Anti-pop culture candidate to take on showbizzers

WASHINGTON — Announcing his 2004 presidential bid, Sen. Joseph Lieberman didn’t miss a beat Monday in promising to help families fight off Hollywood’s bad influence on kids.

“As a father and now a grandfather, I have taken on the entertainment industry for peddling sex and violence to our children — and spoken up for parents who feel they are in competition with the popular culture to raise their children and give them the right values,” Lieberman said at a Monday ayem press conference in Stamford, Conn.

Generally speaking, Hollywood isn’t likely to embrace Lieberman’s candidacy, even though he is a Democrat, due to his anti-pop culture platform.

Selected as Al Gore’s running mate in the 2000 presidential race, Lieberman was the first Jewish pol to receive the Democratic nomination for vice president.

“I was proud to join with Al Gore in a great fight for America’s families and their future. And I am also proud to say that Al and I got a half-million more votes than our opponents, and we actually got more votes than any Democratic ticket in history,” Lieberman said.

Throughout his senatorial career, Lieberman has railed against showbiz. That’s included putting pressure on MTV to tone down Johnny Knoxville’s stunt show “Jackass” and criticizing the movie ratings system for not doing a good enough job in shielding children from violence and smut.

Hollywood will have no lack of other Democratic candidates to choose from. In addition to Lieberman, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Sen. John Edwards (D-S.C.) and Vermont Governor Howard Dean are already planning a bid. More Dems are expected to jump into the race as well.

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