Gore To Entertainment Biz: Clean Up

Monday, September 11th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

CHICAGO (AP) — Looking to solidify gains among women voters, Al Gore promised to clean up violent movies and video games marketed to children and stepped forward to answer Oprah Winfrey's question, ``Why should I vote for you?''

Coinciding with a freshly released Federal Trade Commission report on violence in entertainment, the Democratic presidential nominee began a push Monday for what he called a voluntary ``ceasefire'' in marketing inappropriate videos, games and music to children.

Gore and his running mate, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, said in a statement they would give the entertainment industry six months to clean up its act or face unspecified ``tougher measures'' under current laws on advertising. ``If the industry makes a promise not to market inappropriate material to children but then does so, it could be guilty of false advertising,'' the statement said.

Gore's eagerly scheduled guest turn on ``Oprah'' opens a week in which he and Lieberman plan to focus on education and raising money for the Democratic Party, which has been financing the lion's share of Gore's TV ad war with Republican rival George W. Bush.

``Oprah is one of the most admired women in television and her show is a great forum for Al Gore to talk about his fight for working families,'' campaign spokesman Doug Hattaway said.

Winfrey's daily broadcast from Chicago has, through her book club, turned little-known authors into best sellers. She said she hoped her interviews around the theme ``Why should I vote for you?'' would give similarly broad exposure to Gore and Republican rival George W. Bush, who is scheduled to appear on Winfrey's show Sept. 18.

She said she was aiming to allow her 22 million viewers weekly, most of them women, ``to break the political wall and see who each (candidate) is as a person.''

From Chicago, Gore was traveling to a Belleville, Ill., elementary school for a town meeting on education.

Lieberman, also in Chicago, was headed to Texas later Monday for a $1.5 million lineup of four fund raisers, but not before he angling to capitalize on the FTC report.

Lieberman, a leading critic in Congress of the entertainment industry's glorification of violence, hastened to Chicago on Sunday night to be at Gore's side Monday morning for the taping of TV interviews on the subject.

After a yearlong investigation sparked by the rash of school shootings, the FTC found that movie, video game and music industries aggressively market violent films and products that carry an adult rating to underage youths

On Tuesday, Gore and Lieberman reunite to tour Ohio in a pair of school buses. Later in the week, gala concerts are scheduled to bring the Democratic National Committee some $7 million.

Gore's emphasis on education was meant to help him put a lock on what is his strongest advantage among women in months. In the most recent polls, he leads by between 14 and 20 points among women, whose support for him has waxed and waned through the campaign and typically determined whether surveys showed him as competitive or behind.

Pollster John Zogby credited the gains to Gore's focus in the past three weeks on education and health care, which helped him pick up support among politically independent women.

``He now leads among independents, and that's because of the lead that he holds among independent women,'' Zogby said Sunday on CBS' ``Face the Nation.''

Republican activist William Bennett, asked on CNN how concerned Bush should be about Gore's growing gender gap, replied: ``Concerned, but obviously not defeatist.''

He said Bush has ``bold ideas about education, early education, about school choice, helping children who need help the most. Al Gore has a very tough time breaking from the hold of the teachers unions.''