Senate passes law to turn down volume on TV commercials 

Well, they can’t pass a budget but they did do this:

Legislation to turn down the volume on those loud TV commercials that send couch potatoes diving for their remote controls looks like it’ll soon become law.

The Senate unanimously passed a bill late Wednesday to require television stations and cable companies to keep commercials at the same volume as the programs they interrupt.

The House has passed similar legislation. Before it can become law, minor differences between the two versions have to be worked out when Congress returns to Washington after the Nov. 2 election.

Ever since television caught on in the 1950s, the Federal Communication Commission has been getting complaints about blaring commercials. But the FCC concluded in 1984 there was no fair way to write regulations controlling the “apparent loudness” of commercials. So it hasn’t been regulating them.

Good to know that we’re facing problems of eschatological proportions and Congress is wasting it’s time combating minor annoyances. What other problems will Congress tackle? A law against shrink-wrap? Regulations against overbearing in-laws? A $10,000 fine for grocery carts with one bad wheel?

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Mark Hemingway

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