The power of government to do good, TV edition
by David Atkins
Most political arguments take place in a realm at least somewhat divorced from the everyday experience of average Americans. Complex changes to social insurance programs, civil rights, healthcare benefits and tax rates don't register on the radar of many people going about their daily lives. These things affect them greatly at a remove, of course, but most of the time it often comes off as two sets of angry people yelling at each other for no very good reason.
So when conservatives make statements about the failure of government regulation to achieve stated goals, the arguments often move into a realm of competing theoretical or historical claims. Generally, the bigger and more important the issue, the more obscured it is by garbage talking points.
So it's often the little things that make the most salient points about ideological stances. Today's argument in favor of government intervention for good? Those obnoxiously loud TV commercials are about to go the way of the dodo:
Listen up, TV advertisers: Big Brother is muting you! Well, not entirely. But beginning at midnight tonight, new Federal Communications Commission rules will bar television networks from blasting viewers with those excessively loud, screamy commercial breaks...This is the sort of thing that all but the most ardent libertarian can get behind, and is a real-world example of a minor but real annoyance almost everyone has experienced.
Adopted a year ago Thursday, the rules "will require commercials to have the same average volume as the programs they accompany," the FCC says. The commission was prompted to action last year when Congress passed the "Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act"—the CALM Act.
You can help enforce the new law, as well. If you think a channel is violating the law, just call 1-888-TELL-FCC to report the violation.