Million Puppet March to support public broadcasting - CBS46 News

Puppets to march in support of public television

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The TSA will have an eventful weekend checking luggage for those on their way to the Million Muppet March in Washington (Source: Million Muppet March/Facebook) The TSA will have an eventful weekend checking luggage for those on their way to the Million Muppet March in Washington (Source: Million Muppet March/Facebook)

(RNN) – Two strangers in different parts of the country had the same idea: Hold a march to support public television, with the help of some felt-constructed friends.

The concept came after the first presidential debate, when Republican candidate Mitt Romney said he'd do away with government subsidies for Sesame Street and its neighbors on public broadcasting.

"I like PBS. I love Big Bird. Actually, I like you, too," Romney said to moderator Jim Lehrer, of PBS's NewsHour. "But I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for."

The internet lit on fire, and Big Bird became a meme for days.

Chris Mecham, 46, a student in Idaho, and Michael Bellavia, 43, A Los Angeles resident who works in the entertainment industry, suggested on social media to have a Million Puppet March ("Muppet" is a trademarked term). Instead of having two separate marches, the two men are working together to pull it off.

"I've never done something like this before, but there does seem like there is broad-based interest," Bellavia said.

Although they don't believe they'll have a million marchers – they're expecting few hundred – marchers are encouraged to bring their own puppet. The march is not associated with PBS, Sesame Workshop, The Jim Henson Company or Disney.

"We'd like to use it as a platform to show support for public media," Bellavia said. "There have been other folks who've come on to it because it's a puppet party - want to have as wide an umbrella as possible."

The march is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday in Washington and will be broadcast live on UStream. Others have planned "meet-ups" across the country at the same time to show their support.

For more information, visit the website, Facebook page or Twitter feed.

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