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Unsackable: why Alan Jones can say what he likes

The public might wonder why Alan Jones can get away with increasingly outrageous comments — but with this many share options, and that many listeners, it’s hard to get the Parrot to stop screeching.

Politicians are railing against him, social media is in meltdown and advertisers are pulling their spending. Yet, despite his insensitive comments about Julia Gillard’s father to the Sydney University Liberal Club, Alan Jones’ status as the king of talkback seems as assured as ever.

As Crikey hit deadline this morning, over 17,000 people had signed a change.org petition calling for 2GB to terminate Jones’ contract immediately.

Yet that’s an unlikely — almost impossible — proposition for several reasons. If any Australian media personality is unsackable, it’s Alan Jones.

Firstly, Jones is more than just an employee of the Macquarie Radio Network, which owns 2GB. Although the popular belief that he owns 20% of the company isn’t true, he is its fourth largest shareholder. When Jones re-signed with 2GB in 2008, he received 4,000,000 MRN share options as part of the deal. In August he exercised his option for a first tranche of 1,333, 334 shares, putting him behind only John Singleton, Mark Carnegie and Russell Tate in the ownership stakes.

Then there’s the Parrot’s contribution to the station’s profits. Macquarie Radio Network has only two assets: 2GB and golden oldies music station 2CH. And on 2GB, only two shows command an average audience over 80,000.

There are two people who make the station work: Alan Jones first and Ray Hadley second,” says stockbroker Roger Colman.

Although Hadley has a bigger audience share, it was Jones who transformed 2GB from a ratings joke into a juggernaut, and it’s Jones who has the most listeners. According to the latest ratings results, 151,000 Sydneysiders are tuned in to his show at any one time. A total of 442,000 listen over a week.

It’s important to remember exactly who those listeners are when assessing the likely impact of Jones’ latest gaffe. They’re not likley to be venting their spleen on Twitter or signing online petitions.

Colman describes the relationship between Jones and his audience as a “closed and unbreakable circle”. ”His key listeners are over 55, they are right wing. They agree with him that Julia Gillard is a bitch and witch. There is no mismatch between him and his listeners.”

That’s why Colman says Jones’ latest comments are a “non issue” when it comes to the long-term profitability of his show.

Jones’ biographer, Chris Masters, agrees: “His evangelical following is small but big in radio terms. They won’t be upset by what he has to say. They are true believers. I don’t think they’d be too bothered at 2GB. The fact this man has been lead news across the nation would delight them.”

Indeed, there’s no sign that being outrageous counts against radio hosts in the long term. Mazda, Telstra, Harvey Norman, Fantastic Furniture, Blackmores, Crazy John’s, Holden, Vodafone and the Good Guys pulled their sponsorship from Kyle Sandilands’ TV and radio shows last year after he vilified a female journalist. Yet despite the outrage, the Kyle and Jackie O show is back on top of the ratings with 584,000 Sydney residents tuning in every week (more than listen to Jones). And there’s no shortage of sponsors filling the ad breaks.

Cynics note that canny advertisers can get plaudits for pulling their ads when the controversy is raging, then quietly buy ad space again when the heat dies down.

Then there is Jones’ track record: he’s survived plenty of storms as turbulent than this. Remember the London loo incident? The cash for comment scandal? His role in the Cronulla riots? Calling for Gillard to be thrown out to sea in a chaff bag?

The nation is shocked by this but I’m not a bit surprised,” Masters said. “If Jones is exposed to a broader audience, he will get a reaction like this. If the broad public see and hear what he gets up to they are appalled.” Yet after each outrage Jones bounces back more popular than before.

ABC Radio National’s Phillip Adams put it best when he told Crikey’s sister site The Power Index last year: “He is like Godzilla roaming around eating power lines. Rather than getting electrocuted, he grows stronger.”

