Click here for Adobe Acrobat version
Click here for Microsoft Word version

******************************************************** 
                      NOTICE
********************************************************

This document was converted from Microsoft Word.

Content from the original version of the document such as
headers, footers, footnotes, endnotes, graphics, and page numbers
will not show up in this text version.

All text attributes such as bold, italic, underlining, etc. from the
original document will not show up in this text version.

Features of the original document layout such as
columns, tables, line and letter spacing, pagination, and margins
will not be preserved in the text version.

If you need the complete document, download the
Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat version.

*****************************************************************



                        STATEMENT OF 
                COMMISSIONER KEVIN J. MARTIN
            APPROVING IN PART, DISSENTING IN PART

Re:  Complaints Against Various Broadcast Licensees 
     Regarding Their Airing Of The ``Golden Globe Awards'' 
     Program, Memorandum Opinion And Order, March 3, 2004

     I am pleased that the Commission finally is making 
clear that the use of the ``F-word'' during this prime-time 
broadcast was both indecent and profane, regardless of 
whether used as an adjective, adverb, or gerund.  I am 
particularly pleased that, at long last, the Commission is 
enforcing the statutory prohibition against the broadcast of 
profanity.  Better late than never.

     I firmly support these conclusions, and approve these 
aspects of this Order.

     I disagree, however, with the Order's characterization 
of our precedent on indecency, and the corresponding 
conclusion that licensees were not on notice that the F-word 
is indecent.  

     Even more troubling is the conclusion that we cannot 
issue a fine for the use of profanity.  The majority argues 
that there is no notice.  How ironic that the majority 
relies on the Commission's own failure to enforce its 
statutory mandate as the basis for NBC not knowing that the 
F-word is prohibited profanity.1  Taking a step back, I 
can't help but think NBC was ``on notice'' that the F-word 
was profane.  In fact, NBC hasn't even claimed that they 
were not on notice that the F-word was profane.  Yet the 
majority concludes otherwise, and issues no fine.  I cannot 
support this analysis, and therefore dissent in part.

_________________________

1 I note that the Order explains that current case law, 
including a recent decision interpreting the very statutory 
provision at issue, defines profanity according to its 
common interpretation.  Order at 13.  Treatises document 
the rejection of old case law that had found profanity to 
mean blasphemy.  12 Am. Jur. 2d Blasphemy and Profanity 9.  
But even the very old case law equating profanity with 
blasphemy did not limit profanity to blasphemy.  Moreover, 
the Commission's own precedent has never implied that 
profanity was limited to blasphemy.  Indeed, the only case 
on point found blasphemous language did not constitute 
profanity.  Raycom America, Inc., Licensee of Station WMC-
TV, Memphis, TN, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 18 FCC Rcd. 
4186, 4187 (2003).