Fred Rogers, best known to everyone on the planet as “Mr. Rogers,” lives again, as a clip of him is currently blasting white-hot through cyberspace. The video, which shows Rogers making an appeal to congress in order to save funding for the Public Broadcast System, breathes new life into the legend of the sweater-wearing, kids show host. Before you grab your guns and zombie-killing pitchforks though, know that while Mr. Rogers died in 2003, the footage of his congressional visit was made in 1969 — the same year that “Sesame Street” came on the air.
In the clip, Rogers addresses Senator Pastore (D-RI), who is chairing a hearing regarding whether funding should be cut to public television. Mr. Rogers, using the same slow, polite cadence he used to influence millions of children all over the world to not “act a fool” (he said that, right?) expresses to the Senator, through the lyrics of a song, why the world needs PBS. Senator Pastore, touched by Mr. Roger’s words, then announces: “Looks like you just earned the 20 million dollars.”
The video has renewed relevance after presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, who claimed he “loved Big Bird,” expressed his intent to cut funding to PBS. Seems like Romney should have spent a little more time in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe and a little less time sucking?