Fox's Eric Bolling attacked government subsidies for PBS' Sesame Street, deriding Big Bird as a “taker” living on $6 million a year of “taxpayer largesse.” But Bolling has condemned such “makers” versus “takers” rhetoric in the past as “class warfare.”
During a Five segment in which the co-hosts discussed Mitt Romney's plans to cut federal funding for the Public Broadcasting Service, Bolling assailed Big Bird as a “taker” and contrasted him with Dora, the main character of the popular commercial children's show Dora the Explorer, which teaches children Spanish. Bolling stated:
BOLLING: This is the capitalism versus redistribution edition of what's actually going on here -- Big Bird: taker. Dora the Explorer: maker. They're both worth about $350 million bucks, both of the brands, but the Big Bird, the Sesame Street Workshop, takes in about $6 million a year of taxpayer largesse. Dora the Explorer, all branding, all sales -- and therein lies the difference.
Yet, just a few months ago, Bolling condemned such rhetoric as “class warfare.”
Discussing the Occupy Wall Street movement, Bolling stated: “This is class warfare: Anytime you highlight the takers, the makers, the haves, the have-nots, the 99 percent, the 1 percent, that's what they're playing. That's the game they're playing.”
Fox News, however, has repeatedly pushed the right-wing narrative that one class of Americans are “makers” and the other class, which is dependent on government, are “takers.”
But in this instance, the argument doesn't even hold up. While Sesame Workshop, the production company of Sesame Street, does indeed receive about $7 million in government contributions, that figure amounts to just 5 percent of its total revenue. Moreover, only 15 percent of PBS' total budget comes from federal funds.