In an already frivolous election season, the October nontroversy over Sesame Street’s beloved feathered friend stood apart. “I like PBS. I love Big Bird. Actually, I like you, too,” Romney told moderator (and longtime PBS NewsHour employee) Jim Lehrer. “But I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for.” Public broadcasting accounts for a tiny sliver of the federal budget, but rather than point that out and move on, President Obama’s campaign made a melodramatic TV ad mocking Romney for wanting to fire Big Bird. The deluge of image macros, parody social media accounts and Twitter jokes that followed made the exchange one of the more memorable moments of the entire election.
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