CBSC: no violation as abusive comments immediately disputed

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has released its decision on a
listener complaint that morning radio program The Kid Carson Show aired content
that was discriminatory against women by interviewing the author of a
book and website titled Men Are Better than Women, Broadcaster Magazine reports.

“During the segment, American author Dick Masterson provided his thoughts on women and explained his motivations for publishing his controversial book and website.  He made outrageous statements about women, asserted that women should not be allowed in the paid workforce, and concluded that men simply do everything better. The Kid Carson Show hosts and each of the callers challenged Masterson on every one of his points, questioned why he had such negative views of women, and asked what his own mother thought of his work. Carson also suggested that Masterson could not be serious and was only trying to be provocative in order to sell books.”

The majority of the CBSC’s British Columbia Regional Panel concluded
that the broadcast did not violate any broadcast codes, Broadcaster
reports, because “the hosts and callers had consistently and immediately refuted all of Masterson’s anti-female views.”  

Here are the Panel’s observations:

“[T]he unsavoury Masterson comments were effectively blunted, indeed destroyed.  By reason of the reaction of the three hosts, supplemented by the callers, nothing remained but buffoonery.  […]  [Masterson] was continually mocked by the women co-hosts, and Carson suggested that much of the controversial opinion was simply exaggerated to sell books.  […]  The unduly discriminatory, unduly negative stereotypical and abusive comments were debated on a level playing field, and the unacceptable comments were left tattered on that field of debate.  Not a sentence, not a phrase, not a word was left credibly afoot.  However problematic the opening and periodic Masterson assertions, there is in the result the contextual survival of the program itself.  The Panel finds no ultimate breach of the codified standards.”

Broadcaster points out that one Panel adjudicators disagreed with the decision, saying “by allowing Masterson on the program, the broadcaster has in effect polluted the program by his abusiveness directed at women.”