Hillary Rocks: Rock the Vote will give First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton its first Rock the Nation Award, recognizing her advocacy for worldwide youth, during the sixth annual Patrick Lippert Awards, Feb. 23 at the House of Blues. Regular Lippert Award winners--honored for "embodying the spirit of community activism"--include singers Neil Young and Stevie Wonder and L.A. radio stations KROQ-FM (106.7) and KKBT-FM (92.3).
Falwell vs. Teletubby: The Rev. Jerry Falwell is trying to out one of the "Teletubbies." The February edition of Falwell's National Liberty Journal warns parents that the purple, purse-carrying Tinky Winky may be a gay role model; to support its claim, the article notes that purple is the gay-pride color and that the character's antenna is shaped like a triangle--a symbol of gay pride. A spokesman for Itsy Bitsy Entertainment Co., which licenses the popular children's TV show, denied the claim, noting that the purse is actually Tinky Winky's magic bag. "The fact that he carries a magic bag doesn't make him gay," a spokesman said. "It's a children's show, folks. To think we would be putting sexual innuendo in a children's show is kind of outlandish." In a statement, Falwell stuck by his charges, adding: "As a Christian I feel that role modeling the gay lifestyle is damaging to the moral lives of children." Meanwhile, Falwell apparently isn't alone in his conclusions: The gay magazine Out has previously alluded to Tinky Winky's possible homosexuality.
Pop Chart: After a two-week hiatus, teen pop sensation Britney Spears is back atop the nation's album sales charts with her debut ". . . Baby One More Time." The album hit No. 1 last month in its first week in stores, then slid down the standings as several high-profile rap albums outpaced it. But last week, the Louisiana native sold 182,000 copies, her highest total. That was 70,000 more than "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," which claimed No. 2 and has now hit total sales of 3.4 million, as hip-hop diva Hill enjoys major exposure in the wake of her 10 Grammy nominations. The week's biggest chart move: Cher, who, boosted by her performance of the national anthem at the Super Bowl, saw her "Believe" surge from No. 21 to No. 12.
UPN has picked up its new animated series "Dilbert" for next season. . . . Noting that "the blacklist is never over," a group called the Committee Against Silence has announced plans to hold a protest at the March 21 Oscar ceremonies because of the academy's decision to give an honorary Oscar to director Elia Kazan--who informed on his friends at congressional hearings in the 1950s. . . . "Star Trek: Voyager" actress Jeri Ryan will do an online chat tonight at 6:30 at http://www.startrek.com.