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  • 1
    paddy
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    While Jones has survived plenty of storms before, it’s hard to know just how badly this one might damage his brand. As you say, sponsors are justly notorious for grabbing the kudos of “ditching” a problematic host, and then quietly slipping back when the fuss dies down.
    But the intensity of the latest outrage seems much greater than the previous episodes. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the coming weeks.
    Who knows, maybe social media is actually growing more powerful?
    Interesting times.

  • 2
    michael r james
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    This is why the campaign against the 2GB advertisers needs to get serious and be persistent, especially Woolworths who have carefully parsed their withdrawal of advertising to encompass only Jones not 2GB, and have a particularly disreputable role in the insults:

    Peter Coorey, today’s SMH:
    “The jacket (made from chaf bags) was donated by Woolworths community relations manager Simon Berger, who was a preselection candidate for the federal seat of Bradfield after Brendan Nelson resigned. … A Woolworths spokeswoman told the National Times Mr Berger was at the function as a private citizen, not a company representative.”

    Other advertisers:

    Harvey Norman
    Mercedes-Benz
    Challenger
    Freedom Furniture
    Virgin Australia
    Hyundai
    Toyota

  • 3
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    MATTHEW KNOTT: How does “”Hadley having a bigger audience share”” equal “”Jones has the most listeners?”” I’m confused.

  • 4
    Draco Houston
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    In today’s society Alan Jones can broadcast whatever he wants and get away with it. If he gets in trouble he makes a public apology, says that it was taken out of context and so on.

    It is fine that he has the opinions he holds, but to express some of them in such a crass way is very unprofessional. He can hate Julia Gillard all he wants, but saying that her father died of shame shows a complete lack of tact. He SHOULD be more clever about it.

    He can say what he wants but ‘freedom of speech’ does not shield anyone from the social consequences. People will be offended and no legal protections will soften that. While it does not always directly affect Mr Jones, a decent man would take it into consideration and not say the offensive thing at all. There are other ways to get your point across. He could have easily called Gillard a liar without involving her recently deceased father.

    In a decent society he’d be tapped on the shoulder and told to keep it civil or step away from the mic and take that crap to a blog or youtube channel where it belongs. However, the market decides that he stays and continues doing what he does and any consideration of the feelings of others are set aside.

    A shame we do not live in a world where the people who can sack Jones don’t see any reason to go beyond their legal responsibilities (retraction/apology), because today there simply isn’t one.

  • 5
    David Allen
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    That’s why Colman says Jones’ latest comments are a “non issue” when it comes to the long-term profitability of his show”

    But, when his activities encroach on a wider audience, as in this case, and we take action against his and 2GB national sponsors, it affects the sponsors business.

    From the sponsor’s point of view, why risk alienating millions to appeal to about 150,000 low income, low intelligence Jones’ listeners?

  • 6
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Alan Jones is scum, and the people who listen to him more so. If people weren’t listening to him the advertising industry wouldn’t be interested in his program.

    All the apparent outrage would be much better addressed if the old people of Sydney reined in their prurience and love of rudeness and simply switched him off.

    There appears to be a common belief among the recently wealthy that the more you bollock your beginnings, the greater become one’s achievements.

  • 7
    matthews chris
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Rather than provide disheartening and self defeating analysis it would be better for Gideon to add his considerable brain power to working out how to deal with this grub (to use a Roy and HG term). All we have to do is find the correct frequency and the economic and demographic walls of 2GB’s Jericho will come tumbling down.

    One suggestion already made by Sarah Hanson Young (who does occasionally have good ideas) is that politicians undertake not to appear on his show- we need to capitalise on this with letters to our local members of parliament seeking their promise not to do so- and we need to publicise a list of shame of those that do appear.

    We also need to take the rage from twitter and turn it into word of mouth. The Jones demographic have relatives, friends and work mates who can speak up and start to turn around the level of public political debate in Australia.

    We should lobby our super funds to ensure they do not invest in 2GB.

    We should, if we haven’t already, sign petitions and write to adverstisers, adding that we will be watching them even when the furore is over.

    We should not give in.

