Baby Einstein Goes to Washington

Who knew President Bush was such a fan of Baby Einstein movies, the instructional DVDs for your infant and toddler?

In his State of the Union address this week, he mentioned the product's creator Julie Aigner Clark along with a heroic soldier and a man who jumped onto the New York City subway tracks to save a man from an oncoming train.

Presidents traditionally throw a spotlight on heroic Americans during their State of the Union Speeches. Mentioning Ms. Clark in this category struck me as odd. Yes, she recently produced a movie with John Walsh that teaches children safety tips about dealing with strangers in person and online. But her main claim to fame is that she started a very profitable business selling products whose claimed benefits to your young child have not been proven, I might add.

So what if these babies can't lift their heads? We have to prop 'em up in front of Ms. Clark's movies and start filling those heads with knowledge, people!

I suppose Ms. Clark was a genius, perhaps even "Einsteinian" in scale. She realized parents would pay any price for a product that lets them ignore their children-and believe they are making them smarter in the process.

If Albert Einstein were alive today, I wonder whether he would be proud to have the movies named after him. I mean, they are very stimulating, with vivid colors, shiny spinning objects, close-ups of lava lamps and a classical musical score. It's hypnotic. I think he would love them....if he were a stoner.

As the mom of a toddler, I admit that I sometimes do find Baby Einstein movies to be downright heroic. But only because they bring me a moment of peace in a chaotic day of childcare. What's Bush's excuse?

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