|the change.org petition calling for sacking of Jones|
That analogy could also be applied to people such as, oh I don’t know – perhaps radio broadcaster, Alan Jones. Make that definitely Alan Jones.
Controversy surrounds Jones like a foul smell which refuses to go away. Probably because Jones is the source of the stench.
Alan Jones’s latest stunt was to use his speaking appearance at a recent event to launch a viscous attack on Australian Prime Minister, Julie Gillard. But this was no attack against her polices or her government. Oh no. This was an obviously planned and intended diatribe that Ms Gillard was the cause of her father’s death, that he literally died of shame, that he had lived in shame for years every time she stood in an election.
True to form, Jones did not let the facts get in the way of a good rant. The fact that Mr Gillard was in his eighties and already hospitalised did not have anything to do with his passing. According to Jones, Gillard Senior literally died of shame.
What a load of crap.
The event in question was a fund-raising event by a branch of the Young Liberals (for my North American friends, for ‘liberal’ read ‘republican’) with Jones as the featured speaker. Unfortunately for Jones, a reporter was present, having purchased their own ticket and presumably hoping for something newsworthy dripping from Jonesy’s lips. And pretty much all hell has broken loose on Jones after the story was released.
Controversy in highly questionable circumstances is hardly new to Jones. For example, he was caught up in the nasty ‘cash for comment’ scandal where he was pocketing lucrative payments to make positive statements about particular products and organisations. You may be asking ‘so what?’ – isn’t that what advertising is? No, it isn’t the same. Jones was pocketing the money, whoring himself out but pretending it was independent commentary, quite deliberately hiding the fact that it was in fact paid comment. But he still claims to be an independent broadcaster. Yeah. Right. Better keep an eye out for those flying pigs as well.
Back in 2005, there was nothing short of a race riot in Sydney. Being openly pushed by a white supremacist group among others, this started as a brawl on the beach before spilling out into the streets and public transport. Just having the appearance of someone from the Middle East was enough to cop a beating as CCT footage amply demonstrated.
Just prior to that riot, Alan Jones was talking it up on his radio program. He was reading out alleged text messages which advertised it. He openly referred to Lebanese Muslims as "vermin" who "rape and pillage a nation that's taken them in".
Not surprisingly, a complaint was made to the New South Wales Administrative Decisions Tribunal. In 2009, the Tribunal found that he” incited hatred and vilified Lebanese Muslims.” He was fined, forced to publicly apologise and his employer condemned for their practices in allowing this behaviour to go ahead. Jones appealed. Just as the furore over his ‘death by shame’ comments burst, the Tribunal finally ruled on his appeal, dismissing it.
This is someone caught out using his broadcasting time to disseminate racial hatred. In my opinion he was quite lucky to escape even more serious punishment for a perception of a role in inciting racial riot.
Yet again, Alan Jones was way over the line. Yet again, Alan Jones managed to apologise but without actually saying ‘I’m sorry,’ instead turning into an opportunity for yet another rant. Yet again, Alan Jones is essentially getting away with simply unacceptable behaviour. His radio station has loved him because he has been bringing in big bucks, thereby justifying his own big bucks salary.
It has been reported that sponsors have been pulling out. If that is a complete withdrawal from funding sponsorship at the radio station, then beaut – hit them in their pockets. But if it were just moving the sponsorship to another timeslot, then it is a pretty empty action, not actually causing the station any loss.
I was happier to learn that regional radio stations have dropped their subscriptions to take Jones’s broadcast. Now that is definitely a monetary loss to the station – and good news it is. Causing them actual real financial loss is clearly the only way to get the message across.
A petition is now circulating around courtesy of the Internet, calling for boycotts of Jones, his program and his station, further calling for his sacking. Naturally enough, Jonesy didn’t like that either, having a blast against it on-air. Clearly in his world’s view, he is the only one who should be allowed an opinion, nobody else. As for people daring to disagree with him, watch out you scum suckers! Well, I signed it happily enough and have included a link to it at the head of this post. As I type this, the petition has 108,038 'signatories'.
In all of this, Prime Minister Gillard has shown a distinct quiet dignity. She has declined to give comment against Jones other than to state she refuses to ever appear on his program again, as well as thanking the many Australians who have made contact to express their sympathy. She has also declined to accept calls from Jones.
Let's be honest about things. Jones has only backed off because he was caught out. His attempted defense that he thought it was a private event is nonsense - it was an event that anyone could have bought a ticket to. Would he be making such a public stance if he hadn't been so publicly caught out? No bloody way.
In contrast, pretty much the only comment from her opposite number, Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott, has been to refuse to boycott appearances on Jones’s program. Fair enough – he has the right to appear there or not. But am I the only one who thinks Abbott should be making comment on someone using a Liberal Party-affiliated event for such an appalling, over the top attack? Especially if it was a paid appearance and I sincerely doubt Jonesy would be turning up as a featured speaker as a freebie. Or is it really just a case of Tony Abbott’s usual stance that in his opinion, pretty much anything goes. One cannot help but wonder just what class taught that world view back at the seminary he studied at?
In the meantime, Alan Jones is now in the midst of a real stink. Perhaps, with a bit of luck, we shall see the ultimate flush that sees Jones off swimming down in the sewer with the rest of the turds where he belongs.
Now if you have an opinion on what I'm blathering about or even just feel like saying hi, then don't be afraid to leave a comment or post something to me via Twitter or Facebook. I don't bite - at least not always. Or even follow the blog by email.