Radio Freethinker

Vancouver's Number 1 Skeptical Podcast and Radio Show

Show notes for Episode 98

Posted by Ethan Clow on January 19, 2011

Radio Freethinker Episode 98 – CBC Marketplace? CBC Marketplace! Private hospital rooms, UBC Hospice vs Spirits, Witchcraft and Wizards abroad, plus Censorship is discussed.

Download the episode here!

Song: Money for Nothing by the Dire Straits

Skeptic News:

Cure or Con? – CBC Marketplace – see the episode here and see some international coverage at NeuroLogical, Respectful Insolence, Bad Astronomy

Infections halved with private rooms: study, see here

Hospice planned for UBC attacked on grounds of an unhealthy mix of spirits–expert-weighs-in-on-ubc-hospice-controversy

Dubai ‘Wizard’ Jailed For Promising Rain Of Cash, see here

Romania Legalizes Witchcraft As Profession, see here

Space station excursions for sale in 2013, see here


Censorship – Canada bans the song “Money for Nothing” by the Dire Straits and Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn is edited removing the N-word.

What about offending women? See here. Can it be art and offensive? See here.

Money for Nothing Controversy, see here

Huck Finn controversy, see here

Skeptical Highlights:

Jan 22nd is Cafe Inquiry: How to “pwn” a Believer – Saturday the 22nd at 11am at SFU Harbour Centre Room 2925 – all about learning how to argue with a believer, when to press the issue and when to walk away. See Facebook event here

CFI lecture on Jan 28th Does God Hate Women? With Ophelia Benson – UBC Room BUCH A102 – Jan 28th which is a Friday at 7pm Admission: $5 General $2 Students FREE for CFI Members. See Facebook event here

Wikileaks Swiss Bank – follow the story here



One Response to “Show notes for Episode 98”

  1. Maurice Jenkinson said

    I just recently started listening to Radio Freethinker and enjoy it very much. I commend everyone involved for their hard work and dedication to rooting out nonsense and pseudo-science.

    However, I do have a few concerns about how the issues surrounding the Dire Straits song “Money for Nothing” were treated.

    First, the claim is made on the website that “Canada bans the song…” and in the podcast, one of the moderators muses that it might be ‘illegal’ for them to play “Money for Nothing”. This is quite incorrect. The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council is a non-governmental body that acts on behalf of its members who have voluntarily agreed to abide by its decisions. Characterizing this issue as government censorship is a serious misunderstanding.

    Second, during the broadcast one of the moderators observes how unfair it is that one person’s complaint could result in such a far-reaching decision. I see nothing wrong or peculiar about this. It’s quite common for our Supreme Court to make rulings based on an original complaint made by one person. And in the United States, we need only recall that things like “Miranda” rights are so named because one person (Miranda) originally filed a complaint about their right to be duly informed about their rights upon being arrested.

    So this seems a non-issue to me.

    Finally, the moderators note that the word ‘faggot’ in the song is used ‘ironically’. We may all therefore heave a sigh of relief that English majors won’t then be going out and committing hate crimes, but it’s still quite possible that others less perceptive might hear the casual use of this pejorative term and conclude that it’s acceptable. Sometimes, lyrics embedded within a catchy tune don’t always get interpreted in the way that the lyricist intended.

    I have no objection to an unedited version of “Money for Nothing” being available for purchase or download where the person expresses a clear intention to listen to the song. However, when the song is played on public airwaves for people who are passively listening, I can see a case being made that using homophobic slurs is not acceptable. I don’t think a strong enough argument has been made that either ‘context’ or ‘free speech’ excuses the use of a word that many in the gay community have come to see as a club that’s been wielded (both figuratively and literally) to terrorize them. Indeed, an argument can be made that teenagers hearing the word ‘faggot’ in a popular song somehow legitimizes them using it in situations that aren’t ‘ironic’ or a demonstration of freedom of speech.

    Aside from this issue, I appreciate the issues you raise in your podcast and the clarity of thought you apply to them. Keep up the good work!

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