OK, he's not, literally. (Though he was the first one to see the elephant. Coincidence?) But as I write in my print TIME column this week, one thing that's been lost in the debate over PBS funding is that PBS not only serves many, many conservatives among its audience but operates according to several small-c conservative principles and values. Think of Big Bird—of PBS generally—as a late-'60s, Nelson Rockefeller / George Romney Republican, believing that government can have a role in serving the underserved with prudently managed programs that offer a lot of bang for the buck.