  • 8
    zut alors
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Michael RJ, thanks for the list.

    While petitions seem a fine idea and require minimal effort to join online, a far more effective protest is to telephone the sponsor directly and ask for their PR section. Sponsors will be impacted more when their telephone lines are clogged and their staff’s time is wasted in damage control. Also, the caller enjoys the satisfaction of an anti-2GB/Jones vent.

    Management will never sack him, the petition is a dud exercise. Follow the money - make a couple sponsor calls instead.

  • 9
    Mark from Melbourne
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    A low rent toe rag but unfortunately there are plenty who are like minded including John and Jeanette Howard who seem particularly taken with him. These people are genuinely amazed when you suggest he is a hate mongerer and nasty piece of work.

    So as much as I think he should be deprived of oxygen that doesn’t necessarily fix the problem.

    And good on Gillard for ignoring him. Not only does he think he can say these things but he also assumes that the PM of the day will take his calls. You cant criticise him for sheer brass.

  • 10
    Salamander
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Well it’s not good enough. Jones is a blight on civil society. Simply boycott the advertisers if that’s the only way to get him off air.

  • 11
    GeeWizz
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    What Alan Jones said about the passing of Gillard’s father is reprehensible, but I do totally agree with him that Julia Gillard is a protected species and that the Labor Party woman brigade is trying to protect her from any criticism simply because she is female.

    Thankfully we live in a free country where we don’t often agree with comments made but as Obama said recently in his speech, we should defend the right to say them.

  • 12
    Holden Back
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Precisely right Gee Wiz ‘criticism simply because she is female.’ is exactly what Gillard doesn’t deserve. Make substantial criticisms of her policies, but don’t simply patronise her because of her gender.

  • 13
    Madonna
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    @GeeWizz
    I disagree with the notion there’s a labor Party woman brigade protecting the PM. AJ is a gender basher. He couldn’t pay me to listen to his crap.
    And your comment smells a lot like Julie Bishop’s LNP rhetoric to me.
    Just saying and exercising my right to free speech and all…

  • 14
    Cuisle
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Alan Jones quite obviously wears teflon suits. How is it that his episode in a London public toilet several years ago is never bought up? Is it just because most people know how to behave decently even while others are able to get away with the most indecent behaviour?

  • 15
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    HB: Precisely

  • 16
    muncher
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    He is obviously a Sontaran, just hit him on the button on his neck and the problem will go away. Simple really

  • 17
    GeeWizz
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Precisely right Gee Wiz ‘criticism simply because she is female.’ is exactly what Gillard doesn’t deserve. “

    Uhhh… you read my comment wrong.

    The Labor Kabul think that Gillard isn’t allowed to be criticised because she is a woman. Terms like Misogynist have been thrown around by the Labor Party and it’s supporters because they can’t handle the fact Gillard has been a massive failure as PM and is being criticised.

    Of course this is a standard leftwing tactic… throw around -isms and -ists words when you are losing the argument and debate. We’ve seen it time and time again.

  • 18
    Salamander
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    In the past Jones has made disgusting misogynistic remarks about Gillard which are unacceptable. On this occasion gender is not the issue, but gross rudeness and inhumanity.

  • 19
    zut alors
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps Gee Wizz has a point about there being ‘a Labor Party woman brigade’.

    After all, there’s a plethora of women on the government’s front bench - unlike the coalition’s equal opportunity front bench which takes inspiration from the early 20th century.

  • 20
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    The thing that bothers me about it is that those who laud free speech don’t like it when it is about them.

  • 21
    Liz45
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Which is why it’s important to appeal to the companies that provide the money. Without them, there’s no 2GB! Simple!

    I was disgusted by his behaviour during the Cronulla riots - he urged Anglo-Saxon youth to assault the ‘Lebos’ etc. He did NOT even get a slap on the wrist by anyone - even the police! Anyone else who uttered such words would’ve been whipped for it! He stood in front of revolting placards during the demo near Parlt House, and obviously felt no revulsion by them? Says it all really! He’s used his venom on women in general. This person is typical of too many of his generation - we need to let them know, that such behaviour is beyond decency.

