Radio 2GB has announced that it is pulling all sponsorship from the Jones timeslot. That may seem to be something of a victory for those who have been demanded that Jones be held accountable. But have a closer read. Macquarie Radio Network executive chairman Russell Tate stated "There is almost universal agreement that Jones' remarks were unacceptable, wrong and inexcusable. Alan himself acknowledged that from the moment he first advised me of them. He immediately arranged a media conference to state that publicly and apologise to the Prime Minister." Tate is essentially arguing that the baddies in this matter are not Jones or the station that has employed him for so long and supported all of his outrageous behaviour, but those who are now calling for him to be held accountable. They have had years in which do something about it but have failed to do so. Why? Quite obviously because they have been making money out of it.
Clearly Tate is taking the stance that Jones issued an apology via a press conference. There is a problem with that view. Go and listen to that press conference. There are copies of it online. Jones does not actually say "I am sorry" to Prime Minister Gillard.
There is a bigger issue here that is being overlooked. This is not just a matter of a single, accidental outburst by Jones.
Alan Jones has a history of using his position to push disgusting and deliberately hateful and hurtful positions. He has been directly profiting from these. Allow me to recap some again:
- cash for comment scandal where he was pocketing large sums of money for making positive comments on air about products and organisations but hiding the fact they were actually paid advertisements - by deliberately hiding the truth, in my opinion he was nothing but a liar;
- being found guilty of inciting hatred against Muslims immediately prior to the 2005 race riot in Sydney - in my opinion he was damned lucky to escape being found guilty of worse things considering he was reading out text messages which to all intents and purposes advertised the planned, violent attacks on Muslims, being organised and pushed by white supremicists (the leader of which publicly called for police protection after the riot) - please note I am not claiming Jones to be a white supremacist, but merely whoring himself to make a buck;
- Jones's appeal against the above finding being dismissed for being largely irrelevant ie he could not come up with a decent excuse for or defense of his actions;
- a continuing, deliberate and hurtful campaign against Julie Gillard which went way beyond any reasoned political stance, including his using his airtime to call for Gillard to be sewn up in a chaff bag and thrown into the sea - this was not just a bit of satire or goofing around but was delivered in his hostile and inflammatory manner.
The extent of his sponsorship deals is demonstrated by the fact that he has been driving around in a new Mercedes worth $250,000, that was given to him by Mercedes Benz. Mercedes Benz have cancelled their sponsorship, having had enough of the Jones behaviour and are demanded their car back. Good.
In Australia we have been damned fortunate to not have the extent of social troubles experienced elsewhere. But we still have some. And the sort of stunts pulled by Alan Jones merely add to those. He has a long history of deceitful, deceptive and socially unacceptable behaviour. And enough is enough. Like everyone else, he has to be held accountable for his actions.
A small update - I have just discovered that I am in agreement with Peter FitzSimons. I feel unclean. http://tinyurl.com/93rolop