NBC: Romney Debate Performance 'Completely Overshadowed' When He 'Attacked' Big Bird

During the Week in Buzz segment on Sunday's NBC Today, Ericka Souter, editor of the celebrity gossip blog The Stir, trashed Mitt Romney for announcing plans to cut federal funding of PBS, including Sesame Street, ranting: "Everything else Romney said was completely overshadowed by the fact that Big Bird felt attacked or people felt Big Bird was attacked, and he's like an icon to millions of moms and kids." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

As Souter denounced Romney for supposedly attacking Big Bird, the headline on screen read: "Romney Goes 'Bird' Hunting." A picture appeared that showed a protestor dressed in a Big Bird costume holding a sign that read: "Unemployed in a Romney economy."   

Souter echoed NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, who on Friday fretted over Romney's "threat" to public broadcasting.

Following Souter on Today, comedian Chuck Nice expressed sympathy for debate moderator and former PBS Newshour host Jim Lehrer: "I gotta tell you, the person I felt sorry for was not Big Bird, it was Jim Lehrer. Basically Mitt Romney was like, 'You are done!' I mean, seriously, he put the man out of a job in front of 60 million people."

Nice then proclaimed: "I know one person who is voting for Barack Obama. At least there's one, his name is Jim Lehrer."

Earlier on the show, co-hosts Lester Holt and Jenna Wolfe eagerly touted Big Bird making a Saturday Night Live appearance. Holt noted: "So Big Bird has big news this week after Mitt Romney said during the debate he wants to cut the federal subsidy to PBS, which is the network that carries Sesame Street." Wolfe declared: "So it only seemed fitting to find him perched at the Weekend Update desk last night on Saturday Night Live. Take a look."

After the clip, Holt observed the stunt "was totally bipartisan, no politics, just a fun moment."

Monday's Today replayed the clip of the "rare late-night appearance by Big Bird."


Here is a transcript of the Week in Buzz segment on Sunday's Today:

8:43AM ET

LESTER HOLT: Let's talk about Big Bird. He's got to be the winner of the week. Mentioned by Mitt Romney in the debate.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Week in Buzz; Romney Goes "Bird" Hunting]

ERICKA SOUTER [EDITOR, THESTIR.COM]: Right.

HOLT: How's Big Bird going to fare through all of this?

SOUTER: I mean, Big Bird's the huge star. I mean, you know, what's next? The tooth fairy? You know, everything else Romney said was completely overshadowed by the fact that Big Bird felt attacked or people felt Big Bird was attacked, and he's like an icon to millions of moms and kids.

CHUCK NICE [COMEDIAN]: I gotta tell you, the person I felt sorry for was not Big Bird, it was Jim Lehrer. Basically Mitt Romney was like, "You are done!" I mean, seriously, he put the man out of a job in front of 60 million people. Big Bird's not real. Jim Lehrer is a real guy.

HOLT: He took it so well.

NICE: I know one person who is voting for Barack Obama. At least there's one, his name is Jim Lehrer.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC