Congress today is taking up H.R. 6209, the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (CALM). Introduced last June by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D.-Calif.) and co-sponsored by 62 of her colleagues, the bill charges the FCC to "prescribe a standard to preclude commercials from being broadcast at louder volumes than the program material they accompany."
Eshoo, a 17-year veteran of Congress and member of the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet, complained: "Every time the ads came on, they blew me out of my seat." The big 4 television networks question the need for such a measure, and contend that FCC involvement would impede voluntary efforts by the networks to implement policies to control strident commercials.
A noble cause, but maybe health care reform, the economy, and a couple of other matters might warrant more immediate Congressional attention. Besides, if it weren't for the jarring loud commercials for "Icy Hot," I would remain asleep on the couch while the same cable movies play nightly into the wee hours.