    We’ve just witnessed an outpouring of grief and solidarity over a horrific crime of violence against a young woman - for his to speak like this does nothing for the image of men as haters of women! It needs to stop!

    For some Liberals to take exception to being linked with Jones’ comments is a bit rich! Abbott is the Federal Leader of the Liberal Party, who aspires to be PM. If this situation was reversed, the Libs would be screaming for JG to condemn the comments/behaviour without exception. Alan Jones’ so called apology was a joke? Not even a Clayton’s joke at that! In itself, it was offensive!

    Abbott took 7 hours after I heard of this debacle to even make his two sentence comment. I didn’t hear his outrage at such comments; or his condemnation of raffling a chaff bag (with it’s real meaning) or anything else for that matter. He didn’t inform his youthful party members that such attitudes to women were not the liberal party way, etc. NOT ONE WORD! I’m disgusted with these hateful, ugly little men!

  • 22
    Bill Hilliger
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Gee Whiz, under freedom of speech, is it right to ask whether its true that Alan Jones and Cory Bernardi are in some kind of alliance? I mean, some people say that likes attract, etc. What say you under freedom of speech.

  • 23
    Liz45
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    @GEE WIZZ - You conveniently forget the demands of the Opposition to JG over the Thomson affair, as though she was personally responsible/involved in it! Anything that any trade union member or leader is honed back at her - even if she was out of the country or whatever when it happened.

    IF the Libs insist on taking the high moral ground when it’s convenient for them, they should take condemnation when they’re found to be participating in disgusting and public behaviour! The fact is, that Abbott has form via his sexist and revolting behaviour. He aspires to be PM. IF he can’t show real leadership in an instance like this, he doesn’t deserve to lead the nation. Abbott thinks it’s OK to swear at female menbers of Parlt; he made a gross comment re military people in Afghanistan (“SHIT HAPPENS”)he’s made sexist remarks about women “doing the ironing” type of attitude. He shouldn’t have to be dragged into the 21st century! Over 50% of the population are female, yet men are responsible for over 90% of the violence in the community. Violent behaviours start from hateful language! Abbott has only given lessons on how to do it and get away with it!

    Thanks to the journalist with a sense of decency and courage! I haven’t agreed with a lot of things the Labor Govt is doing, but I voice them without resorting to such behaviour. Abbott and his merry band of supporters are in the gutter, and this episode hasn’t seen them climbing out of it!

  • 24
    GeeWizz
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    After all, there’s a plethora of women on the government’s front bench - unlike the coalition’s equal opportunity front bench which takes inspiration from the early 20th century.”

    Sorry I’ve gotta pull you up on this one despite going off-topic.

    Are you saying that the Liberal Party should be picking their front bench based on gender and not ability?

    Isn’t that… ohh whats that word again.. oh yes… s_xist?

    The left really get themselves in trouble with this tokenism rubbish, most Australians just won’t accept it.

  • 25
    Holden Back
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    No Gee Wiz, you wrote inelegantly, which allowed me to interpret you actual word in a manner other than you intended.

    Shit Happens.

  • 26
    Liz45
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    @zut alors - How often do you watch Parlt? I watch on a regular basis and I take particular note of the environment in the Parlt - sometimes I’m doing hand sewing or cutting out, but even when my head is bent, I can hear the difference when a female Govt member stands up to either ask a question or give an answer.

    I also keep an eye on the Opposition front bench and note their rudeness and interjecting particularly when a woman is speaking. Abbott displays utter rudeness when either the PM or a Govt person is speaking - he just turns his back. Sometimes he has a look of rage or hatred on his face!

