On, Lieberman, Tipper, and the Censorship party

If Joe Lieberman gets to be a VP candidate, I will not vote for Gore. I am a Democrat. I have nothing against Lieberman being Jewish. However, the selection will realize my fears: the Democratic party is becoming a party of censorship. It is the absolute wrong response to George Bush’s efforts to be more inclusive.

Joseph Lieberman is a member of the Parents Tevevision Council (PTC). Some of their goals are laudable. However, L. Trent Bozell, the leader, seems to have a fixation to eliminate my favorite form of entertainment, professional wrestling. They claim to want to ‘tone some of the aspects’ down. Okay. However, when WWF did, the PTC was proven never to be satisfied. They did not want The Rock to address the delegates in the Republican National Convention, despite that:

–There are, counting WWF and WCW ratings and independents throughout the country, approximately 19,000,000 wrestling fans in the country who can vote.

–Abraham Lincoln, the politician cited most, especially by republicans, was one of the best wrestlers of his day.

Wrestling fans are not as dumb as the PTC hoped we are. We are among the most internet-savvy group. Some wrestling fans in a web site exposed the fact the the PTC was getting a lot of money off sales of WWF products sold by third parties. The PTC wound up censoing parts of their own web site as a result. The Rock even proved that wrestlers are not so dumb. He out-did L. Trent Bozell in the mini-debate at C-SPAN before Wednesday’s session. Probably that’s the real reason why the PTC idn’t want The Rock there.

The Lieberman selection would be coupled with Tipper Gore, Al’s wife. She led efforts to censor ganster and sexist rap music, through her PMRC. She had record labels put that parental advsory notice you see on some CD’s today. It was the worst thing she had ever done to rap, and music in general. She and Delores Tucker made those styles of rap music much more popular than it deserved to be, because of its ‘forbidden fruit’ status. The ascendacy of sexist and ganster rap with Tipper Gore’s help pushed other rap styles into the background. So here was a case of an attempt at censorship horribly backfiring.

So now we have a censor as a wife of the presidential candidate, and a potential VP candidate who is a member of an advisory board that wanted to have a half-Black, half-Polynesian man censored from the Republican National Convention. Anybody who read the last sentence would think “That’s the Republican Party for you.” However, it would be the Democrats faced with this ignobility.

Not sure if I fully follow here (it is late) - but J.L. is a Democrat. Why does he have anything to do with who addresses people at the Republican National Convention?

What are the reasons for this? Maybe it’s not censorship; maybe the PTC wanted The Rock (because of his heritage or popularity) to speak at the Democratic Convention? Please provide the reasons.

Since when are you the judge of what deserves to be popular?

I’m just trying to separate out the arguments for a topic worthy of a Great Debate from a IMHO rant (not that that’s really my job :wink: )


What Abe Lincoln did has zero in relation to the glorified steroid-enhanced obnoxiously inane non-sport dancing called “professional” wrestling. You yourself called it entertainment, so why compare it to real sport?

While I completely disagree with censorship as well, I think that voting for the GOP instead of the Dems in this case would make pretty much no difference. I mean, maybe the Dems are just trying to catch up to the Repubs, who have been in favor of censorship for as long as I can remember. Oh, sure, it’s different censorship, but censorship nonetheless. You know, censoring pornography, the Internet, anything they find repulsive, etc.

As I’m sure Libertarian can tell you, this is one area where both parties often end up on the wrong side of the Constitution. :frowning:

That is why I may vote for the Green Party and Ralph Nader. He’s a real American hero, who won’t have the pompous pageantry the others will have.

From Skylock:

They did not want The Rock to address the delegates in the Republican National Convention…

What are the reasons for this? Maybe it’s not censorship; maybe the PTC wanted The Rock (because of his heritage or popularity) to speak at the Democratic Convention? Please provide the reasons.

my reply:

Look at the letter that the PTC president gave to the Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, the one who invited The Rock. The PTC would not want him in either convention. I would call that an effort to censor The Rock and WWF from having a voice in government. They are doing this while the WWF is initiating one of the biggest voting drives in American history through their programs, Smackdown the Vote. I don’t think the Democrats would want to face the wrath of 14,000,000 WWF voting wrestling fans by rejecting WWF wrestlers from their convention. So far the WWF is taking a neutral position, and plan to have wrestlers attend both conventions.
More about censoring rap backfiring:
2 Live Crew’s CD * As Nasty As They Wanna Be * was a modest southern hit, and was destined to quietly go out of the charts. That was, until the PMRC came in. They had successfully had banned CD from Florida, after the record company agreed to put the ‘PA’ stickers on. 2 Live Crew
wound up arrested in Florida for playing the explicitsongs from the CD. Did it dampen their careers? Hardly. In fact it turned out to be a blessing for 2LC. They wound up selling 3 million CDs, had a notorious monster hit in “Me So Horny” and Luther Campbell extended his career another 10 years. The music in the CD is mediocre at best, but the PMRC gave 2 Live Crew massive publicity and a new life.

