Sen. Ted Cruz was morally outraged on Wednesday when the Twitter account of the PBS kid’s show, Sesame Street, tweeted out a picture of a rainbow-colored heart with the caption, “Love always wins.”
“Endless propaganda,” Cruz wrote reacting to the image. “This is a taxpayer-funded show targeted at Pre-K children. It doesn’t need to be talking about sex or sexuality at all.”
It’s a mystery as to what agenda Cruz thinks Sesame Street is promoting here, other than reminding people that it’s Pride Month and that gay and transgender people exist.
Republicans threw a similar fit earlier this month when Sesame Street and CNN aired a town hall discussing racism and fairness with Elmo.
Sesame Workshop, the organization that produces the program, operates on about a $100 million annual budget and pays for itself. Most of its money does not come from taxpayers, but from distribution fees, royalties and donations.
Born as a small piece of Lyndon B. Johnson’s vision of a “Great Society,” the show itself arose as a family-friendly education program for disadvantaged kids. Sesame Street asking American children to have consciousness is nothing new — it’s part of the show’s history — and so are calls from generations of right-wing lawmakers asking for the program to be dumped. For example, Mississippi broadcasting officials in 1970 also thought the show was too political and voted to ban it from public airwaves because of its “highly integrated cast of children.”
It’s curious as to why Cruz has taken such particular issue with Sesame Street’s promotion of Pride Month, especially considering its Twitter account has engaged in a wide range of propaganda, including issuing presidential endorsements:
Supporting a worker’s revolution:
And abolishing fossil fuels:
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org