Decent Australia says enough is enough
Alan Jones making his now infamous apology to Julia Gillard.
Alan Jones. For shame, for shame! No, not the man himself. I refer, of course, to all those nasty, nasty people who have been ganging up on the broadcaster since the News Limited journalist, Jonathan Marshall, broke the story that at a Young Liberals function he had said the Prime Minister’s father had “died of shame”.
You see – at least according to several staggering columns that have been written since – Jones has actually become the victim in the episode! I mean, how dare those 110,000 people sign that petition and swear they’d never buy Jones sponsors’ products, forcing them to withdraw. What sanctimony! What high-handedness! What blackmail!
Just today we had Macquarie chair Russell Tate saying that the people who have been doing this have been engaged in “cyber bullying”.
They did not have the right to “decide for our listeners who and what they are going to hear on the radio station they choose to listen to, and on the other hand decide for Australian-based companies which media outlets they will or won’t use to advertise.”
“What we are seeing here is 21st century censorship, via cyber-bullying.”
Actually, I beg to differ.
What has in fact happened in the last week has been the rise of decent Australia saying enough is enough. And yes, sponsors like Gerry Harvey have publicly worried that by withdrawing from the Jones program they are taking part in a lynch mob, but they misunderstand. What you are actually doing, Mr Harvey, is refusing to sponsor any further “lynch-mob radio”.
All you need to do is listen to Jones on a good day. As the Bully-in-Chief, Jones’ major exercise every day is to line up the day’s targets and then excoriate everything about them and everything they stand for, impugning the worst possible motives to their every action, before putting them up on the wall and inviting the mob to call him up to throw their own stones, which they gleefully do for hours on end, outdoing each other in their sneering, hooting derision.
Sure, Jones does the whole thing under the guise of “journalism” and “fearless comment”, but the vibe of the whole thing is exactly like a lynch-mob as he masterfully whips the mob up into ever greater rage over any number of sins, including such outrages as trying to help the environment by lowering carbon emissions. It has also been noted that he is never so vicious as when the target is a woman.
Most of Sydney has been aware of this for years without ever taking Jones seriously enough to do anything about it, but the Young Libs episode has changed that. For there, exposed, was the breathtakingly ugly essence of Jones.
Not one of you reading this could ever bring yourself to say what he did about the PM’s father and yet Jones values are so twisted, so downright nasty, he could not only bring himself to say it, but actually think in an unguarded moment it was entertaining!
And the response since, has been wonderful. Yes, yes, yes, no doubt Jones ratings will go up next time as the mob rush back to defend Alan, but this time decent Australia – which is to say the vast majority of the country – is watching closely. Which sponsors will be there with him? I don’t mean now. That is not the test. I mean six months and one year from now. Those sponsors are being watched. The sensible ones won’t touch the Jones show with a barge-pole.