Tuesday, March 23, 2004

This Just In....

Muppets Bringing Peace to the Middle East

" Where countless politicians and diplomats have failed, Elmo, Cookie Monster and their "Sesame Street" buddies are on a mission to promote peace and tolerance in the Middle East.

A programing experiment using the Muppet characters was launched six months ago and was widely welcomed by parents, educators and the media. But the Muppets are not without their critics in Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan.

'It's a highly charged environment, and the press is going to reflect some of that," (Sesame Workshop president Gary) Knell says. "Yes, some Israeli reports accused us of being lackeys of the Palestinians, while another article accused us of being lackeys of the Bush White House and charged that Elmo was carrying the will of the White House to the Middle East. A Jordanian Internet site accused us of being Zionist lap dogs.'"
Thousands have gathered worldwide to protest the muppets. Police had to break up demonstrators in Sydney, Australia burning Big Bird in effigy, and in Berlin garbage cans were dumped into the streets to symbolize the trash characters like Oscar the grouch were bringing to the unsuspecting people in the area.

Reaction from the muppets themselves was mixed - Muppet spokeswoman Prairie Dawn expressed her hope that the world would be able to come to view her people as "messengers of peace, love, and the alphabet" to all mankind. Grover and Baby Bear reportedly were attempting a world-wide e-mail campaign, Ernie and the two Aliens discussed ways to better get their search for self-understanding across to the people, while a despondent Elmo quietly sobbed in the arms of The Count. Cookie Monster was nowhere to be found, having run off earlier in the day.

Some muppets, however, did not take matters as well and reportedly have opened talks with opposition forces....

That's the news - good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow.

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