American Elephants


There Are Some Controversies You Just Don’t Want To Stir Up by The Elephant's Child

Let’s review. During the debate last week, when asked what he planned to cut to help balance the budget, Gov. Romney responded by saying “I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m going to stop other things.  I like PBS, I love Big Bird.”

But I’m not, he added, going to borrow money from China to subsidize Big Bird.

Everybody loves Big Bird, children love Sesame Street, Moms love Sesame Street, so of course the Obama campaign leaped to the defense of Big Bird. Lesson for Obama campaign: it always pays to do your homework.

In this case the facts lead to headlines like “Big Bird makes more money than Mitt Romney, but is still on the government dole.”

•The Corporation for Public Broadcasting receives about $450 million from Congress each year.
•About $280 million goes to PBS and the local stations.
•Federal funding makes up about 12 percent of the PBS budget.

The facts that a little homework might turn up, that the media never reveals:

Shows like Sesame Street are multimillion dollar enterprises capable of thriving in the private market.  According to the 990 tax form all nonprofits are required to file, Sesame Workshop President and CEO Gary Knell received $956,513 — nearly a million dollars — in compensation in 2008. And, from 2003 to 2006, Sesame Street made more than $211 million from toy and consumer product sales.

The Republican National Committee points out that in the last few days, Obama has mentioned Big Bird eight times, and Elmo five — and Libya not at all. So the always on top of everything Obama campaign quickly turned out this ad:

There is something deeply revealing about Obama’s blithe willingness to portray Wall Street as an enemy. Wall Street is key to American prosperity —even to American greatness.  Lots of important and impressive Americans have had careers on Wall Street. What Wall Street does is important. Wall Street matters, The Weekly Standard said. The Washington Examiner said “With the Big Bird ad, Obama plays the small politics he once denounced.”

At InstaPundit, a reader comments “Lost by Obama: Wall Street, Main Street and now Sesame Street.

Another reader emailed “Today’s Obama for President commercial was brought to you by the number ‘1.1 trillion‘ and the word ‘deficit‘.”

The Sesame Workshop has sent a cease and desist request to Team Obama:

Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns. We have approved no campaign ads, and as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down.

Jeff Emanuel comments: “nothing says “I’ve completely lost control of this narrative” like embracing …a seven-foot-tall yellow feathered multi-millionaire.”

ADDENDUM: Sesame Street received a grant of $1.067,532 in stimulus funds in August 2010, from the Department of Health and Human Services.  The funding was to promote healthy eating, according to the federal Recovery.gov website. “Sesame Workshop will carry out an expansion of its highly successful ‘Healthy Habits for Life’ initiative, which promotes improved nutrition and increased physical activity targeting low-income preschool-aged children and their families and care providers.”

The project created 1.47 new jobs, the website reported, which works out to $726,000 per new job created, which seems to be in line with the rest of the stimulus bill. Kathleen Sebelius has a lot to answer for, aside from violating the Hatch Act.



Two New Trailers for Series 3 of Downton Abbey. by The Elephant's Child

Tears and trouble. The British upper crust soap opera  that we all love.  Better than Dallas. The period styling is marvelous.



WATCH: Downton Abbey Season 3 Trailer by American Elephant
August 15, 2012, 4:38 pm
Filed under: News, Television | Tags: , , ,

For those of us addicted to the gripping British period soap-opera, Downton Abbey, the seasons are always too short, and the wait between is always much too long. But now we at least know how long the wait will be. The third season will broadcast in the United States starting next January. (Ugh!) This trailer comes from the UK, where it begins next month. (Hmm, perhaps a subscription to Hidemyass is in order):

Shirley MacLaine makes her Downtown Abbey debut as the Countess of Grantham Cora Crawley’s American mother—a role to rival Maggie Smith’s beloved Dowager Countess (“She’ll bring enough drama of her own”)—arriving when the Earl of Grantham learns the estate is broke. This, of course, doesn’t make for wedded bliss between the newly engaged Mary Crawley and Matthew, and the look on his face when Mary wonders, “if we could disagree over something as fundamental as this then shouldn’t we be brave and back away now?” says it all. Other points of note: Branson’s back, Bates is still in prison, and there are no signs of the two younger Crawley siblings or the servant staff. [click image to watch]



Mr. Rogers Auto-Tuned. Good Morning to You. by The Elephant's Child
June 13, 2012, 7:19 am
Filed under: Entertainment, Television, YouTube | Tags: , ,


HealthCare Mandates and Pizza Toppings by The Elephant's Child
April 6, 2012, 6:28 am
Filed under: Latin America, Movies, Politics, Television


For your Christmas Viewing Pleasure… by American Elephant

Remember back when TV didn’t suck? Yeah, neither do I.

BUT, these first two videos had me briefly believing that such a time existed — then I remembered the third video.

The first is from my new favorite (old) show. I didn’t even discover Good Neighbors (alternately titled The Good Life) until a few years ago. It’s a show about a couple, the Goods, who drop out of the rat-race to live a simpler, self-sustaining life. (Don’t worry, it’s not a preachy environmental show at all) while their neighbors and friends maintain their affluent ways.

This is their Christmas show from 1977. The characters will charm your socks off, and you will probably end up watching the entire series as I have. Each show is less than half an hour and all are also available to view instantly, in much better quality, on Netflix. But YouTube works just fine, if you dont mind the show being split into three parts. See parts 2 and 3 here.

The second video is one you may remember. Schmaltzy tear-jerker, as Little House on the Prairie so often was. Warm, fuzzy family-viewing from back before networks had altogether eradicated Christ from Christmas in favor of Santa Claus. Here’s part one, the rest can be viewed here.

And the third video is one that I saw for the first time since 1978 last year. I remember seeing it then. I was nine years old and a GINORMOUS Star Wars fan. Even so, I think I remember thinking how bad this was even then. If you have not seen the Star Wars Christmas Special, you must. It truly is must-see-TV because watching is the only way to appreciate how utterly dreadful it is. Chewbacca’s wife and kids? Princess Leia singing, and what Star Wars Christmas Special could be complete without appearances by Harvey Korman, Jefferson Starship, Dianne Carol and Bea Arthur dancing with Greedo?

Ugh.

In all sincerity, this may very well be the worst thing ever broadcast in any format at any time. George Lucas has said he wishes he could hunt down and destroy every last copy. I wish he would.

WordPress wont allow us to imbed Google videos, so you can watch it here. So painfully, uncomfortably bad, it’s hardly to be believed. And isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

Merry Christmas!



This is Leaning Forward? by American Elephant
August 12, 2011, 7:15 pm
Filed under: Humor, Media Bias, Politics, Progressivism, Television | Tags: , , , ,

[click to enlarge]

Al’s latest and greatest will surely join the archives of great moments in Democrat oratory. (Couldn’t help but notice whilst mocking-up this parody that the font msnbc chose for the “lean forward” tagline is called “agenda”. How appropriate!)

(h/t Larry O’Connor)




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