Alan Jones, what were you thinking?
The 2GB shock jock was back showcasing his infamously low standards last week in directing a sick joke at Prime Minister Julia Gillard. In alluding to Gillard’s father, who had only weeks ago passed away, Jones articulated Mr Gillard had “died from shame”, at a Young Liberals dinner at Sydney University.
Really … who even thinks of making a joke like that? All the more while in front of an audience, albeit one proudly right-wing. It is the latest misdimeanour in a media career strewn by controversy, and a succinct lack of tact.
Like a bull at a gate, Jones peddles his political agenda in an aggressive, smearing manner unmatched in the Australian media. And he doesn’t seem to care.
The apology offered by Jones was insincere, reeking of a man who did not accept responsibility for a blatant mistake. In outlining his regret for the comments, Jones shifted authorship of his remarks to a guest also present at the Young Liberals function.
2GB sponsors haven’t bought it, nor has the public. The sheer awfulness of the remark has made it difficult for even Jones’ staunchest supporters to ignore, Tony Abbott included. Make no mistake, Jones is under pressure.
But the problem lies in the fact he has been here many times before. What will he do? Jones will likely shut up shop on the matter, deflecting the controversy to another political agenda he wishes to pursue, whether it is achieved through attacking climate change, lefties, race, the Wallabies, Clover Moore or any of the above. Jones knows the public listen to his radio show in droves, and acts arrogantly accordingly.
For those who don’t remember, Jones doesn’t mind saying the wrong thing. In 1993, Jones said the choice of Aboriginal Mandawuy Yunupingo as Australian of the Year was an “insult,” and that he won the award simply because he was black. He then said the same year that “when [Aboriginal people] say this is [their] nation, it’s not, it’s Australia’s nation.”
Talk about inciteful.
Earlier, Jones was fined $55,000 damages for defaming former NRMA councillor David Parker during the prelude to the NRMA election campaign in October 1986. 2GB were then forced to pay $77,000 for contempt of court for conducting an interview with the Police Association on the same day a police officer was charged with conspiracy. The trial was subsequently aborted.
As a former Wallabies and Balmain Tigers coach, Jones has had quite a bit to say about sport, too. In 1998, former NRL referee Bill Harragon was awarded damages of $90,000 after Jones claimed he was biased. The shock jock then took aim at AOC boss John Coates over rower Sally Robbins’ famous non-performance at the 2008 Olympic Games. Coates successfully sued.
Not to mention Jones’ speculated links with Chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Authority, David Flint, and his integral role in inciting the 2005 Cronulla race riots. Much like Mick, Keith and the Rolling Stones, the attitude from 2GB appears to be ‘the show must go on’.
Jones has a problem with women. Not only does he suggest the nation’s Prime Minister should be thrown in a chaff bag and dumped in the ocean, but he reconciles that women in Australia are “destroying the joint.” Clearly Jones can’t handle female politicians in power.
The comments directed at Gillard were crude, obscene and offensive. But if history is anything to go by, Jones’ demeanour won’t change in the slightest. That’s the real shame Alan.