Alan Jones is no longer just Gloria, but Gloriana, the reigning queen of radio, and the Crikey Bird Watching Team is keeping an ear on what Australias most powerful shock jock has to say but somehow cant feel much sympathy for him when he says hes underloved.

Our feathered friend was feeling unloved last week.

The Bird-Watching Team tend to be upbeat on Fridays. The weekends looming and we have two sleep-ins to look forward too. But not Gloria. The Sydney Morning Herald had raised his ire:

There’s no doubt that putting it most charitably, sections of the media are an odd beast.

You would have read for some weeks now that because one rather unworthy media outlet chronicled that I was on the payroll of Telstra, then that became received wisdom.

And every newspaper across the country printed it.

All, of course, designed to damage.

Yesterday when I came off air I’m inundated by media outlets wanting to speak to me about the Opera House forecourt.

I had no idea why, until my attention was drawn to an article in yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald which said something about the forecourt being converted to entertainment space for 6,000 people on 111 days in the next 12 months.

My name was mentioned as a person likely to be affected.

Needless to say, that’s one short step from other sections of the media, without ringing me, trumpeting that I was complaining about it.

Complain about it.

I knew nothing about it, and still know nothing about it

And on it went. But what did it come back to? Telstra, allegations of Seed for Squawks and the probings of the Australians Geoff Elliott:

In case you’ve heard, I’ve never been on the payroll of Telstra in my life.

Never had a cheque from them.

Of course they sponsor this programme, and this station.

But you turn on to 60 Minutes every Sunday night and they say this programme is brought to you by Toyota.

Does that create a headline?

Or stories across the country about how what Richard Carleton and others say is somehow compromised by the sponsorship.

I suppose you could say it’s a funny world.

Funny peculiar though, not funny ha-ha.

Quite a prickly parrot all up, it seems. And a parrot with no reason at all to get whiny.

The previous day, Errol Simper had revisited Squawks for Seed in an item for the Australians Media section.

He had invoked a phrase of his grandmothers in relation to 2GBs deal with Telstra, Its the look of the thing.

Its the look of the thing indeed. As Simper pointed out, Telstras chairman Bob Mansfield was CEO of Optus when they cut cash for comment deals with Gloria and the Golden Tonsils.

And Simper reminded us that back in 2000 our feathered friend was found to have breached section three of the commercial radio code of practice, the section that states that advertising must never be presented as news programs or other programs on nine occasions.

No matter what sort of racket he makes about it, the simple fact is that the Parrot has form and Richard Carleton and 60 Minutes despite the journalistic crimes that can be laid at their feet dont.

The Parrot has betrayed the public trust, the trust of those folk on Struggle Street he so loudly claims aims to champion, before.

Hed argue that criminals should be watched to make sure they dont offend again. And, since hes scarcely showed any sign of contrition for his transgressions, its only appropriate that the Herald, Elliott, Simper, the Bird-Watching Team or whoever make sure he doesnt succumb to recidivist temptations.

Not that its particularly enjoyable keeping an eye on him. Anyone who whinges in public that he was caught breaking the rules is simply repulsive.

Still well do our duty so, from all of us at the bottom of the cage, until next time, goodbye.

The Crikey Bird Watching Team can be contacted at [email protected]

Peter Fray

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