Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin was so worried about the current state of political discourse that he went to a billionaire buddy to try to get him to bankroll a TV show, but the deep-pocketed friend turned him down.

Rubin told conference-goers at the Aspen Ideas Festival that both he and former deputy secretary of state Strobe Talbott had approached a friend Rubin declined to name. Their idea, which he told Reuters after the event was never developed, was to appeal to the public the same way “Sesame Street” appealed to youngsters.

But the friend, busy with other projects, said no.

Rubin still believes the media could do more to explain issues, particularly when it comes to the fiscal crisis.

“There’s been a massive communications failure  by your party” in explaining budget issues, on-stage interviewer and Reuters digital editor Chrystia Freeland said.

“There’s been a massive communications failure by your profession,” Rubin shot right back. The two joshed for a few seconds about whether the blame should be 50-50 or 80-20.