Defending Big Bird

by Larry Magid

As a journalist I don’t endorse candidates, but that rule doesn’t apply when it comes to endorsing birds, whether real or stuffed.

Like lots of others  I was concerned on Wednesday night when Governor Romney suggested ending the federal subsidy for PBS despite his affection for Big Bird.

Of course, the actual cost of PBS is more like “bird seed.” According to the Christian Science Monitor, it’s about $445 million which is less than 1/100th of 1% of the Federal budget.

I took this proposal personally for two reasons. First as a parent who’s kids benefited tremendously from PBS’s children’s programs and second because I’m an (unpaid) member of a PBS Kids advisory board, where I learn first hand about the incredible educational outreach done by PBS to schools across the country, with a special emphasis on providing free services to low income populations. I’ve also reviewed some of PBS’s excellent learning games, apps and web sites that provide incredible resources on all platforms with some pretty advanced technology, including its early use of augmented reality, using tablets to bring static objects to life.  Click here for an interview I did last year with PBS CEO Paula Kerger about some of their offerings for kids and schools.

PBS Learning recently launched an election site, where it truly does provide fair and balanced information while encouraging students to take an interest in this important election.

While I’m not endorsing either candidate for President, I am willing to wage a campaign for my favorite bird, which is why I just launched a new site called  DefendBigBird.com,

 

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