"It does seem to be saying, 'Islam is the light.' I don't think too many people would argue with that," Markell told OneNewsNow. "And this is not a healthy thing to be putting out in the marketplace when we're in a war on terror, and little children are so susceptible to the messages they hear."
Mattel spokeswoman Lisa Marie Bongiovanni maintains that the only word the doll is programmed to say is "Mama." Other than that it just coos, giggles, and babbles incoherently, just like a real American baby.
"There may be something in there that resembles the word night, or light, or right, but that is all it is," Bongiovanni says, adding that the sound could be distorted because of the toy's small speaker. Mattel is reconfiguring the recording to prevent any future misunderstandings.
Meanwhile, Markell is a little uneasy about leading the charge against "Cuddle 'n Coo." Despite calling us back and talking for 10 minutes, she later said she didn't want to be quoted.
"The Islamic community could turn on me," she feared.
They might even deploy their army of evil toys! —Beth Walton
Writers at the Minnesota Daily, the student newspaper at the U of M, bravely stood up to the administration last week with an editorial lambasting the school's decision to keep dirty money pledged to its Carlson School of Management by Tom Petters, the man accused of a massive investment fraud.
"The University's decision to keep the funds...contradicts the philosophy Carlson students should learn," the editorial read. "[K]eeping the money...indicates the University's willingness to partake in the same greed that has recently beset the American public."
There was just one problem: It turns out that the university never took the money. In fact, the paper had reported as much in an article two days before.
"Unfortunately, their editorial writers don't feel the need to check facts before engaging in published commentary," Daniel Wolter, director of the University News Service, railed in an email. "The University certainly appreciates the Minnesota Daily's argument on this issue—which is essentially the same conclusion we reached weeks ago."
The editorial required a "prominent correction and clarification" and has caused the paper to review its editorial policies to prevent this sort of thing from happening again, says student editor-in-chief Vadim Lavrusik. "To make a long story short, the basis of his whole argument is false." —Beth Walton