At approximately on
They don't know how old I am,
they found armour in my belly
from the 16th century, conquistador, I think.
They don't know how old I am,
they found armour in my belly.
Passion out of machine-revving tension, lashing
out at machine-revving tension, brushing by the
Morning broke out the backside of a truck-stop
the end of a line a real, rainbow-likening, luck stop
where you could say I became chronologically fucked up.
Put ten bucks in just to get the tank topped off.
Then, I found a place it's dark and it's rotted.
It's a cool, sweet kinda-place
where the copters won't spot it
and I destroyed the map, I even thought I forgot it,
however, every-day I'm dumping the body.
It'd be better for us if you don't understand.
It'd better for me if you don't understand
And I found a place, it's dark and it's rotted.
It's a cool, sweet kinda-place
where the copters won't spot it
and I destroyed the map that I carefully dotted,
however, every-day I'm dumping the body.
It'd be better for us if you don't understand
It's better for us if you don't understand
And better for me if you don't understand
Let me out
CBSC received a complaint about the broadcast on October 9 from a listener
who was concerned about the presence of the f-word in the song.
The complaint consisted primarily of a copy of a letter the listener
had sent directly to CHOM-FM, which read in pertinent part (the full text
of all correspondence can be found in the Appendix):
you are no doubt aware, your station has voluntarily agreed to abide by certain
codes and standards as overseen by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council
(CBSC). One of these codes stipulates
that no member station will air material with "unduly coarse language". While what constitutes "unduly coarse" language
has changed significantly over the last few years, the CBSC has consistently
and without fail decided in all cases that use of the "F" word by a radio
station, in any context, is in violation of the code you have agreed to follow.
In accordance with its usual process, the CBSC
forwarded the complaint to the broadcaster on October 18 asking them to respond.
On November 9, the complainant filed his Ruling Request, indicating
that he wished the CBSC to pursue the matter particularly since he had received
no response from the broadcaster. The
CBSC Secretariat sent a letter to the broadcaster on November 10 reminding
CHOM-FM to respond to this complaint pursuant to its responsibilities of membership
in the CBSC. When CHOM-FM still had not responded two months
later, the CBSC National Chair telephoned the station on
When the song arrived at CHOM in 1993, it was decided that the use of [the] word in question was appropriate in relation to the song's content. More importantly, it was not used disparagingly; therefore the song was played as received. Upon receiving your letter, we reviewed the song again and feel that CHOM made the right decision at that time.
the song's consistent and continued request for airplay since 1993 on CHOM,
I expect that our listeners have accepted the song's presentation in its current
The complainant responded to that letter on February
3 in the following terms:
I received your letter. What you do not address is the fact that your radio station is a member station of the CBSC, and as such, has agreed to follow certain broadcaster codes. One of these codes is that member stations agree not to broadcast material with unduly coarse language. In many rulings, the CBSC's panel of judges have consistently ruled that use of material containing the F word is not acceptable material. All this I stated in my original complaint to you of more than four months ago.
So despite your internal review, you are still contravening the agreement your station made when your station joined the CBSC.
your response time to my complaint is well past the guidelines as established
by the CBSC. Since I did not receive
a response from you until now, I have long since filed a formal complaint
with the CBSC, and expect a ruling soon.
The Quebec Regional Panel examined the complaint
under Clause 9 (Radio Broadcasting) of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters'
(CAB) Code of Ethics, as well as
under the terms of the sections "Responsibilities of Membership" and "Complaint
Resolution Process" of the CBSC Manual.
CAB Code of Ethics, Clause 9 - Radio Broadcasting
Recognizing that radio is a local medium and, consequently, reflective of local community standards, programming broadcast on a local radio station shall take into consideration the generally recognized access to programming content available in the market, the demographic composition of the station's audience, and the station's format. Within this context, particular care shall be taken by radio broadcasters to ensure that programming on their stations does not contain:
Unduly coarse and offensive
CBSC Manual, Responsibilities
Broadcaster members which join the CBSC do so voluntarily and, by so doing, agree to:
g) co-operate fully with complainants by
responding quickly and effectively to their concerns and informing them of
their right to bring the matter directly to the CBSC if they are dissatisfied
with that reply
CBSC Manual, Complaint Resolution
A copy of the complaint will [.] be forwarded to the
broadcaster with the request that the member respond to the writer of the
complaint within 21 days. The Secretariat
expects that the complaint will be given that priority by the broadcaster;
however, should there be extenuating circumstances, such as a deluge of complaints,
application should be made to the Secretariat by the broadcaster for an extension
of that deadline.
The Quebec Regional Panel concludes that CHOM-FM
is in violation of the CAB Code of Ethics
but not of the CBSC Responsibilities of Membership.
Broadcast of Coarse Language
during Daytime Radio
The CBSC has dealt on numerous previous occasions
with the broadcast of the f-word and its variations on radio at times of the
day when children could reasonably be expected to be listening. Most of those previous decisions have involved
the presence of the f-word in songs, while a smaller number have dealt with
the use of the f-word during on-air discussions. The CBSC has consistently ruled that broadcast
of the f-word on radio during daytime and early evening hours constitutes
a breach of the CAB Code of Ethics.
The Quebec Panel is aware of the fact that language usage is constantly
in a state of evolution, both on the French and English sides of
In the circumstances, a review of CBSC jurisprudence
is warranted. The first occasion on
which the CBSC addressed the issue of the f-word in songs was in
CIOX-FM re the songs "Livin' It Up" by Limp
Bizkit and "Outside" by Aaron Lewis and Fred Durst (CBSC Decision 00/01-0670,
In the case of the song lyrics in "Livin' It Up", the Panel finds that the repeated use of the coarse and offensive language "fucker", "fuck" and "motherfucker" constitutes a breach of the CAB Code of Ethics when broadcast at hours when children could reasonably be expected to be listening. In the event that an edited version of the song was unavailable, CIOX-FM had the choice of delaying the airplay until a later hour or not playing the unedited song at all. The choice made constitutes a breach of [...] the CAB Code of Ethics.
