Big Bird Says Neither Obama Nor Mitt Know Who Our Bankster Enemies Are

This ad is justifiably getting a lot of attention. It’s well made, dramatic. And somewhat damning to Mitt Romney.

Seriously though. How does this help Obama?

Bernie Madoff. Ken Lay. Dennis Kozlowski. Criminals. Gluttons of greed.

These are not the people who destroyed our economy.

Lloyd Blankfein is. Obama’s DOJ chose not to prosecute him even after he lied to Congress.

Angelo Mozilo is. Obama’s SEC gave him a wristslap and DOJ did nothing.

DOJ isn’t even joining in the what’s-old-is-new suit against JP Morgan and Bear Stearns, five years later, and Eric Schneiderman isn’t charging any human beings there.

This ad shows well that Mitt doesn’t understand which villans threaten our country.

But it also shows that Obama has the very same willful misunderstanding.

Update: DDay makes the same point.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

6 replies
  1. bittersweet says:

    You and Dday are both right, of course. However, when I actually watched the ad…it made me laugh! it is hilarious!

    Seriously, someone ought to make a spoof ad, demanding that Big Bird be put in jail! “Where is the criminal prosecution for these crooks?” Showing Big Bird just using the revolving door and getting hired on Wall Street, (or interviewing for a position in Romney’s cabinet). Then pointing out that neither candidate promotes criminal prosecution.

  2. bmaz says:

    Heh, when I saw the ad, I thought “…wait, Sesame Street and PBS are supposed to be non-political, they authorized this??”

    Turns out, no they did not and have now issued a take down notice.

  3. Jim White says:

    @bmaz: The actual Big Bird footage in the ad is very short and the ad is a response to Romney mentioning him the public forum of the debate. Wouldn’t this amount of footage count as fair use? It’s not like they even selectively edited to suggest Big Bird favors Obama. It’s all being used to ridicule Romney which even further strengthens the fair use argument.

  4. Jim White says:

    @Jim White: At the same time, though, I can see how it would be important for PBS to file the take down notice just so that the record is clear that they did not authorize and played no role in the preparation of the ad (even if they knew fair use would prevail).

  5. joanneleon says:

    I read an article shortly after the debate and a representative from Sesame Workshop did not seem too happy about the way that Big Bird was being tossed around like a political football.

    But Sesame Workshop executive vice president Sherrie Westin told CNN Thursday morning that the giant yellow creature will be just fine.
    “The Sesame Workshop receives very, very little funding from PBS,” she said. “So we are able to raise our funding through philanthropic, through our licensed product, which goes back into the educational programming, through corporate underwriting and sponsorship. So quite frankly, you can debate whether or not there should be funding of public broadcasting. But when they always try to tout out Big Bird, and say we’re going to kill Big Bird – that is actually misleading, because Sesame Street will be here. … Big Bird lives on.”

    It was a dumbass move on the part of the supposed masters of the political universe to obsess over this Big Bird thing like it was going to save their ass after a terrible debate performance. It made them look like they had nothing. Now they look even worse because instead of considering whether Sesame Workshop was onboard with all of this, they just ran with it and fueled the blogosphere and twitterverse who also spent a ridiculous amount of time on it, thinking they were very clever. And in the process they forced Sesame Workshop’s hand and they told them to pull the ad. Which makes them look even more stupid.

    With all of the critical issues at hand, only the hyperpartisans thought it was a good idea. Everybody else is probably saying WTF.

  6. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    @joanneleon: I’m not so sure. There’s a whole, huge cohort of voters (who went strongly for Obama in 2008) who grew up on Sesame St and learned a lot from Big Bird.

    Romney is a humorless, overachieving grind and his claims to balance the budget by cutting PBS should be ridiculed, at the very least.

    My main beef with the ad is that the Obama campaign didn’t make it even funnier — why can’t Big Bird needle Romney about his refusal to disclose his tax returns, instead of cutting PBS? Why can’t Big Bird ask about Romney’s $20,000,000 in the Caymans? It shouldn’t take a bird brain to ask such basics, but since Lehrer didn’t ask anything meaningful, maybe our feathery yellow pal can cut to the chase.

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