Using a newly introduced Sesame Street character named "Lily" as his springboard, MSNBC's Martin Bashir launched into a melodramatic and, arguably over-the-top diatribe on children who, according to Bashir, would starve at the hands of wealthy, "fat cat" conservatives.
With a tone of voice and demeanor generally reserved for the most sombre of occasions, Bashir lamented the pink muppet's struggles as an impoverished youth and scorned conservatives for not caring about the plight of starving children. Clad in pigtails, Lily will be introduced by the Jim Henson Co. in an hour-long Sesame Street special, "Growing Hope Against Hunger," set to air this Sunday night.
"When you don't even know whether you're going to have a next meal or not, that can be pretty hard," Lily states in a preview clip aired by Bashir.
A solemn Bashir then began his segment with the ominous statistic that "one in four children under the age of 6 now lives in poverty."
"And it's gotten so bad, that even Sesame Street can no longer ignore it":
That statistic is not drawn from an African nation, but it applies to children living in America today. Indeed, since the recession began, over two and a half million children in this country go to bed hungry and under-nourished. And it's gotten so bad, that even Sesame Street can no longer ignore it. Meet the newest muppet on the block, her name is Lilly and her life story, as she tells it, seems a world away from the normally happy times on the street.
Bashir failed to point a finger at either the Democratic White House, or senate for the grim statistic, instead placing the onus on "Republicans in Congress" who "push to slash subsidies for home heating oil and work with all their might to cut off unemployment benefits..."
According to Bashir, greedy Republicans all watch Fox News, drink expensive champagne and enjoy opulent dinner parties at the homes of wealthy lobbyists to the exclusion of addressing any and all matters of serious concern.
"Lilly will appear on a primetime special this Sunday night, it's called Growing Hope Against Hunger. And its stated goal is to raise awareness of this epidemic that has swept across the country," Bashir stated.
"So as Republicans in Congress push to slash subsidies for home heating oil and work with all their might to cut off unemployment benefits, perhaps they do well to change the channel just for a moment from Fox News to PBS this Sunday night."
"We're not recommending that they leave any of their opulent salons in Washington, nor decline that invitation to attend a dinner party at the home of a wealthy lobbyist. No, all we're asking is that they change the channel for just a few minutes because there, on Sesame Street, they will see the sad face of a hungry doll whose family doesn't have enough money to buy food...and then they can go back to Fox News and the finest Bollinger that money can buy."