CRTC vs. CBSC: regulator battles standards council over Dire Straits “Money For Nothing”
Remember the kerfuffle from a couple weeks ago over the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council‘s decision to issue a ban on radio play of the classic 1985 Dire Straits song “Money for Nothing” for its controversial use of the word “faggot?” Now the CRTC has asked the CBSC to reconsider its decision after the federal broadcast regulator received more than 250 letters about the banned song, the majority of which questioned the CBSC’s decision to issue the ban in the first place.
The strong public reaction against the ban—Canadians were incensed enough to pick up an actual pen and write actual letters of complaint—led the CRTC to ask the Standards Council to consider “the context of the particular wording in the song’s theme and intended message, the age and origin of the song and the performance date, the prominence of the contested word and the use of that word over time, and the length of time and frequency that it has been played on the radio.” A smart move, given the fact that the word in question is spoken by a character in the song who’s unimpressed by people on MTV.
Not that the CBSC’s ruling made much of a difference in the first place—in fact, K-97 in Edmonton played “Money for Nothing” for an entire hour straight on Jan. 14th in protest of the controversial banning. In our era of lazy double-entendres—think: Britney Spears’ “If U Seek Amy” (read that phonetically, folks) and Katy Perry’s “Peacock,” which features the lyric “I wanna see your peacock, cock, cock”—we can think of a few other candidates we wouldn’t mind seeing wiped from FM playlists.