Health debate a boon for kids TV – Nickelodeon to spend lobbyist millions on more blue dog episodes

The heavy lobbying of Congress on health insurance reform has led to an unexpected benefit to American pre-school age children.

So much is being spent by insurance lobbyists that, in addition to millions in donations to Blue Dog Democrats, millions were given by mistake to the Nickelodeon TV network.

“The memo lines on all the checks specified ‘for the blue dogs,’ so we decided to order three more seasons of Blues Clues,” said Cindi Cation, Nickelodeon director of non-Sponge Bob programming.

“The sponsor’s wish is our command,” Cation added.

Blues Clues, about a puzzle-solving dog named Blue, ran on Nickelodeon from 1996 to 2006 and won critical praise as well as high ratings. Early childhood educators and development experts praised the absence of singing dinosaurs, and pop-sociologist Malcolm Gladwell called Blues Clues “as ‘sticky’ as the FEC filings of Senator Max Baucus (D-Schering-Plough).”

The Cupboard Was Bare, Blue’s first-paw account of his time in Iraq as an International Atomic Energy Agency inspector, was the first mainstream media report to question the Bush administration’s justification for going to war.

Friday’s disclosure of the donation error sent a shockwave through the Washington DC lobbying community. One lobbyist said privately that the return of Blue is being feared as equivalent to an appointment of a special prosecutor.

Clay M. D’Niall, executive director of the insurance industry think tank Liberty Copayment Institute, admitted offering Blue’s Clues producers 50,000 shares of Cigna in exchange for Blue’s Thinking Chair, but was unsuccessful. “Dammit, that mutt could figure out our entire scam,” D’Niall said.

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