Humorous Comments in Morning Show Violate Broadcast Standards, Says Canadian Broadcast Standards Council

Ottawa, May 24, 2012 – The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) today released three decisions concerning the Dean Blundell Show broadcast on CFNY-FM (102.1 The Edge, Toronto).  The CBSC found some comments made by the hosts in violation of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ (CAB) Code of Ethics, Equitable Portrayal Code and Violence Code.

In the first decision, the CBSC examined two “Edge Files” segments in which the hosts comment on unusual news stories.  The CBSC’s Ontario Regional Panel concluded that a graphic discussion about a woman who had skinned a cat in order to make a fur costume was gratuitous contrary to Clause 9 (a) of the CAB Code of Ethics and glamorized violence contrary to Article 9.1 of the CAB Violence Code.  Other conversations about news stories with sexual elements were not so explicit as to constitute a breach of the Code.  A story about the mistreatment of autistic children did not violate any Code provisions.

In the second decision, the CBSC examined multiple segments from different broadcast dates.  The Ontario Panel concluded that jokes about Jesus Christ’s sex life violated the CAB Equitable Portrayal Code and a reference to all women as “sluts” breached both that Code and the CAB Code of Ethics.  Other comments about women’s body parts and the use of the word “gay” to mean “stupid” did not violate those Codes.

In the third decision, the CBSC examined a segment entitled “Wha’ Happened?” in which callers recount stories of unusual things that have happened to them and the hosts award a prize for the “best” one.  A caller explained how he had hit a woman with his truck the previous night.  The woman was not fatally injured and the man was not charged with any offence.  The caller and hosts laughed about the situation.  The Ontario Panel concluded that the segment did not promote, sanction or glamorize the act.

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 750 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