Seeing how Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin’s blog is posting on this, I guess the story has become important enough for me to weigh in on it. Heard about this first from Blazing Cat Fur. Here’s the article he cites, a piece written by Brian Lilley at the Toronto Sun.
…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…
My question is, considering that the song was first released in 1985, why did it take this thin-skinned twit so long to call up the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) and complain about it? On that same note, why did it take the CBSC so long to censor the song? I am glad to hear that at least one radio station, K97 in Edmonton, will defy the ban, but most will not. Is it any wonder why Canada is a laughingstock worldwide when it comes to this nonsense?
I was raised on classic rock, be it Dire Straits, Genesis, Men at Work, etc so this is rather offensive to me. Is it a classic on par with Huckleberry Finn? No, but it is one of those classic rock songs that helps define not only the band, but the era. It is controversial? Of course, people will get offended over the use of certain words, but as Mark Knopfler said to Rolling Stone in 1985, “faggot,” in the song, isn’t used as a slur against homosexuals.
I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London – he actually said it was below the belt. Apart from the fact that there are stupid gay people as well as stupid other people, it suggests that maybe you can’t let it have so many meanings – you have to be direct. In fact, I’m still in two minds as to whether it’s a good idea to write songs that aren’t in the first person, to take on other characters.
Did it even cross the mind of the twit in Newfoundland that, seeing how Knopfler is a rocker, that him referring to a rocker in Money for Nothing as “faggot” was in anyway satirical? I guess some Canadians aren’t just thin-skinned, but empty-headed eh?
Here is the song for anyone who hasn’t already heard it, sang it, and did air guitar while listening to it. It doesn’t have “faggot,” but it does use the word “queenie.”
My favourite Dire Straits song, however, is Sultans of Swing.
UPDATE: Guy Fletcher of Dire Straits has responded to the CBSC’s ban on the unedited version of their song, Money for Nothing. Here’s what he said as reported by the National Post.
…Calling the ruling “unbelievable,” Fletcher wrote that Mark Knopfler, the song’s writer, will now substitute the word “fudger” for “faggot” for use on Canadian airwaves.
“I reckon Canada could ban about 75 per cent of ALL records ever made,” he wrote later…
The story then goes on to mention that Halifax’s Q104 will join Edmonton’s K97 in protesting the song’s ban. I’m hoping that the CBSC has the common sense to back away from this, reverse their decision and admit they overreacted. Political correctness has gone too far when rock classics are censored because of a single complaint about a word used in a song.