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                        STATEMENT OF 

Re:  Complaints Against Various Television Licensees 
Concerning Their February 1, 2004, Broadcast of the Super 
Bowl XXXVIII Halftime Show
     Few incidents have focused such widespread attention on 
the issue of indecency on the airwaves or garnered more 
complaints than last year's Super Bowl.  Millions of 
Americans watched what should have been an all-American 
evening for the entire family.  Instead, we got something 
far different - an outrageous stunt and over 540,000 
complaints from people all across the country.    
     I agree that the Super Bowl halftime show violated the 
indecency statute and am pleased that we are taking this 
step to address a deplorable incident.  I remain troubled, 
however, by certain aspects of the decision and therefore do 
not approve it in its entirety.  

     First, I am concerned by the precedent we establish in 
failing to assess a penalty against non-Viacom-owned 
affiliates that aired the Super Bowl.  I recognize that the 
affiliates likely did not expect that this national event 
would include such indecency.  Yet, many stations air 
programming that they do not produce themselves.  The 
Commission must be careful not to signal that we would 
excuse indecent broadcasts merely because a station did not 
control the production of the content.  Some level of fine 
would have been appropriate for these stations.  The primary 
focus of our indecency enforcement under the statute must 
remain those who are licensed to use the public airwaves and 
we look to their vigilance to protect our children from 
indecent broadcasts.  

     Second, the Commission received complaints about other 
aspects of the halftime show and some of the commercials.  
Yet, the Order dismisses these complaints in a footnote with 
hardly any analysis or explanation.  The FCC relies on 
viewers and listeners to file complaints about indecent 
broadcasts and places a heavy burden on complaining 
citizens.  The citizens that filed these complaints have a 
right to expect more of a Commission follow-through on their 

Finally, although the Commission is imposing the largest 
fine in history for indecency on television, let's not kid 
ourselves that this fine will serve as a disincentive to 
multi-billion dollar conglomerates broadcasting indecency.  
This fine needs to be seen in the context of a broadcast in 
which each 30-second commercial cost more than $2 million.  
In other words, this fine represents less than 10 seconds of 
ad time on the Super Bowl and will be easily absorbed as a 
cost of doing business.  We must continue to demonstrate to 
citizens that their complaints will receive prompt and 
vigorous attention and to the broadcast industry that 
Commission involvement in these issues is not a passing