Quotations From LESLIE HARRIS

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  • The man who promised to reinforce American families is now eager to pull the plug on Big Bird and Barney.
    Leslie Harris, U.S. political activist. As quoted in Newsweek magazine, p. 23 (December 19, 1994). Harris, a spokesperson for the liberal organization People for the American Way, was referring to conservative Congressman Newt Gingrich's (b. 1943) wish to cut funding for the Public Broadcasting System. Among the popular programs on federally-subsidized PBS were two trailblazing children's shows: Sesame Street, which featured a character named Big Bird; and Barney and Friends, starring a purple dinosaur named Barney. Gingrich's opposition to public television was especially significant because he was about to become Speaker of the House of Representatives and because he and his like-minded colleagues were vocal exponents of "family values."
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