Alan Jones is a public figure. He generates controversy almost wherever he goes. He has accepted money to promote the interests of sponsors on his airwaves, he shamelessly pursues the interests of his friends under his “pick and stick” regime, he is a ferocious campaigner on a range of issues.

OK, so Alan Jones is a controversial public figure. But what does his homos-xuality have to do with his place in public life? And what does his public role have to do with this kind of description of Jones — “the hidden homos-xual, forever hunting for love among the twentysomethings” – which was the first paragraph of The Sydney Morning Herald’s extract from the new book Jonestown last Saturday?

Jonestown author Chris Masters says he couldn’t ignore the “elephant in the room … I don’t see how I could have left the subject out” and he is right. You can’t write an extensive book about Alan Jones and leave the subject out. But that fails to answer the real question: Why did the subject have be treated with such breathless, censorious, innuendo?

Alan Jones and his influence on Australian public life are subjects too important to be overshadowed by private peccadillos that, on the apparent evidence of the book, have little to do with his vastly disproportional exercise of power. You buried the lead, Chris.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey