Holy Horseshit, Batman:
"Money For Nothing," a classic-rock radio staple by Dire Straits, is too offensive for Canadian broadcasts because of its use of the word "faggot," the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council has ruled.
The ruling, released Wednesday, responded to a complaint submitted to St. John's radio station CHOZ-FM over a Feb. 1 airing of an unedited version of the song, which mentions the word three times.
The complainant wrote that the song's lyrics were "extremely offensive" to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
The council is an independent body created by Canadian radio and television broadcasters to review the standards of their content.
Co-written in 1985 by Mark Knopfler and Sting, "Money For Nothing" takes the perspective of a working-class man watching music videos, which were still a new medium at the time.
The song, which was the first single off of Dire Straits' album Brothers in Arms, earned the British band a Grammy for best rock performance and topped the American Billboard modern rock chart for three weeks. The song's corresponding music video, widely known for its use of then-state-of-the-art computer animation, was the first music video aired on MTV Europe.
The council's Atlantic regional panel weighed the song's "legitimate artistic usage" against the Canadian Association of Broadcaster's Code of Ethics, which in part states: "broadcasters shall ensure that their programming contains no abusive or unduly discriminatory material or comment which is based on matters of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status or physical or mental disability."
The council concluded that "faggot," when used to describe a homosexual man, is a word "that, even if entirely or marginally acceptable in earlier days, is no longer so."
"The societal values at issue a quarter century later have shifted and the broadcast of the song in 2010 must reflect those values, rather than those of 1985."
Since a number of edited versions of the song could have been played instead, such as one that replaces the offending term with "mother," the council deemed CHOZ-FM to have breached the ethics code.
The radio station, which bills itself as "The Rock of the Rock," must now announce "during peak listening hours" the details of the decision.
Since forming in 1990, the council has ruled on complaints submitted from the public about the language of a number of songs, typically dealing at which hours of the day songs containing the f-word and other profanities can be broadcasted. A decision in 2004 has the distinct honour of banning an unedited Limp Bizkit song, "Livin' it Up," from the radio for excessive f-word use during daytime broadcasts.
Other cases, though, have slowly sculpted a framework of what language is acceptable for broadcast.
In reviewing punk band NOFX's "Kill All the White Men," which aired on a Winnipeg radio station in 2004, the council decided the chorus from which the song takes its name was acceptable political commentary.
And the Bloodhound Gang's single "The Bad Touch," a novelty hit from 2000 laden with sexual innuendo, was found not to be too obscene for daytime broadcast.
But a rant delivered by Gord Downie in the middle of a live version of the Tragically Hip song "Highway Girl," in which he tells a story about suicidal lovers, got that song booted from rotation after listeners complained to a Winnipeg station in 2002.
Likewise, in 2000, the council concluded that Dynamite Hack's bewilderingly popular cover of Easy E's hip-hop classic "Boyz-N-the-Hood" promoted violence against women for lyrics such as "I reached back like a pimp and I slapped that ho."
The CBSC only rules on the content of its member stations, so university and college radio broadcasts are exempt from its findings.
Read more: http://www.canada.com/news/Dire+Stra...#ixzz1AzRFJKKB