Mitt Romney has received some backlash for his comments about cutting government funding for PBS, even though he likes Big Bird.
But what's there to like about Big Bird, anyway, wonders National Review columnist Mark Steyn. After all, isn't Sesame Street basically responsible for all that's wrong with the world today? I mean, couldn't you draw a direct link between Sesame Street and the murder of the U.S. ambassador to Libya in Benghazi?
Mark Steyn can.
Unlike Mitt, I loathe Sesame Street. It bears primary responsibility for what the Canadian blogger Binky calls the de-monsterization of childhood — the idea that there are no evil monsters out there at the edges of the map, just shaggy creatures who look a little funny and can sometimes be a bit grouchy about it because people prejudge them until they learn to celebrate diversity and help Cranky the Friendly Monster go recycling. That is not unrelated to the infantilization of our society. Marinate three generations of Americans in that pabulum and it's no surprise you wind up with unprotected diplomats dragged to their deaths from their "safe house" in Benghazi. Or as J. Scott Gration, the president's special envoy to Sudan, said in 2009, in the most explicit Sesamization of American foreign policy: "We've got to think about giving out cookies. Kids, countries — they react to gold stars, smiley faces, handshakes . . . " The butchers of Darfur aren't blood-drenched machete-wielding genocidal killers but just Cookie Monsters whom we haven't given enough cookies. I'm not saying there's a direct line between Bert & Ernie and Barack & Hillary . . . well, actually I am.
Even allowing for the fact that Steyn's tone may be tongue-in-cheek, the point he's trying to make is absurd. Also, he's kind of a garbage-dwelling grouch.
[Image via AP]