'The View' Denies Anything 'Political' in CNN's Anti-Travel Ban Elmo Vid

June 29th, 2017 3:10 PM

Just days after the Supreme Court passed through a watered-down version of President Trump’s temporary “travel ban,” CNN put out a Facebook Live video with Elmo from Sesame Street talking about the plight of Syrian refugees. In the video, CNN journalists are shown sympathetically asking Elmo about his experience visiting a refugee camp in an obvious attempt to spin an anti-Trump message to kids. On Thursday’s The View, the liberal hosts defended CNN and Sesame Street, insisting the video had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with “humanity.”

Whoopi introduced the segment by playing a clip from the video, where CNN’s Clarissa Ward is seen asking Elmo, “Did you find that the Syrian little girls and little boys were a lot like your friends here in America?” Elmo responds:

Yeah they really were! It’s very interesting because they like to play and learn just like Elmo’s friends on Sesame Street. Elmo’s new friends in Jordan tell Elmo that they had to leave their homes because it wasn’t safe for them to stay and that made Elmo very sad and sometimes a little bit scared. 

“Elmo is not pushing a political agenda. He does this all the time,” Whoopi scoffed as soon as the clip ended. She cited a newly-added disabled character, an HIV-positive character and a character who doesn’t eat because her family is poor as evidence that Sesame Street cares more about kids than politics.

Whoopi admitted that she recently appeared on the show to defend the Syrian refugees as well.

“The thing about Sesame Street and Elmo is they don’t care about your adult BS. They’re talking to the kids. And when kids come here as refugees, Elmo wants kids who already live here to know that they are children just like they are,” Whoopi urged.

Host Sara Haines also defended the network’s actions, calling this a “human” issue:

This is a human campaign. This is the most innocent among us and I think remembering the humanity in it. This isn’t about--regardless of what side you’re on, I think anybody can look at that and see kids need to remember...we’re more alike than we are different.

Haines added a dig at President Trump and praised Sesame Street as setting a good example for kids:

And that’s how you raise the next generation on the heels of, I hate to even bring it up but when a president that’s tweeting about “a crazy person” on T.V., you need someone to guide them.

Host Jedediah Bila, usually the lone voice of dissent at the table, agreed with Whoopi that the video itself was not political, but suggested that the controversy was more with CNN’s involvement with the video than the furry puppet.

She also pointed out that the pro-refugee committee that Sesame Street and CNN worked with to make the video, was very political. After she made that point, an exasperated Whoopi interrupted again insisting this was just about kids:

He may do that but that’s not what he was doing here. That’s what I’m telling you. And quit trying to drag everything into this box of political. This is about kids. And if you know, whether its kids here, or kids around the world, kids need your attention. They don’t care about your politics. They just want to feel like they’re safe and they’re okay. That’s all. [applause]



But anyone watching the video could see it was clearly an attempt to push back against Trump’s “travel ban.” Not to mention that this isn’t the first time that the network has collaborated with Sesame Street to try to indoctrinate their audience of children with political propaganda. Back in 2011, CNN's Erin Burnett begged Elmo on her show to send John Boehner and Harry Reid on “play dates” to "solve the world's problem right now."

Since Trump has taken office, the media has ramped up its defense of the longstanding children’s show, particularly fretting about cuts to PBS, the network Sesame Street used to be on. The New York Times even went as far to say America risks “genocide” if cuts to PBS were made. But the network’s relevance to Sesame Street’s staying power is pretty much inconsequential, since HBO now owns it, and PBS only plays new episodes 9 months after they’ve already aired.

The View immediately followed up this segment by defending CNN again, after an undercover video shows Van Jones saying that the Russia investigation was a “nothingburger.”