Quayle Joins Fracas Over Ice-T’s ‘Cop Killer’ With AM-Rap Attack, Bjt
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Vice President Dan Quayle joined the fracas Friday over rap singer Ice-T’s recording ″Cop Killer,″ saying Time-Warner Inc. had shirked its corporate responsibility by selling the ″obscene record.″
Quayle also stepped up his attack on undeclared presidential contender Ross Perot. He accused Perot of ″irrational behavior″ and predicted his independent bid for the White House ″is beginning to fizzle.″
Continuing his role as the Bush campaign’s warrior against what he sees as lax morals, Quayle said the government cannot censure Ice-T or any other performer because of First Amendment protections. But he said Time Warner, parent company of the label that released Ice-T’s album ″Body Count,″ should re-examine its sponsorship of the recording.
″They are making money off a record that is suggesting it’s OK to kill cops and that is wrong,″ Quayle told a luncheon meeting of the National Association of Radio Talk Show Hosts.
″Where is the corporate responsibility here? I’m not going to tell them what to do but I know that ... that is wrong,″ he said.
The record’s lyrics have prompted calls for a boycott of Time Warner products. At one point, Ice-T sings, ″I’m ’bout to dust some cops off ... Die, pig, die.″
Ice-T has said the song is not a call to violence, but is meant as the first-person lament of a character ″who is fed up with police brutality.″
Quayle launched the attack in response to a question from one of the broadcasters. His staff said he had familiarized himself with the Ice-T controversy as he keeps tab on cultural issues that pertain to the ″family values″ campaign theme he has been pushing.
Jerry Williams, who hosts an afternoon talk show on WRKO in Boston, accused Quayle of using his family values crusade as a diversionary tactic to get frustrated voters’ attention off the moribund economy.
Referring to the controversy that began when Quayle criticized TV character Murphy Brown for having a baby out of wedlock, Williams said the vice president’s criticism of the ″cultural elite is so much hogwash.″
Quayle said he took ″very strong exception″ to that characterization.
He used the subject of Murphy Brown to joke about the uncertainty of the November election, saying he was a little envious of the TV character played by Candace Bergen - ″At least she’s guaranteed of coming back this fall.″
Quayle said that while President Bush is refraining from direct attacks on his campaign opponents until the fall campaign, Quayle considers himself in the front-line of that effort.
He said Perot has emerged as a serious candidate and could be Bush’s main opponent in the fall.
However, he said, ″I think his campaign is beginning to fizzle.″
″There are a lot of questions about Ross Perot,″ he said. He added that Perot had demonstrated the ″irrational behavior I think he’s capable of″ in refusing to testify next week before Congress on what he knows about Americans listed as missing in action from the Vietnam War.
He said Perot owes that testimony to the families of those missing and to the American people.
Perot on Thursday derided Quayle repeatedly over the spelling bee incident this week in which the vice president mistakenly told a boy to spell ″potato″ with an ″e″ on the end.
Democratic presidential contender Bill Clinton, speaking to the broadcasters later Friday, took up the criticism. Saying he believed Quayle included him in the cultural elite, Clinton quipped, ″I don’t know why ... except I can spell potato.″
Quayle said he believes Americans will ″eliminate one of the three″ presidential contenders by November.