Feathers ruffled, Big Bird backers tweet

Oct. 4, 2012 at 9:31 AM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Big Bird was a big hit in social media after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he would cut funding to the Public Broadcasting Service.

Twitter data indicated the words "Big Bird" were posted 17,000 times a minute and "PBS," the public channel that airs "Sesame Street" in which Big Bird is a mainstay, peaked at 10,000 posts per minute Wednesday after Romney said he would cut off PBS funding, ABC News reported.

Romney's comment during the first presidential debate sparked the Twitter hashtag #SaveBigBird, which trended worldwide and delivered at least three pro-Big Bird Twitter monikers, @BigBird, @BigBirdRomney and @FiredBigBird.

Romney previously said he would cut PBS funding as an example of how he will reduce spending to cut the federal deficit and lower the debt.

"Sesame Street" officials declined to comment on Big Bird's sudden political fortunes, saying the show is apolitical while noting Big Bird is only 6 so he doesn't really understand all the political fuss, ABC News said.

Soon after the debate between President Obama and Romney ended, Twitter spokeswoman Rachael Horwitz posted, "Tonight's debate was the most tweeted about event in US political history, topping the numbers from the RNC and DNC. #debates."

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