, let's say, just for the sake of argument, that PBS is a $2 billion dollar-per-year operation.

This would make PBS the equal of many Fortune 500 corporations. In fact, to put that in perspective, here's what some of the Fortune 500 did, profit-wise, last year:

Citigroup: $3.8 billion

Ford Motor Corporation: $8.8 billion

Coca Cola: 11.8 billion

IBM: $5.5 billion.

PBS, through a combination of a single, profitable children's show, tax-deductible donations from corporations and individuals, and direct government subsidy, made two-thirds as much money as Citigroup and about half of what IBM made, and PBS doesn't actually produce an arguably salable product, nor provide a vital service.

So why does it receive a subsidy it obviously does not need?

Probably for the same reason corn farmers receive subsidies, and defense contractors, and why GM and GE got federal bailout money; because they've got some politicians in their pocket, too. You didn't think they were just content to show  this year's Met performance of Madame Butterfly with all that Ford Foundation money, did you?

One cannot, as many democratic (small 'd' intentional) flapping rectums do, say that subsidies to Big Business, like Exxon-Mobil, is a bad thing, and that a subsidy to a business they just happen to like is a good thing. Either be intellectually consistent, or shut the fuck up. Since democrats (small 'd' intentional) are under the mistaken impression that they don't need to be honest and intellectually consistent (because welfare queens and Georgetown-educated hose monsters will vote for them, regardless), they think they can make political hay out of Romney's threatening Big Bird's funding.

It's this year's version of "But, it's for the children...."

PBS needs a federal subsidy like ethanol growers and Martin-Marietta need one, which is to say, not at all.

It would behoove democrats (small 'd' intentional) who decry the practice of giving Big Oil $4 billion bucks a year to make a gesture of goodwill, and intellectual consistency, and let Big Bird's $4-500 million a year leave the nest, just on principle.

But that won't happen because the Left needs PBS in the same way that it needs the for-profit Mainstream Media, as a propaganda tool, and since the taxpayer is footing the bill -- and leftard politicians get to set the conditions under which it is paid, and hardly anyone is watching -- PBS is the most malleable, most controllable outlet for Leftist mental diarrhea.

We've seen what happens in recent years when democratic (small 'd' intentional) politicians get to use taxpayer money to pay direct subsidies or make loan guarentees to politically-favored businesses and industries. Think Solyndra and green jobs. Think Compact Power -- a company that was supposed to make batteries for the Chevy Volt that hasn't made a single one, even with $150 million of taxpayer money.

When you give politicians the opportunity to waste money on politically-motivated crap, don't be surprised when they waste an awful lot of it, and the crap smells especially disgusting.

Mitt Romney will have to pry that half-a-billion bucks from Big Bird's cold, dead beak.

I, for one, will rejoice when he finally does.

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