CRTC to CBSC: Reconsider Ban on Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing"

BY Gregory AdamsPublished Jan 21, 2011

Following a week of complaints lodged from angry rock fans, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is hoping the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) will reconsider its decision to ban the unedited version of the Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing."

While last week's ruling said that the '80s tune could no longer be broadcast because of its controversial use of the word "faggot" -- a decision made following a radio-listener's complaint to St. John's station CHOZ-FM -- a statement released by the CRTC today (January 21) says that the banning has raised more ire than the song itself. The commission knows its because most of the complaints have been directed their way, not the CBSC's.

"The volume of letters and perceived overlap of responsibilities between the commission and the CBSC has created uncertainty for the public and for radio stations requiring information on the continued appropriateness of playing that version of the song," CRTC secretary general Robert Morin said in the statement.

Considering the outpour of public support for the song, a Grammy-winning staple on classic rock radio, the CRTC is suggesting the standards council reconsider its decision. The commission also recommends a panel seeking public opinion on the matter to decided what should be done with the song. Things for the potential panel to consider are the context of how the word was used, as well as the era in which it was recorded.

CBC reports that the outcry over the censorship issue included radio stations repeatedly airing "Money for Nothing" in protest. Many point to the supposed ironic intentions of singer Mark Knopfler's lyric. The song is apparently told from the perspective of a man unimpressed with the era's rock stars, Knopfler included.

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