While discussion of Chris Masters’ Jonestown book has bogged down on the relatively minor point of Alan Jones’ s-xuality, the real story was being demonstrated in Macquarie Street during the sacking of Police Minister Carl Scully.
Indeed, you might almost think there are plenty of politicians glad to see the commentariat arguing about the outing issue rather than the substance of the book – Jones’s power over weak governments.
Scully has been ripe for boning throughout his colourful ministerial career, but the final straw concerned his misleading of Parliament about and his handling of a report on the Cronulla riots by retired copper Norm Hazzard.
And what seems to have been a sticking point in Scully’s willingness to acknowledge Hazzard’s findings was the former deputy commissioner’s criticism of the role of radio shock jocks.
When Cronulla erupted, Alan Jones’s lawyers were quick to threaten media organisations who dared diss the Parrot’s appalling performance or suggest that he promoted or inflamed the riot. It looks like Jones didn’t need lawyers to get through to the Police Minister. As the SMH reports:
The Opposition in the upper house forced the release yesterday of a number of documents relating to the Hazzard report. One of them shows the then police minister, Carl Scully, expressed serious concern to Mr Hazzard last month that his report was about to criticise talkback radio hosts, and questioned whether that issue was within his terms of reference…
… Mr Hazzard’s briefing note states Mr Scully was concerned “that the media would respond adversely to any perceived criticism of them in the report”.
But Mr Hazzard said he had urged Mr Scully and (Police Commissioner ) Mr Moroney not to worry about this and let him take the heat for the part of the report dealing with comments before the riots by the 2GB hosts Alan Jones, Ray Hadley and Jason Morrison.
Cripes, we can have the Skips running riot and the Lebs bashing Skips and the police working under the Keystone badge, but for heaven’s sake don’t criticise Alan Jones. It would be un-Australian.