ALAN JONES THE VICTIM? PUH-LEASE…
Why do so many Australians want to shut Alan Jones down – for good?
And why are so many prepared to mount an extraordinary social media campaign against advertisers to force their hand and get them to cancel their advertising on the Jones show on Radio 2GB – for good? The network can’t and probably wouldn’t keep Jones on the air when he’s not paying his way.
Alan Jones speaking at an anti Clover Moore rally in August. Image via WAToday.
You might be wondering how we manage to balance our rage at his comments about the PM’s recently deceased dad with our commitment to freedom of speech. Or how we reconcile the drive to force Jones off the air with our bleating when those with equally repugnant views are denied visas or closely examined before they get a visa to come to here. The Dutch politician Geert Wilders comes to mind.
They are interesting questions and tens of thousands of words have been devoted to the views of those with a take on each of them.
But if you accept social media and non-commercial talk back radio as a barometer of what the nation is feeling, then it is probably a fair assumption that this is not “orchestrated outrage” as Michael Kroger told Peter Van Onselen on Sky news.
What is being expressed is genuine moral offence.
And it’s the seriousness and depth of the national moral offence caused that has people questioning whether they’re prepared to go against our belief in freedom of speech and feel comfortable shutting him down – for good.
A genuine apology might have helped Jones, rather than a media conference that was 99% justification and blame shifting.
Jones and his employers may say his apology was unreserved. The problem for them is that it wasn’t and only a small number of people believe it was. And those who do, are rusted on Alan Jones listeners who see past the often spiteful, hateful broadcasts and admire the good work he undoubtedly does with his personal philanthropy and campaigning.
Perhaps too they are willing to see past the fact that Alan Jones is regularly hauled over the coals by the media authority – the Australian Communications and Broadcasting Authority – for failing to meet pretty basic broadcast standards.
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