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February 18, 2005 4:55 PM   Subscribe

Dropping an F-bomb on the radio, and in Canada you apologize. In the States, having this happen on your station would cost you many dollars.
posted by evilcolonel (36 comments total)

 
thats facinating.
posted by delmoi at 5:05 PM on February 18, 2005


I listened to that interview live. It was amusing. The full transcript is much more interesting than the CRTC ruling.
posted by blacklite at 5:05 PM on February 18, 2005


In my Blue State dreams,
Monster.ca calls to me.
posted by VulcanMike at 5:33 PM on February 18, 2005


Hmm... I'm surprised it's an issue at all. I remember seeing full frontal nudity on daytime CBC television as a kid. In particular I remember some sort of dance performance with naked women raising a big silk sheetlike thing over their heads. I must've been in late grade school.
posted by substrate at 5:42 PM on February 18, 2005


I'm now 31 and grew up in rural Canada. Broadcast TV was putting frontal nudity on TV even when I was a kid. It's really not a big deal. CityTV (primarily cable, but broadcast over UHF as well) made its market by playing softcore porn, as did other stations that played "European" movies. This has been the case for decades.

I did a radio show on CHRY (just community radio) and swearing was not a big deal either. You REALLY had to get out of hand to even get a lecture from the station manager...
posted by glider at 5:42 PM on February 18, 2005


Ha, apparently substrate and I watched the same shows.
posted by glider at 5:43 PM on February 18, 2005


I'll add that my (American) wife, who moved to Canada about five years ago, was really freaked out when she first started watching Canadian TV that nothing was censored in terms of profanity and nudity.
posted by glider at 5:54 PM on February 18, 2005


that's up to $500K in the U.S. now. Take that emerging "liberal" media.

Just wait till some tight ass catches their 10 year old watching Comedy Central past midnight one day.
posted by wah at 6:01 PM on February 18, 2005


Fascinating theme. Despite the fact that America produces the raunchiest pornography (well maybe not the raunchiest in the world, but very raunchy), to an outside observer (I Am Canadian) it's weird that the influence of Puritanism even now seems to operate. I echo glider's comments: my visiting American friends are always amazed at what is broadcast on the public airwaves here, let alone cable. British or European visitors are amazed how tame it all seems...
posted by Turtles all the way down at 6:02 PM on February 18, 2005


Full disclosure: as a teenager I stayed up till midnight to watch the "european" movies that started then. I'm sure I was the only one.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 6:03 PM on February 18, 2005


my (American) wife, who moved to Canada about five years ago, was really freaked out when she first started watching Canadian TV that nothing was censored in terms of profanity and nudity.

And she can probably testify that this has not compelled her neighbours to hump with abandon on the buses or to let fly with the profane invective in daily interactions.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 6:08 PM on February 18, 2005


By 'F-bomb' I assume you mean 'fuck'? It's just a word, don't fear writing it.
posted by Nelson at 6:18 PM on February 18, 2005


Irrespective of whatever's formally on the books, it's a silly comparison. If stations in the real world actually had to pay a fine every time they played "Who Are You" or "Money," we'd fund the whole damn government off it and buy everyone dinner with the surplus. Damn hell ass!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:24 PM on February 18, 2005


In Soviet Russia, F-Bomb dropped on YOU.
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 6:27 PM on February 18, 2005


It's almost like the US & Canada are two totally different countries. Different laws, different cultures, different freedoms, different advantages & disadvantages. To think, I'd always just referred to them as "Upper Mexico" all these years.
posted by dhoyt at 6:29 PM on February 18, 2005


ROU, there's a difference between playing music that contains swearing (which you can do between 10pm and 6am) and the DJ swearing, which you aren't supposed to do ever.
posted by kenko at 6:31 PM on February 18, 2005


I definitely dropped the F-bomb on live talk radio Tuesday night. I felt so ashamed. Then I had me a good laugh at how weak the impulse control and inhibition centers of my brain seem to be.
posted by TheGoldenOne at 6:31 PM on February 18, 2005


