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Sara Whitman Headshot

When in Doubt -- Go After That Teletubby Again!

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Tinky Winky... Dipsy.... Lala... Po...

The song goes through my head, over and over again. My oldest son watched the Teletubbies and loved them. Still loves them, I found out recently. I should say, has learned to appreciate them on a different level. I found out after he told me he at a sleepover with his pal, they were watching Teletubbies at 1AM.

"Mom. They are so goofy. "

"What were you doing up at 1AM?"

Clearly, I don't have a sense of humor. I wasn't worried about Tinky Winky teaching my son to carry a red purse. I was worried about what parental supervision was happening at 1AM at the friend's house.

Recently, Ewa Sowinska, a senior official in the Polish Government ordered-- yup, ordered-- psychologists to "investigate whether the popular BBC TV show Teletubbies promotes a homosexual lifestyle." She noticed Tinky was carrying "a woman's handbag."

The Polish government is now spending serious money investigating a large purple character carrying a red purse. Send me the check. I can alleviate Ms. Sowinska's worries -- no gay man would ever wear a red purse with a purple frock. I mean... does it match? Not really. And if Tinky was gay? The bag would be a designer bag and there would be shoes to match.

I do have to say, Ewa is no fool. Look at all the media attention she's getting. Physically bashing queers in Moscow, not so great on headline news, but working "to outlaw the promotion of homosexuality among the nation's children." Noble. Hold a baby and shake a finger at that crazy purple... uh... thing and -- tada! Instant press.

It worked for Jerry Falwell. So she's a day late to the game. She's still going to get quite a few dollars supporting her efforts.

While she's at it, Ms. Sowinska should get their anti-terrorism unit on the case. Po is short and red -- what does that say about Po's politics? Maybe they can get a few tips from our own Alabama homeland security unit.

Tinky Winky is a character. And a sexless one at that. Last I looked, they don't have genitals, only bizarre television screen implanted in their bellies. They dance and giggle. They say goodbye over and over again.

Serious lifestyle issues.

I have to admit, I did let my kids watch the Teletubbies. I watched them get up and dance along and laugh when the baby sun came out. I hate the Teletubbies. It was inane, repetitive and drove me crazy.

But for that sweet half hour, my kids were happily engaged. I'm guessing all the psychologists reports in the world won't change a single Polish mother or father's need at one time or another to have a few minutes to sit back, sip a cup of coffee while their toddler is waving bye-bye to Tinky Winky and crew over and over.

"Hey, Ben," I called to him after reading the story. "Someone is saying Tinky Winky is gay."

"Ohmygod, that show is sooooo stupid," he laughed. Which started all three of my children on a Saturday Night Live-style skit making fun of the Teletubbies and their past adoration of them.

Ms. Sowinska is right about one thing -- there is an agenda being pushed. It's not a gay one, though -- rather a homophobic, right-wing agenda pushed by media savvy politicians.

When in doubt, go after the big purple Teletubbu.