Senate Makes Itself Useful, Votes to Ban Loud TV Commercials

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What issue has been weighing most heavily on the minds of Senators? Taxes? Immigration? Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? Well, perhaps. But luckily they’ve managed to focus and come together to tackle the really big issue–the volume of television commercials.

The Senate unanimously passed a bill on Wednesday that stipulates that commercials–you know the ones, that are so annoyingly loud they could wake the dead?–must remain at the same level of volume as the TV show they accompany.

Unsurprisingly, the Federal Communication Commission has been receiving complaints about blaring commercials for pretty much as long as television has been around. But since commercials and programs come from a variety of sources, the FCC had long ago concluded that regulating the volume was too difficult a task.

But an industry organization recently organized guidelines on how to transmit audio in a consistent way (though broadcasters may have to purchase new equipment). Seizing the opportunity to save their hearing, the Senate passed legislation that requires that these guidelines be adopted as rules by the FCC.

The bill’s title is the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, or CALM.

Perhaps once the ringing in their ears has subsided, Senate can move on to resolving those pesky immigration issues.