Tipper Gore Speaks At B.U.
Urges Students to Vote, Defends Warning Labels for Music
BOSTON--Tipper Gore, wife of vice presidential candidate Al Gore '69 and co-founder of the controversial Parental Music Resource Center, addressed several hundred Boston University students last Friday while a dozen more protested outside.
Gore appeared as part of National Student Voter Registration Day, which also included campus appearances around the country by Al Gore, Bill Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, and his wife Hillary.
Gore urged the audience, primarily B.U. students, to get involved with politics and, most importantly, to vote.
"People in this country from Birmingham to Beijing have died for the right to vote," Gore said.
"[You as students have] a crucial role in determining your future," she said.
Elsewhere in her speech, Gore received applause for reciting a list of Democratic priorities which included jobs, the environment and a woman's right to an abortion.
"You can have good jobs and a strong environmental policy," said Gore. "Don't let them tell you any different."
At one point, a member of the audience shouted, "Stop censorship," referring to Gore's center, which recommends parental warning labels for some recorded music.
Gore denied that she condones censorship, arguing that she merely wishes to balance an artist's First Amendment rights with parents' right to be warned of potentially offensive lyrics.
She called the resource center "a consumer tool" and pointed out it was a voluntary program.
Outside, students who were protesting said they did not accept that explanation, arguing that the PMRC pressures record companies to comply or face public embarrassment and protests.
"They buckle under--voluntarily," said one protester wearing a shirt reading "F-- Censorship."
Many protesters, however, said they would still vote for Clinton and Gore in November, because they also disapprove of President Bush's record on censorship.
For the most part, Gore's speech was light on talk of campaign issues. Instead, she reminisced about her courtship with the vice presidential nominee while she was at B.U. and he at Harvard.
Gore recalled the days when she (then Mary Elizabeth Aitcheson) and her roommate double-dated Al Gore and his roommate Tommy Lee Jones '69, the actor who played Clay Shaw in Oliver Stone's "JFK."
Gore said the couples piled onto her future husband's motorcycle and sped through the streets of Boston, evading police officers who objected to her position on the handlebars.
The speech, which took place in Tsoi Performance Center on Commonwealth Avenue, was also attended by Leverett resident Karenna A. Gore '95.
In other campaign news Friday, Kathryn I. Frucher '93, a former presidents of the Radcliffe Union of Students who is on leave this term, appeared on NBC's "Today" show.
Frucher, the national student coordinator of the Clinton-Gore campaign, was pitted against College Republicans President Tony Zagotta. Anchor Bryant Gumbel allowed the two to argue virtually uninterrupted about America's young voters.
Frucher told the national television audience that young people are "really scared and really desperate" about America's future under Bush.
"Young people are excited about the prospects here, and I think we're going to mobilize behind Bill Clinton," Frucher said.