You're fired! How Big Bird became political

Life on Main Street has been pretty rough in America for the passed several years, but things definitely got real on "Sesame Street" this week.

This year's first presidential debate was a whirlwind of several political issues, including the continued funding of the Public Broadcasting Station, or PBS.

The topic came up when moderater Jim Lehrer, PBS editor and news anchor, asked the presidential candidates what they would do about the growing U.S. deficit. And well, watch for yourself.

It didn't take long for that response to go viral. Within minutes of the comment, mentions on Twitter of Big Bird increased by more than 8000 percent and a new Twitter handle was created for the giant yellow bird.

@FiredBigBird

The latest comical, politically related Twitter handle had as many as 30,000 followers after the presidential debate. Big Bird's new popularity has even brought him a spot on The Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live.

Big Bird has become the new-found political hero for the left and has helped to illustrate a new political attack message as well. The Obama campaign created a parody ad about how Mitt Romney was strong enough to get tough on Sesame Street.

The Sesame Street Workshop team released a statement requesting that the ad be pulled down, stating that as a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization, it did not want either candidate or campaign to use its characters as political puppets.

Probably the biggest takeaway from this entire showcase of political theater, is the overwhelming support for PBS as an American institution. PBS receives  0.00013 percent of the entire national budget, less than $500 million. More than two thirds of Americans still agree that it provides an invaluable service.

In a Facebook campaign, PBS released this photo asking for more support.

It also referred Facebook users to the page 170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting and started its own ad campaign about the importance of PBS's existence in American society.

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