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                                  STATEMENT OF

                         COMMISSIONER MICHAEL J. COPPS

   Re:      Complaints Regarding Various Television Broadcasts Between
   January 1, 2002 and March 12, 2005, Notices of Apparent Liability and
   Memorandum Opinion and Order

   Complaints Against Various Television Licensees Concerning Their December
   31, 2004 Broadcast of the Program "Without A Trace," Notice of Apparent

   Complaints Against Various Television Licensees Concerning Their February
   1, 2004 Broadcast Of The Super Bowl XXXVII Halftime Show, Forfeiture Order

   In the past, the Commission too often addressed indecency complaints with
   little discussion or analysis, relying instead on generalized
   pronouncements.  Such an approach served neither aggrieved citizens nor
   the broadcast industry.  Today, the Commission not only moves forward to
   address a number of pending complaints, but does so in a manner that
   better analyzes each broadcast and explains how the Commission determines
   whether a particular broadcast is indecent.  Although it may never be
   possible to provide 100 percent certain guidance because we must always
   take into account specific and often-differing contexts, the approach in
   today's orders can help to develop such guidance and to establish
   precedents.  This measured process, common in jurisprudence, may not
   satisfy those who clamor for immediate certainty in an uncertain world,
   but it may just be the best way to develop workable rules of the road.

   Today's Orders highlight two additional issues with which the Commission
   must come to terms.  First, it is time for the Commission to look at
   indecency in the broader context of its decisions on media consolidation.
   In 2003 the FCC sought to weaken its remaining media concentration
   safeguards without even considering whether there is a link between
   increasing media consolidation and increasing indecency.  Such links have
   been shown in studies and testified to by a variety of expert witnesses.
   The record clearly demonstrates that an overwhelming number of the
   Commission's indecency citations have gone to a few huge media
   conglomerates.  One recent study showed that the four largest radio
   station groups which controlled just under half the radio audience were
   responsible for a whopping 96 percent of the indecency fines levied by the
   FCC from 2000 to 2003.

   One of the reasons for the huge volume of complaints about excessive sex
   and graphic violence in the programming we are fed may be that people feel
   increasingly divorced from their "local" media.  They believe the media no
   longer respond to their local communities.  As media conglomerates grow
   ever larger and station control moves farther away from the local
   community, community standards seem to count for less when programming
   decisions are made.  Years ago we had independent programming created from
   a diversity of sources.  Networks would then decide which programming to
   distribute.  Then local affiliates would independently decide whether to
   air that programming.  This provided some real checks and balances.
   Nowadays so many of these decisions are made by vertically-integrated
   conglomerates headquartered far away from the communities they are
   supposed to be serving--entities that all too often control both the
   distribution and the production content of the programming.

   If heightened media consolidation is indeed a source for the violence and
   indecency that upset so many parents, shouldn't the Commission be cranking
   that into its decisions on further loosening of the ownership rules?  I
   hope the Commission, before voting again on loosening its media
   concentration protections, will finally take a serious look at this link
   and amass a credible body of evidence and not act again without the facts,
   as it did in 2003.

   Second, a number of these complaints concern graphic broadcast violence.
   The Commission states that it has taken comment on this issue in another
   docket.  It is time for us to step up to the plate and tackle the issue of
   violence in the media.  The U.S. Surgeon General, the American Academy of
   Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, the American Medical
   Association, and countless other medical and scientific organizations that
   have studied this issue have reached the same conclusion: exposure to
   graphic and excessive media violence has harmful effects on the physical
   and mental health of our children.  We need to complete this proceeding.