I seriously, SERIOUSLY debated whether or not to post this song. The 2nd verse, in a modern era, is really troubling. Indeed, the Canadian Broadcast Services Council has banned the song in an unedited form, because of that lyric. And I don't really disagree with that decision.
In context, I decided to do it. Here's why:
1) the narrator of the song is intended to be an ignorant man. The use of that one slur IS intentional, and not complementary to the narrator. Mark Knopfler intentionally wrote an ignorant character you are supposed to despise.
2) from a historical standpoint, coming four years after the advent of MTV, it was the first big hit song to acknowledge that channel's influence.
3) MTV still uses Sting's "I Want My MTV" that he sang for this song in their promotional materials.
4) I wanted to illustrate how far we have come as a society since 1985. That slur was just casually tossed about in the 1980s - and today, it's horrifying to hear.
Forgetting that lyric for a moment, the song itself is great, combining the 80s synth sound with some terrific guitar work. The song itself is a gem, the video iconic.