Discussion about Culling Cats Not Problematic, but Negative Comments about Women are Unacceptable, Says Canadian Broadcast Standards Council

Ottawa, January 18, 2012 – The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) today released two decisions concerning the Dean Blundell Show broadcast on CFNY-FM (102.1 The Edge, Toronto).  The CBSC concluded that a discussion about culling cats did not violate any broadcast Codes, but that a mocking conversation about women did.

The Dean Blundell Show is The Edge’s morning show.  It features songs, news and banter between Blundell and his co-hosts.  In one episode, Blundell explained how sometimes he had to help cull cats to control their population when he was growing up on a farm in Saskatchewan.  He explained methods of killing the cats and joked that he would “bat a thousand” when hitting them with a spade.  A listener was concerned that this dialogue made light of violence against animals.  The majority of the CBSC’s Ontario Regional Panel concluded that the conversation was about rural practices and did not sanction or promote violence in any way.  There was therefore no breach of either Clause 9(a) of the CAB Code of Ethics or of Article 9.1 of the CAB Violence Code.  Two adjudicators, however, dissented.

In another episode, the hosts talked about women.  They laughed at their female co-worker for suggesting that men and women are equal and joked that women should keep their mouths closed and do chores.  They went on to describe a scenario of women participating in war.  They suggested that women could fake wounds when they were menstruating and would engage in lesbian activity, using the words “trenches” and “foxholes” as euphemisms for female genitalia.  The Ontario Panel concluded that this representation of women was unduly discriminatory, negative, stereotypical and degrading contrary to Clauses 2, 3, 4 and 7 of the CAB Equitable Portrayal Code and Clause 2 of the CAB Code of Ethics.

The CBSC was created in 1990 by Canada’s private broadcasters to administer the codes of standards that they established for their industry.  The CBSC currently administers 7 codes which deal with ethics, equitable portrayal, violence, news and journalistic independence.  Nearly 760 radio stations, satellite radio services, television stations and specialty and pay television services across Canada are members of the Council.

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All CBSC decisions, Codes, links to members' and other web sites, and related information are available on the CBSC's website at www.cbsc.ca. For more information, please contact the CBSC National Chair, Mme Andrée Noël CBSC Executive Director, John MacNab