January 14, 2011: The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council this week ruled that broadcasters that play the unedited version of Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing” are violating radio’s code of ethics. But NewCap’s K-97 in Edmonton, AB, begs to differ, and is spending the 8-9 p.m. hour this evening playing “Money for Nothing” nonstop and unedited — that is, complete with three instances of “faggot,” the word that got the 25-year-old record banned as offensive.
A note on the K-97 website provides a link to e-mail the CBSC and says, “Earlier this week the CBSC ruled that the song ‘Money For Nothing’ has violated broadcasting decency standards because of the use of the word ‘faggot.’ The Dire Straits song was originally released in 1985 and has since aired tens of thousands of times across Canada, has won a Grammy and has been performed by GLBT supporter Elton John. If you listen to the context of the term, you will realize it is an artistic portrayal of a bigoted person looking at the riches and excess of the music industry.”
The statement continues, “While some of K-97’s content may be controversial, we respect the right to free speech for all Canadians and songwriters.”
K-97 OM Patrick Cardinal told the Toronto Sun, “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.”
NewCap sister station Q104/Halifax, NS, meanwhile, will spend the 9-10 p.m. hour on a “Money for Nothing Marathon.” The hour will be hosted by Q104 PD JC Douglas, joined by members of the LGBT community in “supporting the freedom of artistic integrity,” according to a statement on the station website. Douglas said, “Context is everything in this case. We believe that this [CBSC]decision may trivialize the meaningful work done to further the cause of the LGBT community and could actually work against them by creating a sense of excessive political correctness at the cost of the fundamental freedom of speech.”