CNN, in an apparent effort to elevate its journalistic standards, welcomed famed Sesame Street puppet Elmo onto a political panel, where he opined on the Syrian refugee crisis.
The Facebook Live panel ncluded actual CNN journalist Clarissa Ward and International Rescue Committee activist David Miliband. It was aimed at tackling how to help Syrian children, set adrift by the civil war wracking the country, feel more comfortable in temporary quarters far from home.
But Elmo couldn’t resist scoring a few political points.
“Did you find that the Syrian little girls and little boys were a lot like your friends here in America?” Ward asked Elmo, who had recently visited with Syrian children.
“Yeah, they really were,” answered the character, as if this were a serious political panel. “It was very interesting because they like to play and learn just like Elmo and all of his friends at Sesame Street.”
The puppet went on to make a veiled reference to the Trump Administration’s recent efforts to stem the flow of visitors from countries that actively support terrorism. “Elmo thinks it’s important to know that everybody is the same deep down and that’s very important,” he said.
Miliband added, “It’s worth saying, perhaps especially today, that this country, the US, receives very few refugees and there’s a lot of fear and loathing being put out.”
The segment went on for about 15 minutes, with all involved acting as though handling complicated matters of Middle East policy and how they relate to American priorities was a totally normal thing to do with an actual puppet on the show.
So far, at least, Elmo is relegated to appearing only on CNN‘s social media, but of course, if CNN‘s troubles continue, he could very well be promoted to Wolf Blitzer’s replacement.