OTTAWA - It may be classic rock but the song Money for Nothing by Dire Straits will either have to be edited or not played in its original form after a decision by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.
After a complaint from a listener to OZ-FM in Newfoundland who heard the song at 9:15 at night, the CBSC ruled that Money for Nothing, a radio staple since 1985, violates the code of ethics on several fronts due to the use of the word "faggot."
The songs second verse contains the offensive word three times.
"The little faggot with the earring and the makeup"
"Yeah, buddy, that’s his own hair"
"That little faggot’s got his own jet airplane"
"That little faggot, he’s a millionaire"
The decision here in Canada comes as Americans are embroiled in a debate over censoring the literary classic Huckleberry Finn.
The book by Mark Twain was a scathing examination of racism when it appeared in 1885 and makes frequent use of then common words such as "n-----" and "Injun" to refer to a Native American character. A publisher has proposed releasing a new version of the work replacing the words with "slave" and "Indian."
The CBSC, which has essentially banned the full-length version of Money for Nothing, is a self-governing regulatory body for Canada's private broadcasters. Decisions on content by the council are binding on members.
One classic rock station contacted by QMI Agency said that most likely they will stop playing the song now.
There is a shorter version of the song with the offensive words removed but classic rock buffs contacted by QMI Agency said changing the lyrics killed the song.
None of the radio personnel contacted would comment on the record for fear of the impact it could have if they appeared before the council.
Money for Nothing is not the first song the CBSC has censored. The decision on Money for Nothing references an earlier decision on the song Boyz in the Hood by Dynamite Hack, which was deemed to have lyrics which were too violent towards women.
One broadcast executive who asked not to be named said the council's decisions are all over the map, pointing out that similar words have been ruled acceptable in other cases.
Another executive said that while the CBSC comes down hard on what is considered offensive language in songs, similar language can be used in television.
A review of rulings posted on the CBSC website shows that several complaints on language, such as blatant swearing or the use of the name Jesus Christ as an expletive, have been ruled acceptable.
The CBSC rules on both radio and television broadcast complaints.
That is so ridiculous. The whole idea of the song revolves around the shallow, limited understanding and bias on the part of the furniture movers and store workers...their lack of appreciation of what goes in to making rock music. To change the words is foolish and only makes standards such as this blatant examples of PC gone way too far.
After 25 years of cool Mark Knopfler anthem "Money For Nothing" all of a sudden the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council bans the song from Canadian airplay. Omigosh...I have been systematically poisoned for all these decades by this ironic and rythmic classic rock song...should I be doing a mind detox? Call Gwythneth Paltrow...she is clean inside and out!!! And sings, too!
Holy s**t. What the hell is going on. First Mark Twain now Dire Straits. Have we gone mad? What ever happened to Sticks and Stones? These people have my vote for an immediate Darwin intervention before they breed and spread. I guess the Pouges are next for Fairytale of New York.... get a life you miserable losers.
This reminds me of Johnny Horton's classic "Battle of New Orleans," about 1960. The song refers to the "Bloody British," but was recorded again and referred to the "Bloody Rebels." That was to avoid offending the sensibilities of people in countries like Canada. Both versions were played, depending on the radio station. I have the song on an LP and it is the original version.
Hope more stations take K97's position...this is not about hate mongering..this is about artistic freedoms and censorship. How long until a list comes out with the lyrics that are deemed to risque for the Canadian listener? To all those who have or are planning to play the "proper" version...grow a pair!
The CBSC and the one complaintant should realize that on the standard radio there are 2 knobs...one of these knobs will change the station and the other knob may actually turn the radio off if what is playing bothers them.
At least those knobs are useful...
"If you don't know where you're going, all roads will lead you there" ;D
Edmonton’s classic rock station K-97 is taking a stand against a recent ruling by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) to either edit or ban the song, Money for Nothing, by Dire Straits.
On Monday, the CBSC ruled the song, a radio staple since 1985, violates the code of ethics on several fronts due to the use of the word “faggot.” The second verse of the songs’ full length version contains the word three times.
The issue surfaced after a listener heard and complained about the song on a Newfoundland radio station.
Patrick Cardinal, operations manager for Edmonton Radio Group and Newcap Radio, said the words were taken out of context.
K-97 plans to make a bold statement about the ruling by playing the unedited song repeatedly from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday to show support for freedom of speech and Canadian songwriters, Cardinal said.
“If you look at the context of the term, it’s an artistic portray of a bigoted person looking at the successes and riches of the music industry,” said Cardinal, who doesn’t plan to stop playing the unedited version of the song.
“In terms of our listeners, they absolutely support our right to play this song and the right to hear it in its entirety. If we get a CBSC complaint about this, we will vigilantly defend our right to play this song.”
Like K-97, many radio stations in Edmonton have been playing the song for years, but have been using the shorter version of the song that has the offensive words removed.
Jason Roberts with Edmonton’s EZ Rock said he can see why the CBSC would censor the song.
“I love the song, but I’m kind of riding the fence here. I can see why somebody would find it offensive,” said Roberts. “It’s 2011. Nobody uses that word anymore.”
Local radio veteran Marty Forbes has been in the industry for 40 years and said the CBSC is taking the issue too far.
“I think we are getting to the point where we better start throwing sweaters on all the nude statues in the world,” said Forbes. “I can understand the complaint...but it’s a little too late to draw a bunch of attention to it.”
Monday for Nothing is the first song the CBSC has censored. The CBSC rules on both radio and television broadcast complaints.