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Is Michelle Obama a Secret Californian?

Sara Mead notices a conceptual flaw in Michelle Obama's upcoming Sesame Street appearance touting home gardens:

It’s a cute segment – I love the fact that Mrs. Obama is noticeably cracking up at several points. And I especially like the ways she talks about vegetables making you “big and strong,” suggesting that girls, as well as boys, should want to be big and strong. But I do have to question what Sesame Workshop, which produces Sesame Street, is thinking airing a garden-planting segment in November. Sure, I get it that Mrs. Obama is a big name and they wanted to put her in the first episode, but if the goal is to get kids interested in gardening and eating vegetables, wouldn’t it make more sense to air the segment in spring – you know, when people in the Northern Hemisphere actually plant gardens? I guess they can always air it again.

This would be understandable for a first lady from California. But Obama is a Chicagoan who just moved to D.C.!

Although it is pretty balmy in Kenya this time of year. Hmmm ...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 1, 2009; 5:09 PM ET
Categories:  Food  
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And if you knew a little bit more about gardening, Ezra, you'd know about planting fall crops, in addition to spring crops, and how -- even in D.C. -- you can plant a number of things now that will be ready before the snow falls.

Posted by: enoriverbend | October 1, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I thought this post was funny because my wife and I are just planting our fall/winter garden, but we are in LA so we can pretty much plant whatever we want. It's nice to walk outside in the middle of winter and pick some broccoli or chard for dinner.

Posted by: StokeyWan | October 1, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I just put my beets and broccoli in last week. Thinking about potatoes too.

Posted by: pj_camp | October 1, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

And potatoes, as it happens, are something you can grow quite easily in trash bags so they should be manageable for kids anywhere.

Posted by: pj_camp | October 1, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

As a parent, I can tell you that Sesame Street films, like, 9 episodes a year. So once planting season rolls around, this episode probably will get re-run about every other week.

Posted by: JEinATL | October 1, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Sesame Street episodes seem to be pasted together from a large archive of segments, and some segments appear in multiple episodes or seasons. The episodes also air many, many times each. It plays multiple times each day in most markets, but it's not made using the network morning show or drama series model.

The intended audience has a low standard for novelty, doesn't mind (and may benefit from) repetition, and doesn't know whether the celebrity segments are dated or culturally relevant.

Posted by: extensive_vamping | October 1, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Yes, everyone should be want to be big. being big is good, being small is bad.

Posted by: yoyoy | October 1, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

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