Straits’ ‘Money’ fit for radio: Council
The word “faggot” is usually too hurtful for Canadians to hear on the radio — but the classic song Money for Nothing gets a pass.
The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) ruled Thursday that the 1984 Dire Straits hit is nuanced and thoughtful enough to be played uncensored.
In February 2010, Newfoundland rock station CHOZ-FM aired the uncensored, eight-minute version of the song. The song is written from the point of view of a working class man, and in one verse, he uses the anti-gay slur repeatedly when describing a rock star on TV.
A listener complained, saying the use of the “other f-word” was hateful and discriminatory.
A regional branch of the CBSC agreed the word was hostile and sent the matter to the national board for a ruling.
The CBSC says the “other f-word” is generally not acceptable on the air, but when put into context of the song narrative, it is not intended to be abusive.
Composer Mark Knopfler has said he wrote the words while in a New York department store, from the perspective of a “bonehead who worked for the store, a great big macho guy with a, you know with a checked shirt on and a cap and a pair of work boots” who was complaining about his lot in life and jealous of the success of the performer he was watching on a TV screen.
Most radio stations had already dropped the lengthy album version and used the tighter radio edit, which doesn’t include the offending word.