Newsmax host Eric Bolling eagerly jumped aboard the right-wing ragefest over Big Bird promoting vaccines, declaring on Monday that “Sesame Street are a bunch of communists” for “hawking the jab to five-year-olds.”
Over the weekend, CNN ran a TV special on COVID-19 vaccines aimed at children and parents, featuring characters from the seminal children’s program Sesame Street. With the CDC now recommending children ages 5 to 11 get vaccinated, the special included experts like the U.S. surgeon general answering questions from kids about the safety and efficacy of the jab.
At the same time, Big Bird—whose character is meant to be six years old, mind you—noted that he had gotten the shot, as he had only recently become eligible. And once the Twitter account representing the iconic character (who is, again, a fictional talking bird played by a person inside a large costume) posted that he was vaccinated and that “it'll give my body an extra protective boost that keeps me and others healthy,” the right-wing freakout began.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) accused Big Bird of peddling “government propaganda” while Fox News contributor Lisa Boothe, who remains unvaccinated to own the libs, claimed this was akin to “brainwashing children.” Prominent Pizzagate conspiracist Mike Cernovich also weighed in with a typically unhinged response, only to see it amplified by Fox “hard news” programming.
During his afternoon Newsmax show on Monday, Bolling added his name to the growing chorus of right-wing pundits angry that a fictional character is telling kids that it’s okay to get vaccinated. (Something the 8-foot-tall puppet has done for nearly 50 years now.)
The former Fox News star first took a swipe at his former network for implementing a vaccine policy “months before they had to,” likening Fox’s stringent protocols to the network’s early and accurate Arizona call for Joe Biden during the 2020 election. (Bolling was fired by Fox in 2017 after an internal probe over allegations of sexual misconduct.)
He then insisted that it was “fake news” that Newsmax had instituted their own vaccine mandate. While the network isn’t requiring all of its employees to get the shot, it will mandate that any unvaccinated staffers be subjected to weekly COVID-19 testing, in line with the Biden administration’s workplace rules.
“Speaking of COVID, there was a ton of push back to the Biden mandates over the weekend,” Bolling declared. “Big Bird is now hawking the jab for five-year-olds on Sesame Street!”
Playing a clip from the CNN special, complete with over-the-top mockery from Bolling, the Newsmax host then raged against the pro-vaccine message delivered by the oversized puppet.
“I told you 15 years ago that Sesame Street are a bunch of communists! And they’re proving it once again,” Bolling exclaimed. “Again, I stand by that assessment.”
Before he was ousted from Fox News, Bolling ranted in 2016 that the children’s show needed to “move away from the left-wing communist diatribe they put out every single day.” Five years earlier, during a Fox Business segment, he likened the Muppets to “Communist China.”