Saturday, October 15, 2005


NB Telegraph-Journal | Saint John
As published on page B4 on October 15, 2005

Radio host reprimanded for caller's comments
CFBC takes steps to improve caller screening for Talk of the Town


Grant Kerr

A Saint John radio host has received a slap on the wrist from management after failing to stop a caller from uttering threats over the air of a call-in show.

Rick Mantle, host of CFBC 930 AM's Talk of the Town, was given a written reprimand after a caller suggested that in order to remove Common Council from office, one way might be to "hire an assassin if you have to". That was in reaction to a public policy decision that angered the caller.

Those words were unacceptable to Gordon Dalzell, a retired social worker who heard the call on Aug. 24.


"As a social worker for 32 years I have spent my whole life promoting peaceable and socially appropriate means of dealing with conflict and violence," Mr. Dalzell said.

He was upset that Mr. Mantle's response to the caller was, "I wouldn't go that far," without offering a more stern rebuke.

The comments made by the caller caused Mr. Dalzell, who was driving at the time, to write down the rant after he had pulled his car over. He then sent a complaint to national broadcasting regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Council (CRTC). The CRTC passed the complaint to the station owner, Maritime Broadcasting (MBS), as is the practice.

As a result of Mr. Dalzell's complaint, MBS gave Mr. Mantle a written reprimand. In a letter to Mr. Dalzell, dated Oct. 2, a manager stated, "although our goal is still to allow the public to express their views, that guidelines of acceptable behaviour have to be policed."


The letter also stated that "While we support the right to free speech, we agree that the caller's comments crossed the line of acceptable behaviour. We agree that the onus is on us, as the broadcaster of this program, to not only air the caller, but to guide them on acceptable behaviour."

The letter was signed Dan Barton, the Moncton-based director of programming for MBS.

The radio station has also improved its caller screening process by hiring former host, Terry Wallace, to produce the show and screen the calls, reminding callers about acceptable on-air behaviour.


kvaller said...

I think, perhaps, that Mr. Dalzell should take a "chill pill" (or is this too derogatory a comment which might lead him to report this site to the internet police?)
I am sure that Rick Mantle, on his own, would already have decided that next time this caller called in that he/she would have been reminded to tone down their statements. I see no reason for this comment to be reported straight to the CRTC as, if it were me, I would have no qualms about contacting the radio station and discuss my concerns. Perhaps Gordon has a "personal agenda" here and is looking to silence our talk show host who is, really and truly, the only real "voice of the people" in this area of the province.
Keep listening and calling and best of luck for a continuing and long future, Rick!

Charles LeBlanc said...

It is always with interest that I read your blog. Many similar things
happen here in New South Wales (my state in Australia). It really
grass roots activism to keep them honest - otherwise it ends up like
infamous Tammany Hall government in the USA.

Keep up the good fight

jwmcq said...

I too think that Gordon should chill. Maybe part of Gordon's problem is being a social worker by profession, and he feels that everything can be solved by talking nice. The fact is that problems probably could be solved by talking, if the people they are trying to communicate with respected the people, and actually listened to them, but respect and listening isn't a strong suit for politicians towards the electorate

He of all people should realize that politicians just aren't listening anymore, they are too busy cow-towing to those who have money, and power. How many times has he complained about pollution coming from the various industrial enterprises, and how many times has the Environment Department went out of their way to whitewash or minimize the facts, to cover for the that they cannot or will not do their jobs in protecting people's health over industry profits.

Maybe Gordon should stick to his forte, Social Work, and let the politician's who decided to run for public office defend themselves, or his his next endeavor to run for office, and he doesn't want anyone to be able to criticize his decisions?

Defenderofgood said...

A stiff fine is in order. I recall last spring a caller using Hitler analogies, without the host calling him out. I wish I had recorded the date and time and reported it.

Maurice the homeless guy said...

"a caller using Hitler analogies"???

I wonder who the creep was???

PAT said...

Mr. Dalzell could of went about it differently but I'm sure it won't change much. Frustrated people will say things and it is hard to filter everything comming through.
CFBC good job and keep the lines of communications open. Thanks for being there for the people because our Mayor and Councillors and Lord government do not care or listen to the people. But expect some white washing shortly with Hooten and the Lord government and promises. Hopefully people take the time to voice their opinion and also vote. Crash and burn. Don't give the Lord government anymore power.