Gore Vows To Protect Kids From Indecent Entertainment

Industry executive says presidential candidate's rhetoric could alienate young voters.

Introducing a possible campaign theme, Vice President Al Gore criticized the entertainment industry for promoting "a culture with too much meanness, and not enough meaning" as he accepted the Democratic Party's presidential nomination Thursday.

Gore vowed to help parents protect their children from "entertainment that ... glorifies violence and indecency."

"As president, I will stand with you for a goal we all share: to give more power back to parents, to choose what your own children are exposed to, so you can pass on your family's basic lessons of responsibility and decency," Gore said to loud applause at Los Angeles' Staples Center.

Gore's vice presidential nominee, Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman, has criticized the content of music, movies and other entertainment in the past and has said he will continue to do so.

"The average family feels as if it's in a competition with a lot of the stuff — not all of it, but a lot of the stuff — coming out of the entertainment industry, and government has to be on the side of standing with those people to help them, because they feel helpless against the big entertainment industry," Lieberman said last week on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Danny Goldberg, president of Artemis Records, said that if Gore and Lieberman were elected, there would be little they could do that would actually affect music and other forms of entertainment.

But Goldberg, who also serves as president of the Southern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, warned that their rhetoric could alienate young voters.

"The effect of the constant drumbeat of moralizing ... is to distance young people from the election," Goldberg said. "That's the result of it."

Nina Crowley, director of the anti-censorship group Mass Mic, said Gore's speech indicates that he is likely to use a crusade against "indecent" entertainment as a campaign theme in the fall.

"It's disturbing that it figured so prominently in his speech," she said.

In the '80s, Gore's wife, Tipper Gore, helped found the Parents Music Resource Center, which successfully lobbied for the parental advisory stickers featured on albums containing any "explicit content."

Texas Gov. George W. Bush, the Republican Party's presidential nominee, has not made the entertainment industry a prominent issue in his campaign.