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|Time Warner in the Line of Fire|
|The Washington Post (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Washington, D.C.|
|Date:||Jul 8, 1992|
[Wayne LaPierre] also says Time Warner is hypocritical. It invokes First Amendment protection in refusing to withdraw "Cop Killer," he says, but two of its magazines - Time and People - "turn down our ads and censor us." LaPierre points out that Time Warner withdrew country singer Holly Dunn's "Maybe I Mean Yes" in response to feminist groups' charges that the song implied the acceptance of date rape. "There is a precedent for doing this," he says.
In a far-right corner, the Washington-based Freedom Alliance, headed by former Reagan administration aide Oliver North. Last week the group hired Jack Thompson, the Florida attorney best known for his relentless pursuit of obscenity charges against 2 Live Crew and retailers of that group's albums. Thompson is attempting to have charges brought against Time Warner based on federal laws against "seditious conspiracy" and "advocating overthrow of government ... by the assassination of any officer of such government." Both are felonies punishable by 20 years in jail and a $20,000 fine. Thompson says the latter law targets anyone - Time Warner included - distributing material advocating "the killing of any police officer at either the state or local level, and it needn't be any specific police officer." He says he feels that "Cop Killer" violates not only federal but state statutes (usually for criminal anarchy, incitement to riot and sedition). Thompson holds that such speech is not protected by the First Amendment.
The lawyer's problems with Time Warner go beyond Body Count, of course: He's been on the corporate giant's case since its Atlantic subsidiary picked up 2 Live Crew for national distribution. And he's not been pleased with another Sire/Warner Bros. act, Madonna, calling much of her recent work "pornographic. ... Time Warner is engaged in illegal activity here. If they were dumping toxic waste into Lake Erie, the EPA would enjoin them." Thompson will be at the shareholders meeting, probably accompanied by a number of police widows. "We're going to do substantial damage," he vows.
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