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[FYI] (Fwd) FC: Joseph Lieberman: Friend of ratings, foe of sex and

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Tue, 08 Aug 2000 23:51:28 -0400
To:             	politech@politechbot.com
From:           	Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Subject:        	FC: Joseph Lieberman: Friend of ratings, foe of sex and violence
Send reply to:  	declan@well.com


Does Lieberman 'Tipper' Scales?
by Declan McCullagh (declan@wired.com)

1:10 p.m. Aug. 7, 2000 PDT
WASHINGTON -- There's no question that Senator
Joseph Lieberman is a traditional liberal in many
ways: He's pro-choice, loves gun control, and
opposes full Social Security privatization.

But when it comes to demanding federal action against
sex and violence in videogames and on TV, Al Gore's
new running mate is as strident as the most right-wing

For years, Lieberman (D-Conn.) has been Washington's
most indefatigable proponent of slapping labels on
nearly anything he finds personally offensive -- not to
mention pressing for V-chips and denouncing the
"destructive influence of the entertainment media."

In highly publicized campaigns, the Connecticut
politician has linked arms with Book of Virtues author
William Bennett to attack Hollywood: The duo tallied
how many out-of-wedlock sexual references appeared
on network broadcasts during "family hours" and
successfully prodded computer-game makers to rate
their software. They even pressured Time Warner into
selling its Interscope rap label, which sold albums by
Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre.

Lieberman co-sponsored the Media Violence Labeling
Act introduced in May. It would move the videogame
and movie industries toward a single national rating
system to be approved by the Federal Trade
Commission. He said in June that websites would not
be covered, but that his legislation "sets the stage"
for such an effort in the future.

Tipper Gore, Vice President Al Gore's wife, began a
similar campaign in the 1980s against "porn rock" --
which led to Senate hearings over music content and
accusations of censorship from some publishers.

The prospect of the White House being occupied by a
Gore-Lieberman pro-ratings combination seems to
unsettle some free-speech groups.

"In principle (Lieberman's) in favor of free speech,"
says Marvin Rich, program director for the National
Coalition Against Censorship. "On the other hand, he
wants the government to intervene in areas that are
probably not subject to government intervention under
our First Amendment."


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