BIG BIRD WANTS OUT OF OBAMA ADS
Big Bird continued to flap his wings as politicians of both parties attempted to exploit him following last week’s presidential debate. On Tuesday, Sesame Workshop, the company that produces the long-running educational kids show on which Big Bird is a regular released a statement objecting to a new ad by the Obama campaign that features Big Bird. “Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns. We have approved no campaign ads, and as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down,” the statement said. Last week, NBC News objected to its correspondents being used in ads by each side. But Alison Steele, a lawyer who represents Florida’s Poynter Institute, the nonprofit school of journalism, pointed out that Big Bird faces different issues from the journalists’. The character, she observed, “is the intellectual property of a not-for-profit, IRS qualified 501(c)(3) and as such there are legal issues with its being involved, or the appearance of its involvement, in partisan political campaign activity.” The Obama campaign said that it is considering the request to remove the Big Bird ad.