To think, I'd always just referred to them as "Upper Mexico" all these years

No, we like that! Although not as much as the term coined by visiting American movie productions:

"Snow niggers"

That's way better.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 6:36 PM on February 18, 2005


The program director of CFNY (the referenced radio station,) Alan Cross, is a really great, intelligent guy that's been with the station on and off for a hell of a long time. He has a show, Ongoing History of New Music, that is probably the most informative thing on the radio. I've learned more about music from there than I could ever write down. And he even responds to e-mail, in between trying to manage the station and do his show and occasionally stop by the other shows to talk to people.
It isn't perfect, but it is probably the best radio station I'll ever listen to. I miss Toronto, every so often, and it's one of the reasons why. I don't know why, exactly -- they just don't seem to take anything very seriously, they're laid back, they play some excellent music and they support the local industry. The DJs are great guys to hang out with. It is what radio should be.
Also, I believe, according to one of their station ID segments, it is one of the top ten most listened to radio stations in the entire world.
posted by blacklite at 6:39 PM on February 18, 2005


The archives on Ongoing History are right here, although they lose a bit when it isn't an audio production with relevant (and occasionally amazingly rare) music.
posted by blacklite at 6:41 PM on February 18, 2005


Golden: You mean they didn't have a seven-second delay???

Nelson: "F-bomb" strikes me as funnier. Besides, how far do you really want to go on your first FPP (especially after committing an egregious grammatical error.)

Substrate: How did I miss this?!? I'm sure it was an accident (a film aired by "Canadian Reflections" or similar crap, without having been properly screened first.) I know there was an infamous incident when an operator at CBC Network operations accidentally interrupted Sesame Street with the feed of an American porn channel they were watching in the control room.
posted by evilcolonel at 6:42 PM on February 18, 2005


welcome to the real world.
posted by seanyboy at 6:44 PM on February 18, 2005


I miss Toronto, every so often, and it's one of the reasons why. I don't know why, exactly -- they just don't seem to take anything very seriously, they're laid back, they play some excellent music and they support the local industry. The DJs are great guys to hang out with. It is what radio should be.

Precisely. Listen to CBC Radio 1: it's, at least in the afternoons, evenings and weekends, full of crazy stupid stuff--exactly what radio should be. Definitely Not The Opera on Saturday afternoon with the stellar Sook-Yin Lee: well written, surprising, Canadian-familiar, current, excellent. When I was in the US I listened to Public Radio, also excellent (Car Talk) but nothing feeds my soul like the CBC and makes me feel so much a part of a nationwide family, and part of something greater than myself.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 6:48 PM on February 18, 2005


evilcolonel, it was no accident. I also recall some movie about a single mom who then had another kid. The boy was pissed off that the baby was getting all the attention. He saw her breast feeding him etc as well. Later on she met some guy and he saw him (and I saw him) sucking on her breast. This really put him over the edge.

I know for sure the dance performance was during the day because I was flipping through channels on my little black and white tv bored out of my mind (but still not really wanting to go back to school) when I came upon pre-teen nirvana.
posted by substrate at 6:59 PM on February 18, 2005


And I heard the most excellent song there, a perfect song, two weeks ago: (link to .mp3 on my site: Stars: Your Ex-Lover is Dead).
posted by Turtles all the way down at 7:12 PM on February 18, 2005




I know that I've heard f**k on broadcast TV in Canada--that stand-up comedy thing they were doing on Friday nights on CTV, I think, a year or two ago anyway. It certainly shocked me (having spent most of my teenage years in the US). Not sure if the situation's different for radio...
posted by Jeanne at 7:18 PM on February 18, 2005


Still though, it is cold.

Besides, I have the internet. The Warm, Loving, All-consuming internet....
posted by delmoi at 8:00 PM on February 18, 2005


It's even better/worse than you think.

This "Canadian Broadcast Standards Council" is an industry group, not a government regulatory body. Membership is voluntary. The worst they could do is terminate the station's membership in the CBSC, which would have essentially no real effect on the operation of the station.

