Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Wrong again, Ann.

So I'm surfing around the internet and Ann Coulter's busy eulogizing the Reverend Jerry Falwell and ranting away and I'm letting her get away with it because frankly, I get those television evangelist guys all mixed up. But then I realized that Ann got an incredibly basic fact wrong. And when someone gets a simple fact wrong--repeatedly--it means I get to call bullshit. So that's what I'm doing. Here's a chunk of Ann's column:

What Falwell was referring to are the gay activists — the ones who spit the Eucharist on the floor at St. Patrick's Cathedral, blamed Reagan for AIDS, and keep trying to teach small schoolchildren about "fisting."

Also the ones who promote the gay lifestyle in a children's cartoon.

Beginning in early 1998, the news was bristling with stories about a children's cartoon PBS was importing from Britain that featured a gay cartoon character, Tinky Winky, the purple Teletubbie with a male voice and a red handbag.

People magazine gleefully reported that Teletubbies was "aimed at Telebabies as young as 1 year. But teenage club kids love the products' kitsch value, and gay men have made the purse-toting Tinky Winky a camp icon."

In the Nexis archives for 1998 alone, there are dozens and dozens of mentions of Tinky Winky being gay — in periodicals such as Newsweek, The Toronto Star, The Washington Post (twice!), The New York Times and Time magazine (also twice).

In its Jan. 8, 1999, issue, USA Today accused The Washington Post of "outing" Tinky Winky, with a "recent Washington Post In/Out list putting T.W. opposite Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche, essentially 'outing' the kids' show character."

Michael Musto of The Village Voice boasted that Tinky Winky was "out and proud," noting that it was "a great message to kids — not only that it's OK to be gay, but the importance of being well accessorized."

All this appeared before Falwell made his first mention of Tinky Winky.

After one year of the mainstream media laughing at having put one over on stupid bourgeois Americans by promoting a gay cartoon character in a TV show for children, when Falwell criticized the cartoon in February 1999, that same mainstream media howled with derision that Falwell thought a cartoon character could be gay.



OK, I made it as clear as possible, so I'm sure you noticed it. Coulter repeatedly refers to Tinky Winky as a cartoon character. When if she had watched even 10 seconds of the show, she would realize that Teletubbies is live-action.

I know this sounds like I'm being insanely picky. Live-action, shmive action, who cares? Why do I get to call bullshit? This is why: it looks like Coulter did a quick Nexis search, saw how many stories claimed Tinky Winky was gay, and decided "Hey, there's a column in this."

Whereas, if she were me, and had actually spent a couple of years letting her children watch Teletubbies, not only would she realize that Teletubbies is live-action, not animated, she would also realize that post-modern intellectuals, Queer Theorists, and media pundits can all agree on something, and it still doesn't mean jack shit.

The program's target audience wouldn't know a gay icon if it dropped its red pocketbook and came up and kissed them. A two- or three- or four-year-old doesn't know from gay. Anyone who has spent time raising children realizes this.

Also, the whole matter of being a "gay icon" is problematical at best. I mean, Judy Garland is the biggest gay icon I can think of. Does that mean my kids shouldn't watch The Wizard of Oz? And if they do watch it, and my son grows up to be a ballet-dancing interior-decorating homosexual, who gets the credit, me or Judy Garland?

Does anyone else out there suspect that regular columnists sometimes run out of anything original to say, so they pick a non-issue to rant about? I mean, everyone knows inspiration palls from time to time, but honestly, how low can you go? It's just too easy. It's so ... intellectually cheap.

Yeah, I should find someone better to pick on. And leave Ann Coulter alone.

9 comments:

  1. Um, who exactly is trying to teach small schoolchildren about fisting? I've never heard anything about that particular shitstorm of controversy.

    WTF was Crazy Coulter speaking of there??

    Maybe the parents who let their underage kids watch South Park? The cartoon that is not intended for children?

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  2. Ann Coulter intellectually cheap? The hell you say! Next you'll be telling us there were no WMD in Iraq. And it's all downhill into kneejerk liberalism from there.

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  3. Speaking of Judy Garland, there is an an exciting new group on Yahoo called The Judy Garland Experience. The group features ever changing and always amazing audio files. Currently, along with some of Judy’s 1950’s radio work we are featuring full length concerts of her with the original Rat Pack, her 1967 free concert on the Boston Common, songs and interviews from her aborted role in Valley Of The Dolls, and much more. The group also features rare photo’s, lively discussions, and the most eclectic and interesting gathering of Garland fans anywhere!
    The group features fans of all levels, new and hardcore, Garland family members, other celebrities, people who knew Judy, author’s historian’s, film maker’s, and more! The only thing missing is you! Please stop by our little Judyville and check it out, you may never want to leave!
    http://movies.groups.yahoo.com/group/thejudygarlandexperience/

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  4. Before I check out The Judy Garland Experience, I'd like to share.

    My bestest friend, Mrs. Perfect, has somewhat different political ideologies than I. She bought a talking Ann Coulter doll and gave it to her youngest daughter. Ann and Talking Barbie discuss important matters and appear to agree that girl dolls who shop for red patent leather handbags are good for the economy.

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  5. What kills me is that, while it's absolutely not okay to make racist remarks on the air, online, in print, or anywhere else, it's still somehow okay to be homophobic. Neither is acceptable on any level, yet there's this whole group of people out there (aka Republicans) who still need to pick on someone. Probably just to make their pathetic selves feel better.

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  6. A Yahoo group called The Judy Garland Experience?

    What are you, gay?

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  7. The Teletubbies a cartoon? This shows two b.s. points: Ann Coulter never watched the show, and 2) her column isn't fact-checked...

    The show freaks me out, but it has nothing to do with gender issues. I just prefer Mr. Rogers and Clifford's Puppy Days.

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  8. Ann Coulter is one big ASS!! I saw her in an interview with a Canadian journalist, where she repeatedly argued with him that Canada had gone into the 'Vietnam War?' with the US!! He kept trying to politely correct her, that infact, Canada had not. She got more and more vile and insistent that HE was WRONG. He then asked her "Why do you think all the US draft-dodgers headed to Canada?" You knew from his exasperated tone that he wanted to add "You Stupid Loud Idiot" to that...so I'll do it for him. I cannot believe that she gets to shoot her ignorant mouth off all the time??? She's as informed as Georgie is. She's likely a closet-dominatrix-lesbian!!!!

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  9. Falwell was a nut...and Coulter too, though her penis is probably bigger.

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Gentle Readers:

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xxx, Poppy.