Censor rebukes Quebec radio host

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TORONTO -- Canada's broadcast censors on Thursday sanctioned popular Quebec radio talk show host Pierre Mailloux for disparaging comments about foreigners, including Haitians and Cubans, on at least three occasions.

Mailloux, who hosts the Quebec call-in program "Doc Mailloux" on Montreal radio station CKAC, was found by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council to have breached industry codes by uttering abusive comments, sexually explicit dialogue and coarse language.

In the first of three rulings issued Thursday, the CBSC said Mailloux ran afoul of a self-regulating industry code of conduct during a March 27, 2006, broadcast in which he ranted about Cuba being a "deficient country."

"Those who go, those who visit Cuba, could you just please open your eyes. Damned bunch of blind people. A deficient country? You're going to visit deficients. Could you at least have the decency to bring us back some intelligent observations, instead of walking around in a bikini and a swimsuit with your belly showing," a CBSC transcript of the broadcast reads.

The tirade prompted a listener to write the CBSC, complaining that the comments reflected "prejudice towards these peoples, and I consider them to be discriminatory, racist, offensive and prejudicial toward them."

Citing a separate 2005 ruling in which the Canadian censors fingered Mailloux for referring to Sikhs as a "gang of bozos," the CBSC agreed with the complainant.

"When ... he (Mailloux) holds identifiable groups up to ridicule and disrespect by making abusive or unduly discriminatory comments, he crosses the line of entitlement and loses the benefit of the shield of free expression," the CBSC ruling argues.

Mailloux crossed another line during an April 4, 2006, broadcast on food banks when the CBSC said he used "degrading and abusive" comments about Haitians and women.

Separately, the CBSC slapped Mailloux down for urging stepped-up population decline in Russia by insisting during a May 30, 2006, broadcast that "for that deficient country, it may not be a bad thing. I think they had enough morons, and a few less wouldn't be a bad thing."

The CBSC ordered Corus Entertainment, the Canadian broadcaster that owns and operates CKAC in Montreal, on which "Doc Mailloux" airs, to broadcast notice of the CBSC decisions in primetime.

In an added measure, the CBSC also ordered Corus to "provide a concrete indication of the measures it intends to put in place to avoid further similar violations of the (industry) codes."

The CBSC, based in Ottawa, referees the Canadian airwaves on behalf of domestic broadcasters.
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