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I Can't Believe My Ears

Finally, the U.S. Congress has aligned their priorities.

From Time.com:

One common spousal skirmish is receiving a helping hand from the government. (Via Ars Technica)

You and your partner are in the midst of that movie that, for one of you, seems like it will never end. Just when the temporary escape of a commercial arrives, yelling ensues. The volume has spiked to unbearable levels. Then, when the film returns, the next accusation emerges -- what possessed you to lower the volume that much?

Thanks to the House's passage of the CALM Act on Thursday, everyone can calm down. Piloted by California Rep. Anna Eshoo, the bill grants the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) agency to enforce that a commercial's volume level parallels the television show playing during its allotted times. Ars Technica notes that this issue has been paramount over several years, placing at the top of the complaint list in 21 of the FCC's last 25 quarterly memos.

The Wall Street Journal adds that unlike some issues in Washington, this bill picked up supportive traction from both houses relatively quickly. Leave it to the remote to inspire a bipartisan initiative.

Here are some comments from two fearless defenders of our ears:

"Every American has likely experienced the frustration of abrasively loud television commercials," Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said when the Senate approved the measure in September. "While this may be an effective way for ads to grab attention, it also adds unnecessary stress to the daily lives of many Americans."

Eshoo said there will be a "noticeable difference" in noise levels once the law goes into effect. It's a small bill in the greater scheme of things, she said, but "it will bring relief to millions of television viewers."


It's good to know Congress has our backs, er, ears, with this bi-partisan cooperation on such a matter of national significance which has become the bane of so many of our citizens.

Now, if they would just pass some pro-growth economic legislation, perhaps people who have lost their jobs will be able to afford televisions so they can bask in this display of political harmony.

We are doomed.


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Comments (11)

You know your tired when:</... (Below threshold)

You know your tired when:

"...the bill grants the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)..."


"...the bill grants the Federal Communist Commission (FCC)..."

And realize that the sentence still makes sense, either way.

Glad to see that Congress i... (Below threshold)

Glad to see that Congress is working on the IMPORTANT stuff.

Now, if they would just ... (Below threshold)

Now, if they would just pass some pro-growth economic legislation, perhaps people who have lost their jobs will be able to afford televisions so they can bask in this display of political harmony.

Actually, I'd rather that Congress pass relatively harmless legislation like this than attempt to control the economy through legislation.

What Congress has done for the past two years to "help" the economy is akin to what George Washington's doctors did when he had pneumonia -- bleed him to drain the "bad humours" from his body. And when their patient didn't improve ... they bled him even more.

True that this is a waste o... (Below threshold)

True that this is a waste of time considering all the important things that need to be done, and true that it's better they things like this as pretty much anything else they do would have long term harmful effects, but still this is not quite harmless.

As much as I hate that the commericals are SO DAMN LOUD I don't think it's the business of the government, nor is it harmless. Even though it a minor thing, every little bit of more new powers the government grabs is just one more nail in the coffin of what used to be the free republic of the United States of America.

me do fine grammer in #4- D... (Below threshold)

me do fine grammer in #4- D'oh!

Note to self, blogging and beer don't mix...

If you think this a silly e... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

If you think this a silly exercise of congressional power now, wait until you realize the FCC only has authority over broadcast channels, so basically it applies to your local broadcast stations, not the cable and satellite stations.

And NOT PBS, since those aren't "commercials" - just "offers for supporters" and "messages from patrons" - so they can be as loud as they want.

Don't people have a mute bu... (Below threshold)

Don't people have a mute button?

Silly Wizbang - of COURSE t... (Below threshold)

Silly Wizbang - of COURSE this issue is important to our Federal Keepers: they must keep the TV flavor of bread-and-circuses at maximum effectiveness...

Better this BS than more po... (Below threshold)

Better this BS than more porkulus bills

I actually think that this ... (Below threshold)

I actually think that this is good legislation. I just wish that Congress would have debated it a little longer, maybe a month or more. Then they could tackle things like making squeeky grocery carts illegal. And legislating how long one can spend examing their lie before they putt. Obama could be consulted on that one. Let's hope that Obama spends a lot of time in Hawaii this Christmas.

Of course, it has absolutel... (Below threshold)

Of course, it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that many commercial-skipping algorithms key in on those volume transitions.

Nope. Not a thing.






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