Response to the CALM Act (H.R. 1084) - Censorship!
The CALM Act (Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation) drafted by Anna Eshoo, my presumed upcoming opponent, and passed last month highlight what she thinks if of high importance to the citizens of her district and country. This bill, from what is mentioned in her own statement, (http://eshoo.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=695&Ite...) "The CALM Act is an easy fix for a tremendous nuisance. In my 17 years in the House of Representatives, I've never carried a bill which has been received with so much enthusiasm by people across the country,", appears to be the highlight of her career on Capitol Hill.
There are several problems I see from this bill:
- It becomes a slippery slope into censorship.
- This restriction on private enterprise steps outside the bounds of the Constitutional powers of Congress.
- Isn't there something better for Congress to worry about?
From a cursory look this appears to be a fairly innocent and welcome piece of legislation as we all have known the annoyance of "loud" commercials. Passed under the guise of the ownership of the public airwaves it would also seem to be within the scope of proper legislative duties.
Once the government starts to decide what content and how it is presented to the citizens of the United States you have started down the road of government control of all content. What is to stop the government from deciding that the color red is now irritating to you? Once we get past that one they might also think that certain viewpoints are annoying to the public.
Further, it is up to the individual and certainly within their power to mute the sound or bypass it using a DVR or simply not watch the program or network if they are bothered. If viewers with to take a more active approach they can complain to the advertisers or networks using this practice. Certainly less viewers would have a greater affect on both parties than legislating a matter which can affects their revenue in a way they don't have any alternatives but to reduce the quality of programming.
The continued demonizing of American business by oppressive regulations will effectively make being in business in the United States unattractive since the ability to make a profit is curtailed at every turn. Eventually entrepreneurship, the inventive engine of our economy, will look for better conditions in other places which reward success as opposed to imposing punitive punishments.