WASHINGTON, D.C. As new polls revealed that Vice President Joe Biden’s aggressive debate tactics last week had turned off many independent voters, executives of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting huddled last night with their counterparts at the Children’s Television Workshop to face the grim possibility that the White House and at least one house of Congress will be in Republican hands next year.
“Appropriations bills originate in the House,” said PBS spokesman Dwight Northgage as he read from a plastic-coated chart titled “How Does a Bill Become a Law?” used in 8th grade civics classes. “We know which side our bread’s buttered on.”
The makeover of PBS will begin with its signature children’s programs, including Sesame Street and Barney the Purple Dinosaur.
“I love me–you should depend on private charity!”
“For too long, Barney’s been sending the message that people can be saved by love from a big fat monster, like the federal government,” notes branding expert Randy DeLomasi. “There is no such thing as a free hug.”
“Seriously–we already have enough friends.”
A new aura of social hauteur will be injected into skits featuring Bert and Ernie, who have been rumored to be gay but are in fact fuzzy puppets with human hands up their butts. “We’re going to move them into a gated community,” says DeLomasi. “They’re international celebrities fer Christ sake, you can’t expect them to cozy up to the unwashed masses of kids with snotty noses.”
Wild Kingdom’s Marlin Perkins: “I’m going to sic these bad boys on The Eagles during Pledge Week!”
Wild Kingdom, a staple of PBS broadcasts during its early years, will be revived as an exemplar of the “survival of the fittest” philosophy often referred to as “Social Darwinism.” “If you’ve ever sat through ‘The Eagles: Unplugged’ during pledge week,” says TV critic Todd Pettit of the Cahokia, Illinois, Intelligencer, “you realize that some species of birds are better off extinct.”