Listen to me on KTRS/St. Louis every Friday, 3-6pm CT

Monday, December 06, 2010

A Whispered Thanks To Congress

To those who think the United States Congress doesn't pass any important legislation, I present to you the CALM Act. The bill, passed with bipartisan support last Thursday, whose oh-so-clever acronym stands for Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation, is meant to keep TV commercials from being broadcast louder than the shows you're watching.

So when you get home from a long day of having your junk touched by government agents at the airport and having your tax dollars passed along to those poor Americans who make more than a quarter-million a year, you'll finally be able to sit down in front of the TV without having the Sham-Wow guy shouting at you any louder than Chris Matthews does.

This will be so much better than the old days, when you had to exhaust the tendons in your thumb by pressing the mute button during commercials, fast-forwarding through them on your DVR, or (mostly for males) using that 2-3 minute window to whip around all the other channels to see what else is on TV that wasn't there during the last commercial break, perhaps squeezing in a scene or two from the umpteenth TNT airing of "The Shawshank Redemption" before returning to see how Mark Harmon will save the day on "NCIS."

Now thanks to the leadership of brilliant lawmakers like California Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-SHUSH), "consumers will no longer have to experience being blasted at -- it's a simple fix to a huge nuisance." The congresswoman will argue that there's a lot of public support for this measure, just as there are a lot of people in favor of stopping restaurants from putting cilantro in everything, but that doesn't make it the job of government. She wrongly believes that, as a federal legislator, it's her role to ensure that while Flo The Progressive Insurance Lady may continue to be annoying, she's not too loud about it.

If only we could apply that same standard to campaign commercials.