Stay the new course

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Sen. Joe Lieberman, who has toned down the anti-media rhetoric of late to appease the Democrats' Hollywood fan base, faces a test of that kinder, gentler turn to the middle. The Federal Trade Commission's planned release of a study on the marketing of violent media-Lieberman was one of the voices calling for such a study-could well become a campaign issue given the timing of its release later this month and its expected harsh criticism of Hollywood.

While Lieberman's long-running production of "Media Crimes and Misdemeanors" has never played well in Tinseltown, it has packed'em in at press conferences and hearing rooms inside the Beltway.

There is, then, the possibility that the would-be VP could slip into old habits and jump back on the media-bashing bandwagon, although there are signs the Gore campaign is advising against it, at least until election day.

Lieberman himself has said there are things a senator can do that a vice presidential candidate can't. Returning to an extreme position on media content would be up there on our list.

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