May 15, 2002 12:00 PM

There’s a battle brewing between two formidable forces in their respective fields: Eminem and Lynne V. Cheney, the wife of Vice President Dick Cheney and an outspoken critic of the recording industry. Reuters reports that the Grammy-winning rap star (real name: Marshall Bruce Mathers III), 29, already a repeated target of the Second Lady, 60, tosses off an expletive in her direction on the “White America” track of his upcoming CD, “The Eminem Show,” due to be released June 4. As the lyric goes: “F— you, Miss Cheney! . . . with the freeness of speech this Divided States of Embarrassment will allow you to have.” A spokesman for Eminem’s label, Interscope Records, told Reuters about the lyrics: “He is reacting to testimony before Congress in September 2000 in which his lyrics were condemned and his right to free speech questioned.” Mrs. Cheney, who singled out Eminem in congressional testimony two years ago (before her husband was elected Vice President) and in several interviews before and after, had “no response to the personal attacks, but she sees this as a larger issue — mainly Mr. Mathers’s repeated glorification of violence against women and gay people,” Natalie Rule, a spokeswoman for the Vice President’s wife, said to Reuters. “That deserves to be widely condemned.”

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