Thanks for the link, capacitor

First - my comments about the WWF in my “hijack” were a cheap attempt at humor late at night - a cheap shot. Not the right place for that. Apologize if it offended you.

Now - this PTC seems to have a major, um, thing for the WWF. I can see, however, the political parties trying to weigh the scales of 14 million vs. 500K (PTC membership). Seems like an obvious winner, there.

Out of curiousity, in your opinion how politically active are WWF/WWC members?

Yes I remember this. I’d call the music less than mediocre; but I was questioning how it “deserves” to not be popular, since I guess 3 million people thought it deserved to be. But I’m nitpicking.

You’d think people who protest things like movies, CDs, books etc. would learn by now. If you want something to be ignored or not viewed/purchased…uh, ignore it. Don’t call everyone’s attention to it. The one that sticks out on the top of my mind is the furor over “The Last Temptation of Christ” a few years back.
But back to the OP. I think we need to be careful how we define censorship. Normally it’s the prohibition on public distribution of something. Usually, that prohibitor is the goverment.

Remember, the PTC definitely has the right to ask the Republican party to do this. They have a set of values, and they are expressing them. Now, are they expressing a desire to have something censored? Perhaps. But from my POV, you could begin to call it censorship if, say, the Republican Party turned around and rescinded it’s offer for the Rock to speak. And then your ire should turn to the Republican party.

I despise censorship. I feel it is one of the most invasive forms of tyranny to deny access to art, information and opinion to the populace.

And if you can show me where any censorship exists in the OP I will gladly denounce it. So far, you have put forth a political action group which is trying to sway the behavior of professional politicians and a movement to require content labeling in the recording industry.

Now, I hapen to think the latter was silly and useless (as the 2 Live Crew incident demonstrated) and I disagree with the perticular causes chosen by the PTC. Neither of these, though, is censorship. Censorship is a serious concern and I dislike having it cheapened by boys who cry wolf.

Now, the prosecution of 2 Live Crew in Dade County was an example of censorship, and I denounce it now as I did then. If any here chose to express their outrage at the sherrif, prosecutor’s and judge involved in the case I will applaud loudly.

If you’re upset because some people object to mass entertainments that exploit sexual, racial, and social stereotypes; package extreme violence as an acceptable, desireable, and (relatively) painless solution to life’s problems; and occassionally drives revenue for pay-per-view events by having large-breasted bimbos flash their surgical enhancements at audiences that include young children . . .well, get over your bad self. Some people object to these things.

Personally, I object to the WWF/WCW/ECW/etc. because they don’t show wrestling anymore. Not even the fake kind. When was the last time you saw a television time limit, best two falls out of three match? When was the last time you saw any match between name wrestlers settled by the contestants in the ring? When was the last time you saw a wrester use a finishing move that actually made sense? I don’t mind fake combat, I mind poorly conceived fake combat. But hey, I have 499 other channels of crap to watch so that’s okay.

BTW: Shylock, I don’t think your hijack was inappropriate. The OP clearly attempted to associate the entertainments offered by the WWF with the sport engaged in by Abraham Lincoln. It deserved to be called out as bogus.

The PTC tried to censor the WWF via the Republican Party delegates. If Lieberman gets the VP nod, they would be in a much better position to censor the WWF from the Dem. National Convention. I don’t mind objecting to the programs and asking the company to tone the content down. But now it wants to prevent the company from participating in politics. Not even the cigarette comapnies are barred from politics.

Participating in politics is NOT synonymous with addressing the national convention of a major political party.

Pressure exerted by a group of private citizens on a politiacl party is NOT a governmental act.

There ain’t no wolf here, boy.

If I want to speak at the convention, and they don’t let me, am I being censored?

Yer pal,

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Just like they censored me out of the Olympics when I wanted to run the 50-yard-dash.