    I’ve seen his attitude to journalists who have the audacity to ask a probing question/s. I have footage of such a look when Tony JOnes probed about his relationship with Pell and funds for private schools - he was forced to admit that he’d told a lie. The look on his face while the credits went up was one of sheer loathing! I don’t think he knew the camera was on him! And there’s been other occasions where he’s just walked out of a media conference with a look of rage on his face! Not leadership material in my view!

    If, when confronted with a revolting act someone I know is accused of, and if when I see or hear the situation but chose not to condemn it, then aren’t I just the same as them? The Liberal Party has shown its true colours by not condemning this behaviour. Don’t forget the raffle of the “chaff bag”? At least Woolworths is putting its position on hold - apparently the person who donated this item is a high ranked person in the company!

    Money or withdrawal of same will be the only ‘weapon’ of prevention! Sad but true!

  • 27
    zut alors
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    @ GeeWizz: ‘Are you saying that the Liberal Party should be picking their front bench based on gender and not ability?’

    No, Wizzie, that’s not even close to what I was saying. Re-read my original post - slowly, carefully and concentrate hard. Perhaps I was implying that the government doesn’t fetter talent based on being female.

    End of diversion. Back on topic.

  • 28
    GeeWizz
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    @GEE WIZZ - You conveniently forget the demands of the Opposition to JG over the Thomson affair, as though she was personally responsible/involved in it!”

    Actually all they had asked her do was remove him from the Labor Party, which she refused to for 6 months until 1 day before the FWA report was released(surprise surprise).

    This woman lacks judgement… she lacks good decision making.. she constantly goes from bungle to bungle… she has a legitimacy problem and Australians don’t trust her. This is not because she is a woman, but rather because she is loose with the truth and is a poor leader.

    The best person for a job isn’t a gender or a race, rather the person with the best abilities to do the job, thats why artificial quotas and tokenistic gestures fail the commonsense test.

  • 29
    zut alors
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    LIz45, I watch Question Time every sitting day and rarely miss a trick. I used to enjoy visiting Canberra and attending in person but since 2010 the bovver boys on the coalition front bench have effectively killed off that exercise. Their nonsensical antics no longer warrant attendance.

    These days when I feel the need to dumb down I watch half an hour of US TV instead - it saves on airfares and costly hotel expenses.

  • 30
    Microseris
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Bravo to the young liberals for their principled response when they heard Jones disgraceful comments, oh wait…

    Future leadership material right there.

  • 31
    muruk
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Lots of adults have probably said to other people’s kids who have misbehaved very badly “Wouldn’t your Mum die of shame if she knew what you have done?” I think the comment came from this, slightly rearranged.

    If it had been ignored, the lasting effect would be next to zero - well done Julia Gillard.

    However, the overly precious responses from so many has again demonstrated just how easy it is to get a great deal of free publicity. Well done Jonesy, front pages right across Australia.

  • 32
    Liz45
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    @GEE WIZZ - Your comment (NO.11) starts out OK, but then you do an Alan Jones! It was disgusting, but??? About as convincing as Jones’ so called apology!

    I can imagine if a similar thing happened at a Labor Party function? Say, Kerry O’Brien saying similar stuff about Julie Bishop for example? JG would be ripped to shreds by msm, you’d be screaming for her political demise (at least) and O’Brien’s future would be in serious doubt!

    IF you can say ‘yes’ to any of this, at least have the decency to say it was a disgusting act, without qualification! Jones has priors, so does Abbott, Joyce and others! The “cat” comment against Penny Wong comes to mind - there’s been several apart from their ‘usual’ sexist behaviour!

  • 33
    ianjohnno1
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Have a look at Bill Leak’s cartoon in the Oz. Ouch!

  • 34
    Liz45
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    @muruk - You’re joking, right? I’ve heard some attempts to whitewash this, but yours is a step above!

    The thing is, that Jones said this to so-called adults, not ONE child AFTER they’d committed some demeanour.

    Also, JG’s father happened to die, and very recently. Anyone listening to Jones’ hateful tongue on many occasions (Media Watch for example - actual footage, voice etc not just a report of same?) knows how hateful, vicious and sexist he is! This person has a long history, as has Abbott! they should both go! Anyone who defends them are in the same ‘class’ in my view!

