A handful of Republicans seem to not care so much about your children. How else could one explain the extreme reaction from a certain faction of GOP members to a Saturday tweet from beloved—and totally fictional—icon Big Bird that he had gotten his COVID vaccine?
I got the COVID-19 vaccine today! My wing is feeling a little sore, but it’ll give my body an extra protective boost that keeps me and others healthy.
Ms. @EricaRHill even said I’ve been getting vaccines since I was a little bird. I had no idea!
— Big Bird (@BigBird) November 6, 2021
One of the first to speak out was, of course, Ted Cruz, who described the tweet as “Government propaganda…for your 5 year old!”
Government propaganda…for your 5 year old! https://t.co/lKUlomnpq1
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 6, 2021
And on Monday night, Fox News host Laura Ingraham decided to join Cruz in his fight against Muppets teaching kids about science by sharing an Adult Swim clip of a Claymation Big Bird falling over and vomiting, which she cheekily claimed was what happened to Big Bird after he got vaccinated.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham airs archival Adult Swim video of Big Bird throwing up and passing out to baselessly suggest that the COVID vaccine is harmful to children. pic.twitter.com/rOg8kNmJGa
— The Recount (@therecount) November 9, 2021
Ingraham, who the Poynter Institute once kept a regularly updated “False Fact-Checks” on, seemed quite pleased with herself for such a knee-slapper of a segment even though, as The Recount noted, the segment “baselessly suggest[ed] that the COVID vaccine is harmful to children.” Sadly, that’s the message that many Fox News personalities—despite having a pretty rigid vaccination policy in their own workplace—are happily sending to parents who believe the “news” part in the Fox News name and watch the channel for just that.
It’s truly a sad state of affairs that in November 2021—nearly two years since COVID first became a headline and more than 750,000 people have died from it in the U.S. alone—an 8-foot puppet is having to be the voice of reason and counter the misinformation that’s being fed to Americans by both elected officials and individuals who’ve been given a platform to share the “news” of the day.
And before anyone uses the word “woke” in regards to the Sesame Workshop, it’s important to remember that the series has been setting the bar for having open and honest conversations with our children about everything from racism to breastfeeding and death to AIDS for nearly half-a-century now. Back in 1972, Big Bird learned about the importance of getting the measles vaccine:
Pretty sure I saw you get your first one. You’ve been setting an example for a long time pic.twitter.com/N5Qe4rbqDH
— Lance Ulanoff (@LanceUlanoff) November 7, 2021
You can watch a clip from Ingraham’s infuriating segment above.
(Via The Recount)