For the first time since Celine Dion beat her chest through the Titanic soundtrack, Canada led the world of music news this week. The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC), a non-governmental organization, banned the 1985 Dire Straits classic "Money for Nothing," citing the use of a pejorative for homosexuals. The complaint originated in St. John's, Newfoundland, and the CSBC then ruled the slur made the song unfit for broadcast by its affiliated stations.
Oddly, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the federal broadcasting regulator, has called on the CSBC to reconsider its ban, noting that the song has been played for more than 25 years without complaint and stressing "artistic intent" rather than potential to offend.
This is a far cry from the American FCC, which levies half-million-dollar fines for nipple slips on live TV, although the CRTC is not without its own overbearing tendencies. It demands that at least 35 percent of content on the airwaves be from Canadian artists, thereby ensuring the continued viability of Bryan Adams, Loverboy and Glass Tiger. Could you imagine if OC required at least 35 percent of music on the radio be from here? Every other song would be No Doubt, Social D or Reel Big Fish. Oh, wait. . . .