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OUTTAKES THE SEQUEL

Patriotic Gore

February 07, 1988|Patrick Goldstein

Tipper Gore for President? Maybe not, but we'll bet you can't guess which national political weekly defended the controversial PMRC leader (and music industry critic) in a stirring lead editorial from its new issue. The National Review? The American Spectator?

Try the once-liberal New Republic, which continues its rightward drift with an Allan Bloomesque essay titled "The Culture of Apathy," which decries lives ruined by the "ethos of anything goes, " complains that our cities are "centers of barbarism" and dubs TV "a Walpurgisnacht of value-neutral brutality."

As for Tipper? The unsigned editorial compares the "slanders" against her to similar "fear-mongering" aimed at Eleanor Roosevelt. Praising Gore's campaign to affix albums with parental advisory labels as "old-fashioned First Amendment pressure from a concerned public," the editorial adds, "What is so wrong with making as one's cause the protection of children from the numbing norms in our culture of random drugs, random sex and random violence? Is it only conservatives who are to worry about whether wholesomeness will survive the 20th Century?"

What did New Republic editor (and frequent liberal voice on CNN's "Crossfire") Michael Kinsley make of this? "You mean the editorial that mentioned Tipper Gore virtually in the same breath as Eleanor Roosevelt?" he replied with a laugh. "As a matter of policy I can't divulge who writes an unsigned editorial. All I can say is this--I was on vacation!"

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