The government body which regulates broadcasters is the CRTC (Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission). They do have a rule against live announcers (station employees) using the seven dirty words (with very minor penalties, generally) -- but for guests, interview subjects, recordings, drama, etc., there's no limit.
posted by winston at 8:15 PM on February 18, 2005


The absolute worst penalty I have ever heard of was when this same morning show had the "Jackass" crew on for an interview.
They were... well, they were late for the interview, for one, so the first half or so of the show was them calling up on cell phones from their van going "man we're so stoned, okay, uh, yeah, we're on the ... 401? .. or something .. and.. I think we are going to be there soon"
Eventually, a crowd sort of formed waiting for them at the studio (which is on Yonge Street in Toronto), they got there, started sort of being interviewed and talking about stuff, and one of them said "fuck" at least once, and they were discussing all sorts of insanity, and then the main guy decided to do a stunt of sorts for the assembled people.
It involved stapling his scrotum to his leg. He also urinated on the studio floor.
The DJs were just sort of .. in shock, and ... .. one of them was laughing at the sheer insanity of it all, and ... they played some music and tried to get the guys out.
The music ends, and they're back, with no music to play, but the main Jackass guy is still there, and he wants to tell a story. However, Alan Cross (program director) has meanwhile come downstairs and basically started beating his head against the wall and telling the guys that that is it, and no more Jackass guys on the radio. This is the word from upper management (Corus Entertainment). So, as mentioned, Jackass guy wants to tell a story, which seems to involve pot and chicks and sex and god knows what, I couldn't really hear -- because to save their asses from getting completely fired, one of the morning show guys is HUMMING INTO THE MICROPHONE for like five minutes straight while the Jackass guy is trying to tell a story.
It was the most hilarious thing I have ever heard in audio form. Those poor bastards.

They were suspended without pay indefinitely, at first, that afternoon -- I think it was a Friday -- and then were let back on that Tuesday or Wednesday. Radio history, my friends. I think the CRTC/CBSC is pretty good with people who mean well.
posted by blacklite at 9:28 PM on February 18, 2005


kenko: I see. Learn something new every day.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:05 PM on February 18, 2005


Won't anyone think of the children? I'm so glad I live in a country that thinks first of the children. And jesus.

We're obviously sooooo much more moral here in the states. Praise jebus.
posted by damnitkage at 11:06 PM on February 18, 2005


Ah, you can say "fuck" all you want to on Canadian radio, but saying stuff like:

"The problem is, people forget that in Africa, in Muslim countries and countries in Black Africa, the ones who are sent abroad to study are the sons of people who are disgusting, the sons of the people who own the country so that they can govern it better. They’re the sons of plunderers, cannibals who control certain Third World countries and can afford to send their children to Quebec to go to school, if it’s not outright corruption by companies that want to get access to natural resources in Africa and will pay to have the sons of the disgusting people who govern those countries study in Québec."

...will apparently get your license renewal denied.
posted by sfenders at 6:25 AM on February 19, 2005


I remember listening to Brave New Waves about twenty years ago. The host (don't recall a name) set up a track with who-what-where info on the band followed by:

"They like to say 'fuck' a lot"

I love the CBC.

posted by login at 8:54 AM on February 20, 2005


Eric Idle's 'Fuck the FCC' comes to mind. A song, that if played on american radio, would cost the radio station a quarter of a million dollars.
posted by Jerub at 4:02 PM on February 20, 2005


I'm an American married to a Canuck and have lived in Canada for about five years (*waves to glider's wife*) and was also surprised (not offended) at what you can see on Canadian tv. I've seen full frontal nudity and heard the words "asshole" and "shit" and that's just on the nightly news (I have noticed that they have bleeped out "fuck" a time or two).

On the other hand, they (on the radio) bleep out the word "cocaine" in the song "Picture" by Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow.
posted by deborah at 6:26 PM on February 20, 2005


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