Reprinted with permission from DailyKos
Republicans have expanded their list of people to hate on to include muppets. Last Thursday, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) posted not one but two tweets that barred Elmo, Big Bird, Bert, and Ernie from attending their conference. That's right: CPAC took to Twitter to remind fictional characters they were not invited to a conference they have never been invited to before.
While they are wacky enough not to need a reason to randomly tweet at puppets, these conservatives were allegedly triggered by a tweet shared by Big Bird's Twitter account encouraging children to be vaccinated.
"I got the COVID-19 vaccine today!" Big Bird's tweet read. "My wing is feeling a little sore, but it'll give my body an extra protective boost that keeps me and others healthy."
Following the tweet, Sen. Ted Cruz amongst other right-wing minions took to accusing Sesame Street of pushing "government propaganda," but of course CPAC had to take it further: They decided not only to shame and ban Big Bird, but come after the whole crew.
I doubt that the Muppets ever had plans to come to the conference in Orlando, but the fact that CPAC even thought to tweet it is hilarious. One tweet even featured the hashtag #notinvited. We get it, you don't want Muppets at your conference, CPAC.
Not to mention they even made flyers with images of the Muppets to enforce the ban. They must really have a lot of time on their hands.
Big Bird & Big Gov. Mandates? \nNO THANK YOU pic.twitter.com/JK3efVPQnK— CPAC 2022 (@CPAC 2022) 1637201309
But Big Bird advocating getting vaccinated is not the only issue CPAC has with the Muppets. After PBS announced that its newest cast member to join Sesame Street was Asian, CPAC organizer Matt Schlapp shared his disapproval.
"What race is Ernie is Bert," Schlapp tweeted. "You are insane PBS and we should stop funding you."
What race is Ernie is Bert? You are insane PBS and we should stop funding you.https://twitter.com/AP/status/1460083929168367620\u00a0\u2026— Matt Schlapp (@Matt Schlapp) 1636981167
But a tweet wasn't all Schlapp did to complain about the show's newest Muppet. He was so concerned that he had to go on Fox and Friends First.
"I grew up watching, and it wasn't ever about race. It was about learning lessons and learning to read and learning tolerance," Schlapp said. "And they want to inject race."
He also dove into the topic of gender.
"And by the way, this whole question about gender into everything, one of the Muppet characters had a son, and the son wanted to be a daughter, and they just won't stop with their push for woke politics," Schlapp said.
When asked by NBC News about his stance and why he wanted to defund PBS due to Sesame Street, Schlapp stood his ground and even took some stabs at National Public Radio (NPR), a publicly funded nonprofit media outlet, accusing the organization of wanting to "be in arms in the socialist movement."
"Sesame Street needs to go back to the time when a show was devoted to a letter in the alphabet, and not the latest woke fad," he told NBC News. "We all loved Bert and Ernie without the foggiest idea of the racial demographic they may have represented. Afterall, Ernie is orange. The taxpayers deserve a big rebate. If PBS and NPR want to be in arms in the socialist movement, they need to pay their own way."
While PBS receives some public funding, it is also significantly funded through private donations and grants.
The conservative hate isn't new to PBS, though. According to The New York Times, since its earliest days, PBS has been accused of liberal bias by conservatives including President Richard Nixon, who criticized the public broadcasting channel during his presidency.
Sesame Street has been making headlines for years, not only with its advocacy of increasing participation in the census, but the promotion of conversations regarding health, inclusion, and race.
The Muppet has been praised for letting Asian American children see a character like themselves on screen, but Schlapp slammed PBS.
Of course, like any other time a conservative takes their stupidity to Twitter, Twitter users had something to say about CPAC's outrageous tweets. Most of the retweets the organization had were from those mocking them.
As opposed to all the previous years in which Big Bird, Bert, and Ernie WERE invited to CPAC?https://twitter.com/CPAC/status/1461154311006834690\u00a0\u2026— The Volatile Mermaid (@The Volatile Mermaid) 1637292247
CPAC 2021: They're Trying to Cancel Dr. Seuss!\nCPAC 2022: We Will Cancel Big Bird!\n\nWell, well, well, how the turntables...https://twitter.com/CPAC/status/1461154311006834690\u00a0\u2026— Clyde McGrady (@Clyde McGrady) 1637257783
one would think a group of tantruming toddlers would appreciate the Muppetshttps://twitter.com/CPAC/status/1461154311006834690\u00a0\u2026— shauna (@shauna) 1637269178
Is @CPAC #canceling @elmo ??? Why is #CPAC promoting #cancel #culture, I thought y'all hated that.— Scott Cook (@Scott Cook) 1637223882
Several unvaccinated Paw Patrol officers will be the guests of honor at CPAC this yearhttps://twitter.com/CPAC/status/1461154311006834690\u00a0\u2026— Jordan Zakarin (@Jordan Zakarin) 1637255117
The Great Muppet War of 2021 will continue into next year, it appearshttps://twitter.com/CPAC/status/1461154311006834690\u00a0\u2026— Justin Baragona (@Justin Baragona) 1637252980
Honestly, good for the Muppets. Who wants to attend CPAC anyway? At least we got some laughs from these tweets.