    @zut alors - I keep imploring Anna Burke, Acting Speaker to toss them all out! Get rid of them after two warnings - OUT!You can hear Pyne and Bronwyn Bishop among the main offenders! Does she do anything apart from reading the Rule Book? Have you heard her speak out/up on anything of substance lately? I haven’t!

  • 35
    Merve
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    I like Jones’ extended apology in the Daily Tele today. It doesn’t take long for him to explain it’s really all Gillards fault anyway.

  • 36
    Liz45
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Remember the comment Jones made re the truckies’ ride on Canberra. He asserted that the police were stopping them at the border or nearing Parlt, and that’s why the numbers were not as anticipated - hundreds they said would come - they didn’t?

    The ACT police spokesperson came out and angrily stated that this was not so - they were just trying to prevent a traffic hazard! Jones didn’t apologize for that (alleged)lie either! Just went quiet, and that was that!

    Typical! We have a long way to go!

    @muruk - What about the ‘chafe bag’ raffle? That OK too I suppose? Just another harmless little raffle? I don’t think so!

  • 37
    klewso
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Labor has a branch office in Kabul??????

  • 38
    Liz45
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    @MERVE - Wouldn’t use the Telegraph to wrap bad fish in! He’s not sorry at all - he’s only sorry that somebody had the decency to out him for his comments! That’s all! The only way he’ll show real remorse is if he’s taken off air due to every company withdrawing their funds for advertising! If they don’t, we’ll remember them too!

  • 39
    klewso
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    And “unsackable”?
    That would be a hessian one …. too small?

  • 40
    The Pav
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    @Murak 31

    You really need to look at your ethical compass if you feel Jones’ comments are in any way defensible.

    Perhaps the only defence you could raise is that Jones’ having never been a father was speaking from ignorance

  • 41
    klewso
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Now “Manuel” Newman is sticking up for this conservative PR “pimp”?

  • 42
    The Pav
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Geewhizz @ 11

    Nobody who has objected to Jones’ odious comment has suggested prosecution or objected to his ability to make such comments so why make such a stupid statement

    What you should be asking yourself is taht as you agree Jones is reprehensible then where does it put his protege Tony Abbott.

    Jones’ used the word “we” quite clearly meaning he was part of the Liberal Party so what does that say about the party you so steadfastly follow

    I assume that Tony Abbott was a member of the Young Libs
    yet when challenged the current president denied the comments then said he hadn’t heard them. The there was a the tweet in support. If this is Abbott background then isn’t he just as tainted.

    This is just the latest evil episode showing the unfitness of the party you so blindly follow in your insane right wing fanaticism

  • 43
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    LIZ: There’s only one way to stop Alan Jones, and that is to stop all the people in NSW from listening to him. Advertisers follow the people, not the other way around. The minute he doesn’t have an audience is the minute he will be stopped.

    QUESTION: How does one stop an audience from listening to him? Impossible, it’s a clear case of the public getting the ‘politicians’ we deserve.

  • 44
    Draco Houston
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Lots of adults have probably said to other people’s kids who have misbehaved very badly “Wouldn’t your Mum die of shame if she knew what you have done?” I think the comment came from this, slightly rearranged.

    If it had been ignored, the lasting effect would be next to zero - well done Julia Gillard.

    However, the overly precious responses from so many has again demonstrated just how easy it is to get a great deal of free publicity. Well done Jonesy, front pages right across Australia.”

    Lots of adults also don’t joke about the recently deceased parents of others, this is basic tact. You can try and rationalize this all you want, but Alan Jones didn’t just step over the line, he treated the line like he was competing in long jump. Absolutely disgraceful.

