Sun News finally issues apology for Levant on-air profanity
September 21, 2012
TORONTO - More than three months after it was ordered by the CBSC to tell its audience it violated broadcast standards, Sun News Network has finally issued an on-air apology. The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council ruling stemmed from comments made by Ezra Levant in a December 22, 2011 episode of The Source, a public affairs talk program he hosts.
In that episode’s opening monologue he criticized the Chiquita Banana company for boycotting oil from the Alberta oilsands. He called a Chiquita executive a “liar” and told him to “chinga tu madre” – a Spanish-language insult that translates to “f**k your mother.” As reported by Cartt.ca, the CBSC found that Levant’s insults constituted a breach of Clause 6 of the CAB Code of Ethics.
Instead of apologizing, an unrepentant Levant unleashed a 16-minute rant on June 13, calling for the CBSC to be abolished and later issued a statement in which he called the complainants “whiners.”
The following is the text of the on-air apology that Sun News made the afternoon of September 17:
“Earlier this summer and last spring, our program The Source broadcast several episodes in which the Spanish phrase “Chinga tu madre” was used.
The phrase was used first in the context of criticizing the actions of a corporation that had involved itself in the debate over Canada’s oilsands, and later in the context of a ruling by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council concerning the original use of the phrase.
Sun News and the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council received many complaints about our use of the phrase, which has a well-known vulgar meaning.
We have listened to those complaints. We understand and accept that it was inappropriate to air that phrase at that time of day and without a viewer warning about vulgar content that might be offensive to some viewers.
Sun News does not accept any restriction on our right to use sharp or hard-hitting language as part of our editorial commentary; however, it is not our objective to offend our viewers.
Sun News is on your side.”