I’m Shocked, I Tell You, Shocked!

I’M SHOCKED, I TELL YOU, SHOCKED!….Ah, those moral values. Via Jeff Jarvis, we learn today that national concern over moral decay on TV might have been a wee bit overstated:

The number of indecency complaints had soared dramatically to more than 240,000 in the previous year, [FCC chairman Michael] Powell said. The figure was up from roughly 14,000 in 2002, and from fewer than 350 in each of the two previous years. There was, Powell said, ?a dramatic rise in public concern and outrage about what is being broadcast into their homes.?

What Powell did not reveal?apparently because he was unaware?was the source of the complaints. According to a new FCC estimate obtained by Mediaweek, nearly all indecency complaints in 2003?99.8 percent?were filed by the Parents Television Council, an activist group.

Just to put that into raw numbers, it means that last year the FCC received a grand total of 480 complaints aside from the mass spammings from PTC. Out of a population of 300 million. Does that sound like a groundswell of outrage to you?