After nearly two years of silently lurking in the shadows, the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) has raged back onto the music scene with a vengeance. The PMRC was formed in 1985 by a group of Washington politicians wives, which included Tipper Gore, wife of Vice President Al Gore, and Susan Baker, wife of then Secretary of State James Baker. The PMRC was the group that brought the music industry to its knees and got the Parental Advisory ("Tipper Stickers") on albums in 1990.
In the June 17 issue of Billboard Magazine, the article was titled "PMRC Steps Up To Ring Again For Lyrics Fray." Current PMRC president, Barbara Wyatt is quoted as saying the group "intends to be more visible in the debate over lyrics." Wyatt goes on to explain how it was the PMRC who furnished information and lyrics cited by Senator Bob Dole in his now infamous Century City, California speech in which he attacked film and recording artists such as Snoop Doggy Dog, Tupac Shakur, The Geto Boys and Nine Inch Nails. Now we know old Bob has never listened to any of these bands and without the help of the PMRC, he couldn't name the title of one NIN song if his life depended on it.
In another article which appeared in the May 20 New York Newsday, Wyatt gives the PMRC credit for being the driving force behind organizing the handful of pro-censorship protesters who appeared at the May 18th shareholders meeting of Time-Warner in New York City. Wyatt is quoted as "asking her old friends" C. Delores Tucker and ex-drug czar William Bennett to mobilize the action against the entertainment giant. Tucker is the darling of the pro-censorship forces now. This former Secretary of State of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania now spends her days being a "professional testifier" going from state to state and town to town with her campaign against music. Rock Out Censorship (R.O.C.) had the displeasure of hearing this woman rant for hours last September at the hearings before the Pennsylvania Judiciary Committee over H.B. 2982, the bill that would outlaw the sales of stickered albums in Pennsylvania.
Bill Bennett is the former Secretary of Education during the Bush era, and as stated, the former drug czar. He now heads an ultra-rightwing group called Empower America Foundation along with Jack Kemp and Jane Kirkpatrick. Bill's wife Blayne also sits on the PMRC's Advisory Board. Gee, what's the connection there???
R.O.C. is not at all surprised by this sudden return of the PMRC. In fact, we always knew they were still pulling the strings and it was just a matter of time before they jumped back in front of the media cameras again. Should they be taken seriously? You bet! Are they dangerous? You bet they are! Are we going to fight them? You bet we are! We, the voice of music fans all across the country are also going to be more visible in the upcoming fray.
All of the anti-censorship forces must intensify our efforts even more. We must get more musicians and fans involved in the struggle to keep free expression truly free. We must double our efforts in states like Pennsylvania where legislation is pending that could outlaw various forms of music. We must join forces with other organizations and groups and form a United Front against the pro-censorship side. The mistakes that were made in 1985 through 1990 must not be made again.
To accomplish this, we need your support. We need you to sign and circulate our national petition calling for the immediate removal of all "Tipper-stickers" on recordings. To date, R.O.C. has collected over 50,000 signatures, but we need more! We need you to join R.O.C. (or any other anti-censorship group) and become an active participant in the struggle to keep the likes of the PMRC, C. Delores Tucker, Bill Bennett, TJ Rooney, Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition, Bob Dole and all the would-be censors at bay. Join us today!