Damned censors! :mad:

On a more serious note, AP is reporting this morning that Gore has, indeed, decided on Lieberman.

From the OP:

“If Joe Lieberman gets to be a VP candidate, I will not vote for Gore. I am a Democrat.”

This seems to be a major predictor of the election if the polls are to be believed. Per CNN today, 96% of the Republicans are voting for Dubya, while the Democrats make a much poorer showing. This year anyway, the Repubs are all about solidarity while the Dems are voting in large chunks for “fringe” parties and even crossing the table to vote for Dubya.

Very few people realize that Tipper was misquoted. She was not condemning hard rock music back when, she was exercising her proleptic faculty and was misquoted; what she actually said was, “These hair bands will be promoted by Satan.” (See http://www.cmcinternational.com , listed as his homepage.) :smiley:

On a more serious note, I’d raise the question of whether parental advisories and such constitute censorship. I would not support anyone who advocated true censorship, but I can definitely see where a warn-off item on the more controversial items (which would indeed have the effect of drawing rebellious kids to the warned material) has its virtues. I read things I would prefer not to have my 8-year-old “honorary granddaughter” look at until she is much older and more worldly-wise. I cannot see that as being offensive to anyone. If you do not want your rights to read and write delimited to what a child should be exposed to, you have a responsibility, IMHO, to allow those who guide children’s exposure to get some guidance as to what, available to you, might not fit their exposure criteria. And this can be as loose as anyone likes: using the movie standards as an example, I’ve known 10-year-olds who watched and enjoyed PG-13 material and even a couple of R items their parents allowed, and I’ve known innocent 14-year-olds who would not react well to PG-13 stuff. It’s in the best interests of all to allow guided judgment for the young and freedom for the mature.

Absolutely, Polycarp.

Voluntary labeling may not work for some cases, for instance those in which parents do not exercise anycontrol over what their children buy, but it does offer at least some information for those who do choose to use it.

Poly, to expand on your point, I doubt anyone would have a problem if the PMRC had simply gone to the record companies as individuals, or to the RIAA, made their proposal, and had it adopted. I think it was the forum of the U.S. Congress, with it’s implicit threat of potential government intervention, that turned people off.

I have two nephews and a niece. My oldest nephew, age 11, was down here recently visiting my dad, and while he was here, bought Eminem’s latest CD, managing to slip it by without my dad seeing the “Parental Advisory” sticker. My dad hasn’t had young children around on a regular basis for many years, and PA stickers didn’t exist when my sister and I were buying music. Suffice to say my nephew is not ready to hear and understand Eminem’s lyrics. When I found out, I e-mailed his mother, just to see if it was cool with her. Turns out she had bought him the edited version earlier in the year, and when he returned home, she confiscated the explicit version.

Dennis Hastert invited The Rock, and the PTC opposed it and wanted him disinvited. If Ward Connerly was invited to address a college, and a group, protesting his views on affirmative action, succeeded to have him disinvited, or, if he went to the podium, disrupt the proceedings, is that not an attempt to censor someone?

Someone needs to look up what censorship really is… :rolleyes:

Yer pal,

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I did. This is from GuruNet:


  1. A person authorized to examine books, films, or other material and to remove or suppress what is considered morally, politically, or otherwise objectionable.
  2. An official, as in the armed forces, who examines personal mail and official dispatches to remove information considered secret or a risk to security.
  3. One that condemns or censures.
  4. One of two officials in ancient Rome responsible for taking the public census and supervising public behavior and morals.

Psychology. The agent in the unconscious that is responsible for censorship.

v.tr., cen-sored, cen-sor-ing, cen-sors

To examine and expurgate**

There are authorized censors, such as those of a school board. Then there are people and groups who wish that what they want censored becomes censored, and try to influence authority, or, if that fails, disrupt proceedings in an effort to effect a form of censorship, such as the examples I mentioned. The situation with Ward Connerly is unauthorized censorship, but extremely effective and used in many college classes. The disrupting students not only didn’t get arrested, Connerly never gets to speak.

I meant “in many colleges and universities.”

I am all for ******* censorship. There are just too many ******** available for ****** to ****** lying around with no ********** on them. I say, any candidate, especially ******** ********, who supports censorship, has my vote, or my name’s not ***********.

By the way… Vote Diddly in '00!

Yeah, I agree with Satan.

(did I say that?)

I am having trouble finding examples of censorship in this discussion.