While, in the song "Outside", the inappropriate word,
"motherfuckin'", was used only once, as a live interjection by the singer
at the time of the
The CBSC Prairie Regional Panel came to a similar
conclusion in CJKR-FM
re the song "Highway Girl (Live)" by the Tragically Hip (CBSC Decision
Then, in CFNY-FM
re the song "Cubically Contained" by the Headstones
(CBSC Decision 01/02-0456,
It should, moreover, be noted that music recording companies,
like distributors of motion pictures, generally create more than one version
of their respective products. They
understand that, in order to facilitate the responsibilities of broadcasters
and to render broadcast markets more accessible to their products, they must
provide versions that are susceptible of being aired. While broadcasters themselves frequently edit
motion pictures, whether for content or to ensure that there are appropriate
breaks for commercials, it is obvious that recorded popular songs are not
as readily susceptible of broadcaster intervention. The decision for the broadcaster, when there
is no edited version of a song, may, therefore, become, in black and white
terms, whether to play or not to play. Knowing
that, in order to assure air time, recording companies frequently provide
a second version which they consider suitable for radio broadcast.
Consequently, even in the absence of an edited
version of a song, the decision of the broadcaster to play the song constituted
a violation of the CAB Code of Ethics.
Four CBSC decisions have also treated the broadcast
of the f-word in on-air discussions. In
re Warren on the Weekend (CBSC Decision
01/02-0721, January 14, 2003), CJAY-FM re Forbes and Friends (Chinese Language "Translations") (CBSC
Decision 02/03-1646, April 16, 2004), CFNY-FM
re the Show with Dean Blundell (David Carradine Appearance)
(CBSC Decision 03/04-1305, October 22, 2004) and
CFGQ-FM (CKIK-FM) re a live Tragically
Hip concert and interview (CBSC Decision 03/04-1850, November 1, 2004)
the CBSC Adjudicating Panels found the broadcasts of the expressions "fuck
off", "fuck" and "fucking super" to be in breach of Clause 9 of the CAB
Code of Ethics.
Based on all of the foregoing decisions and the
state of the CBSC jurisprudence at this time, the Quebec Regional Panel concludes
that the use of the f-word at a time of the day when children could be listening
constitutes a breach of the prohibition against the broadcast of unduly coarse
or offensive language contained in Clause 9(c) of the CAB Code of Ethics.
In all of its decisions, the CBSC assesses the
broadcaster's responsiveness to the complainant. In accordance with the Responsibilities of Membership,
broadcasters are required to respond to complainants within 21 days of receiving
a copy of the complaint from the CBSC. Broadcasters are also expected to provide thoughtful,
thorough responses to complainants. In
previous instances where broadcasters have failed to respond to complainants
in a timely manner and only replied when prompted to do so by the CBSC, the
Adjudicating Panels have expressed their dissatisfaction with the broadcaster's
For example, in TQS re Scheduling of Advertisements and Promos (CBSC Decisions 98/99-0212,
-0213 and -0882, June 23, 1999), the broadcaster totally ignored the complainant's
letter until the CBSC, following up on the issue months later, provoked a
reply. The Quebec Regional Panel stated
that "the broadcaster [...] was on the verge of being in breach [of its membership
responsibility of responsiveness] by not responding to the complaint of December
30 until prompted by the CBSC to do so."
The CBSC was similarly forced to "chase after"
the broadcaster for a response in CHIK-FM
re Les Grandes Gueules (CBSC Decision
The Quebec Panel can do no differently on this
occasion. It considers that the broadcaster
was on the cusp of breaching one of the responsibilities of membership of
the CBSC. It regrets that CHOM-FM was
not more forthcoming in its communication with the complainant and trusts
that the failure to conform to the process in which all other private broadcasters,
with rare exception, participate, was an isolated event. Members of the public who take the time to write
of their concerns deserve the courtesy of a timely and thoughtful reply, quite
apart from the issue of the established obligations under the CBSC Manual.
There is, needless to say, no obligation to agree with the complainant
but the acknowledgment of the registration of a complaint is mandatory.
As this Panel stated recently in its decision in CJAD-AM
re an episode of the Tommy Schnurmacher Show (logger tapes)
(CBSC Decision 03/04-0089,
That dialogue is not only a part of every broadcaster's CBSC membership obligations, it also represents the public's sense of security in the process of self-regulation. While broadcasters are always involved with the reaction of their audiences to what they put on air, this dialogue with a listener is the manifestation to the complainant of that involvement.
announcement of the decision
CHOM-FM is required to: 1) announce the decision, in the following terms,
once during peak listening hours within three days following the release of
this decision and once more with seven days following the release of this
decision during the time period in which the song "Locked in the Trunk of
a Car" by the Tragically Hip was broadcast; 2)
within the fourteen days following the broadcast of the announcements,
to provide written confirmation of the airing of the statement to the complainant
who filed the Ruling Request; and 3) at that time, to provide the CBSC with
that written confirmation and with air check copies of the broadcasts of the
two announcements which must be made by CHOM-FM.
The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council has found that CHOM-FM has breached a provision of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' Code of Ethics in its broadcast of the song "Locked in the Trunk of a Car" by the Tragically Hip on
September 21, 2004. By airing the song, which contained a coarse word, CHOM-FM violated Clause 9 of the CAB Code of Ethics which prohibits the broadcast of unduly coarse and offensive language.
This decision is a public document upon its release by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.