Earlier this month we reported on a minor controversy that arose after re-aired a two-year-old episode of “ ” that parodied Fox News. Last night, in an effort to make light of that episode, a executive went on Fox News’ “The O'Reilly Factor” to introduce a brand-new muppet: Spill O'Reilly.
The sketch that began the controversy featured reporting for the Grouch News Network, or GNN. After hugging and kissing his interview subjects, Oscar is lambasted by an angry caller for not providing news she deems sufficiently grouchy, prompting her to exclaim, "From now on, I am watching Pox News," adding, "Now there's a trashy news show!"
The skit caused some like the anonymous writer "Stage Right" at the prominent conservative website Big Hollywood to complain of a liberal bias in “Sesame Street's" content:
IfLast night Sherri Westin, the executive vice-president of Sesame Workshop, appeared on O'Reilly's show to discuss the controversy. After encouraging the notoriously bombastic host to forgive Oscar the Grouch and call off any plans to launch an attack on Oscar's character and professionalism, Westin introduced a new Grouch News Network character to follow in the footsteps of Walter Cranky and watch cable news, it’s better than 50/50 they watch "POX News." So what gives? PBS — a network partially funded with my tax dollars — has the right to tell my kids that their parents watch "trashy" news? The message is clear, I can’t even sit my kids in front of "Sesame Street" without having to worry about the Left attempting to undermine my authority...Dan Rather-Not: Spill O'Reilly. The new muppet promptly took over the camera, welcomed viewers to the "No-Spew Zone" and encouraged them to run out to purchase his new book, "A Stinky Rotten Pile Of Grouchiness," an obvious parody of O'Reilly's recent book, "A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity."
When contacted this morning by Yahoo! News about the possibility of more muppets inspired by Fox hosts like Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity for the show, Ellen Lewis, vice-president of corporate communications for Sesame Workshop, issued a stern "no comment" and wished us a happy Thanksgiving.
*standing and applauding, even for O'Reilly's self-deprecation*