  • 45
    Liz45
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    @VENISE - Hi Venise! It’s heartening to learn that some advertisers have withdrawn their ‘support/money’; Freedom; Mercedes Benz; Woolworths has ‘suspended’ their support; a couple of regional radio stations did not take Jones’ ‘highlights’ today due to overwhelming emails and phone calls of complaint! My faith is being restored as I speak!

    Some people who are “outraged” by any suggestion that Abbott be drawn into any responsibility about this situation are ignoring the reality. Abbott has shared a platform with Jones on numerous occasions; he did NOT condemn the words used, or the laughter, or the ‘chafe bag’ aspect, or the fact that he may have felt compelled to object if he was there; or that the Liberal Party does NOT hold such views, and so on! Abbott hasn’t said any of this! He’s a despicable person, and he and Jones deserve each other!

    We often hear politicians refer to the anti social or bad behaviour of young people! One has to ask again, where do young people learn their bad behaviour from? It’s obvious by Abbott’s example, that it’s OK to use any means you want when your political opponent wins and you don’t like it! Sort of an exaggerated ‘dummy spit’ which Abbott has been engaged in since ‘10? It’s time he was told to grow up! Some example for the members of the young Libs! NOT!

  • 46
    GeeWizz
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Alan Jones is a shock jock… that is he shocks for a living.

    Now I said his comments about the death of her father were reprehensible but that doesn’t mean everything he said about Gillard being a protected species wasn’t true.

    Also may I note that Bob Carr was attempting an over-reach by demanding that Tony Abbott apologise for the comments of Alan Jones, I mean you have to be joking.

    As to Alan Jones future career in radio, I’d say this is but a blip, because as we have seen with other radio shock jocks… lets take Kyle Sanderlands as example, he’ll be taken off the air for a few weeks and then once it’s all blown over the advertisers will be lining up again with deep pockets. Sorry folks but thats how it happens.

  • 47
    Liz45
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    @DRACO HOUSTON - No, people don’t say those ugly things out of “tact” it’s better than that, it’s called decency, compassion and in my case, empathy. I watched my father die from a couple of strokes, heart attacks for three years, and it was plain bloody agonising to see. He looked and weighed as though he’d had cancer, about 5 stone or so. I’ve also lost my mother, and my heart goes out to anyone who’s been down this path - which we all travel at some time. there is no excuse for such heartless and callous comments. They weren’t necessary to make his point,(whatever that point was)and was hurtful and callous, devoid of even basic form of decency!

    Technology - Let’s hope others get IT- The tools at our disposal now are sophisticated and can be almost invisible via mobile phones and miniature recorders. As I’ve said before, it’s ironic that a media person behaved with such ignorance! But then, I’ve never been ‘bowled over’ by Alan Jones’ intelligence, and have still to be convinced that Abbott is an alleged Rhodes Scholar? My response to that is, he must’ve got it in childish behaviour????

  • 48
    matthews chris
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Sorry I wrote Gideon when I should have written Matthew -alzheimers fade out

  • 49
    Warren Joffe
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Mr Jones has been alleged widely, if not truthfully, to be homosexual. Let’s assume it is completely false for the sake of fair comparison with what Jones alleged about the Gillards. What would he say if someone, maybe under the immunity of parliamentary privilege, were to say that his mother died out of shame at learning that some people were calling him a [use your own derogatory word for gay people]?

  • 50
    Hugh (Charlie) McColl
    Posted Monday, 1 October 2012 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    GeeWizz, if you believe Alan Jones’s comments were “reprehensible” then where is your rebuke? You didn’t enter this discussion to reprehend Jones but to run a diversion for him. Like Jones in his Channel Nine ‘apology’, you simply utter the word and move on to your actual agenda.
    I feel sorry for Mrs Gillard (the widow). That some prat on radio can make an undignified statement about her husband’s death just because he feels like it is so demeaning. That such a high profile public figure as Jones made such a statement simply to impress some children in the Liberal Party only doubles the humiliation. Next he’ll have some producer phoning the grieving Gillard household to extend an invitation for a little talkback on 2GB. Still, with defenders like GeeWizz….

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