On Tuesday the folks behind “Sesame Street” responded to an interview with a former writer who said its iconic characters, Bert and Ernie, are gay. Or, more specifically, Mark Saltzman said he had always “felt” they were gay when he was writing their lines.
Sesame Workshop issued a bungled, glib, and illogical statement claiming that “they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.”
Here’s a screenshot from the Internet Archive:
NCRM published a piece in response, reminding Sesame Workshop that some Sesame Street characters do have a sexual orientation.
“For example,” we wrote, “Clementine is Forgetful Jones’ girlfriend. And Ingrid and Humphrey are married hoteliers. Also, Mae, Elmo’s mother, is married to Louie.”
Sesame Workshop has now deleted their tweet and come out with a new, revised, updated statement as to why Bert and Ernie are not gay.
Please see our most recent statement regarding Bert and Ernie below. pic.twitter.com/gWTF2k1y83
— Sesame Workshop (@SesameWorkshop) September 18, 2018
At least this time their reasoning is sound and makes sense. Also, it’s far less condescending, so that’s a plus. (And we’d like to think we had something to do with it.)
Meanwhile, Saltzman has clarified his remarks.
“As a writer, you just bring what you know into your work,” he told The New York Times. “Somehow, in the uproar, that turned into Bert and Ernie being gay. There is a difference.”
Of course, Sesame Street does need LGBTQ characters. What’s taking so long?
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New Reporting Has Some Questioning Accuracy of NY Times Rosenstein Story
A New York Times story that claims Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein tried to convince FBI officials to wear a wire to secretly record President Trump, with the intention of using that audio to convince the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him is being called into question.
Rosenstein’s alleged remarks came during a meeting that included then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and now-former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, among others. He allegedly also “made the remarks about secretly recording Mr. Trump and about the 25th Amendment in meetings and conversations with other Justice Department and F.B.I. officials,” The Times reported.
But according to NBC News, it is clear that Rosenstein was being sarcastic.
NBC News has now been told by a source who was in the room that Rosenstein did indeed discussing wearing a wire on the president, but he did so sarcastically. Former FBI director Andrew McCabe appears to have a different recollection.
— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) September 21, 2018
The New York Times offered various remembrances of the meeting, only once noting that one person had recorded the remarks as sarcastic. That detail does not figure prominently or equally in the Times reporting:
“A Justice Department spokeswoman also provided a statement from a person who was present when Mr. Rosenstein proposed wearing a wire. The person, who would not be named, acknowledged the remark but said Mr. Rosenstein made it sarcastically.”
The Washington Post, meanwhile, goes even further in calling the Times story into question, stating, “another person at the meeting, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, insisted the recording comment was said in a moment of sarcasm, and that the 25th amendment was not discussed.”
“That person said the wire comment came in response to McCabe’s own pushing for the Justice Department to open an investigation into the president. To that, Rosenstein responded with what this person described as a sarcastic comment along the lines of, “What do you want to do, Andy, wire the president?”
Politico also reports the remark was sarcastic.
People close to Rosenstein said he likely made the comments described in the report in jest. One person who was in the room when Rosenstein suggested wearing a wire to record Trump said the remark was “sarcastic.”
“I remember this meeting and remember the wire comment. The statement was sarcastic and was never discussed with any intention of recording a conversation with the president,” the person said.
Former US Attorney Preet Bharara, who President Trump fired, weighs in:
I dunno if Rosenstein seriously considered taping POTUS or was being saracastic, as many outlets report. I know Rod a long time, he’s a sarcastic guy & jokes about wiring people up are as common with prosecutors as knock-knock jokes in grade school.
— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) September 21, 2018
Others have also questioned the thrust of the Times reporting:
This was obviously a sarcastic comment that is now being used as a pretext to fire Rosenstein and interfere in the Mueller investigation. @nytimes needs to immediately issue a retraction and face the fact that they are being used in the WH’s campaign to distract from Kavanaugh.
— Kaz Weida (@kazweida) September 21, 2018
Any guesses as to how many will walk back their level 11 reaction to the Times story now that it seems to have been a pretty obvious sarcastic aside?
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) September 21, 2018
Source in the room: “I remember this meeting and remember the wire comment. The statement was sarcastic and was never discussed with any intention of recording a conversation with the president.” https://t.co/O7Io7J6WUg
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) September 21, 2018
Goodness, what a dangerous piece of garbage that @nytimes “story”. Cheap gossip without direct sources. Misleading headline. A setup to give Trump a excuse to fire Rosenstein. This cheap insider pseudo journalism is a disgrace.
— Patricia Arancibia (@queridapatricia) September 21, 2018
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