Opinions

Letter: Radio censorship

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Andrew Varsanyi's article ["Education must replace the censorship of music," Jan. 20] about the recent Dire Straits ruling leaves out key facts that would have helped readers better understand the ramifications of this decision. The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council is not a government agency -- it is an independent organization set up by private broadcasting corporations to self-regulate their industry. The "spooky spokesman for government overreach" Varsanyi imagines is not a government representative but an employee of media companies here in Canada. Had this been properly researched, Varsanyi would not have had to blame the fictional "ghost of cultural-mosaic-past" for this act of censorship.

Further, the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (who I think Varsanyi is trying to tie this mess to) put out a release on Friday, Jan. 21 stating "that many of the letters [the CRTC] has received mistakenly have assumed that it was the Commission, and not the CBSC, that determined that the version of the Dire Straits song containing the contested derogatory word was inappropriate for radio airplay."

With this fact markedly absent, the article begins to lose any sense of context.

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Comments

A good point to be sure. First, I would admit that you\'re right, the CBSC is not a government organization. That should have been made clear.

Yet, whether government or not, I was pointing out that the individual that complained and many Canadians in general do believe it the government\'s job (or an alliance of broadcasters, I personally doubt they register the distinction) to police what is offensive for them. This is the culture of \"government overreach\" I was attempting to discuss. That rather than just changing the channel, people often seek the power to remove what\'s offensive to them altogether. That\'s the unfortunate side effect of Canadian political correctness in my opinion. But of course, you\'re free to disagree - I promise not to report something I might find offensive to anyone.