Twitter exploded following the first presidential debate after candidate Mitt Romney promised to de-fund Sesame Street on PBS, resulting in dozens of parody accounts, a perplexed Big Bird, and some SNL punning. And while conservatives (who disproportionately think that PBS is liberal social engineering) were thrilled, many people in other nations were left scratching their heads.
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Mr. Romney’s decision to run against Big Bird gladdened American conservatives, who have long complained of a liberal bias on public television and radio channels, but puzzled many viewers abroad, where local versions of the educational program are popular and well respected. In France, Le Monde reported that the slight against le Gros Oiseau threatened to spiral into “l’affaire Big Bird,” after President Obama — experiencing a certain esprit d’escalier — came up, a day late, with the retort: “Thank goodness somebody is finally getting tough on Big Bird.