||Tipper Gore; Tipper Gore
Broadcast on Lifetime.
||Editor, Mary S. Constanzo; photography, David Hopper; music, Max Surla.
||Narrator, Tommy Lee Jones; hostess, Meredith Vieira.
||Feury/Grant Entertainment, Inc. in association with Lifetime productions, Inc. ; executive producer, Joseph Feury ; produced and written by Valerie Shepherd ; director, Lee Grant.
"Tipper Gore was born in 1949 to a Swedish-American family in Arlington, Virginia. Her parents, Margaret Ann Carlson, an Arlington native, and John Kenneth Aitcheson, owner of a plumbing parts company, named their first and only child Mary Elizabeth. Inspired by a popular lullaby, her mother soon gave Mary Elizabeth the lasting nickname Tipper. In 1973, Tipper gave birth to their first child, Karenna. The new mom had been contemplating a career in either photography or psychology when Al announced his decision to run for Congress. She assisted on the campaign, and Al won the election. In 1977, the family moved back to the suburbs of Washington, DC, where they purchased Tipper's childhood home in Arlington from her grandmother. On June 5, 1977, Tipper and Al's second child, Kristin, was born, and their third child, Sarah, followed 18 months later. Tipper built a darkroom at home and began working more seriously on her photography while taking care of the children. In 1982, she gave birth to their fourth child, Albert Arnold Gore III. When Karenna was 12 years old, Tipper bought her a Prince album and was startled to find that it contained sexually explicit lyrics unsuitable for her young daughter. In February of 1985, Tipper co-founded the Parents' Musical Resource Center (PMRC). In conjunction with the PTA, the PMRC proposed a music ratings system. Ratings were resisted by the music industry, which viewed the proposal as an attempt at censorship. In the summer of 1985, Tipper testified before the Senate Commerce Committee during hearings on a ratings proposal. By that time, the PMRC had dropped the idea of ratings and instead had called for a warning label and accompanying lyric sheets for music cassettes and CDs. Dee Snyder (of Twisted Sister), John Denver and Frank Zappa spoke for the music industry and labeled Tipper a 'cultural terrorist.' Though the committee proposed no legislation, the PMRC eventually forged an agreement with record company representatives on a system that would put 'parental advisory' warning labels on tapes and CDs with potentially offensive content. Tipper explained her position on the ratings issue in the 1987 book Raising PG kids in an X-rated society. In 1988, Tipper joined an organization to aid the homeless and sponsored a national photo exhibit that focused on homelessness. The next year, her six-year-old son was hit by a car in a near-fatal accident that would force her to rearrange her priorities. A year later, young Albert had recovered, but Tipper realized she had fallen into a depression and had gained 25 pounds. When Al became vice president of the United States, Tipper engaged in the heavy round of public appearances required of a vice president's spouse. She published Picture this: a visual diary, a book of photographs documenting those experiences. As a member of the Interagency Council on the Homeless, Tipper continued her previous work toward finding private and public solutions for helping the poor. During the 1992 presidential election, Bill Clinton had asked Tipper to be his mental-health advisor, and she joined the Task Force on Mental Health Benefits in 1994. During the Clinton-Gore administration's second term, Tipper pressed for parity between mental- and physical-health benefits and supported projects that helped diminish the stigma of mental illness. In 1999, she chaired the White House Conference on Mental Health and examined ways to improve the treatment and understanding of the mentally ill. At this conference, Tipper took a personal step toward combating the stigma of mental illness by speaking candidly of her own battles with depression. And, keeping politics all in the family, both Tipper and daughter Karenna took active roles in Al's 2000 presidential campaign. ... Features interviews with Vice President Al Gore and Karenna Gore-Schiff"--Lifetimetv.com web site, March 2, 2000.