People like Alan Jones, Ray Hadley and Andrew Bolt worked out long ago that there is money in hate-filled rants.
They are the peddlers of verbal violence and dishonesty and the most vigorous defenders of free speech because it gives their vitriolic nonsense legitimacy.
With the use of free speech, the bigots and hate-mongers such as these seek to influence those in the community who are susceptible or like-minded.
It says something about the moral sickness of a supposed enlightened society when people like Jones and Bolt et al – members of the exclusive Rats of the Feral Right Club – want the right to abuse each other, in the name of free speech, enshrined in law.
To make big money in NSW talk back radio one has to be more outlandish, more tantalising, more seductive, more flirtatious, more provocative, more outrageous and more offensive than your opponent and have a desire to maintain a brutal dominance.
That’s exactly what Jones has done for 35 years. He would not have survived in Melbourne. We are not easy victims of filth.
Bolt can only maintain a small television audience and without The Herald Sun and his syndications he would be little known. Jones has also been a flop in the medium of TV.
I often speculate about how much better a society we would be if people took the risk of thinking for themselves unhindered by the unadulterated crap served up by the Murdoch media and its money for outlandish comment spewing from the mouths of men like Jones.
All they do is politically prostitute themselves in the forlorn hope of being relevant.
Let’s have a brief look at some of Jones’ history.
Thirteen years ago the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) found that the broadcaster 2GB and Jones had broadcast material (specifically comments made by Jones between 5–9 December 2005) that were “likely to encourage violence or brutality and to vilify people of Lebanese and Middle-Eastern backgrounds on the basis of ethnicity.” They were talking about the Cronulla riots.
Yet our Prime Minister said this of him:
“You’ve always spoken your mind to everyone, including me, and we’ve had one or two disagreements, but you’ve always done the right thing for your country.”
To hear our leaders from the Prime Minister down give such effusive praise to a man so divisive that he would set Australian against Australian – and not give it a second thought – was sickening.
Later, Jones was “convicted of breaching the Children’s (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987 (NSW), by broadcasting the suppressed name of a juvenile witness in a murder trial.”
It didn’t stop Tony Abbott from gushingly tweeting this when learning of Jones’ retirement from radio:
Our national conversation will be different and poorer without @AlanJones on radio every morning.
— Tony Abbott (@HonTonyAbbott) May 11, 2020
We continue …
Yet Nine chairman Peter Costello said Jones had a “unique” place in Australian media.
He is guilty of lying about climate change “…human beings produce 0.001 per cent of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” he said.
Yet according to advertising guru John Singleton, Alan Jones is the “best broadcaster in the world.”
He has retired suitably, on another lie, perhaps? That being that ill health has forced him out. The truth is that his advertisers had had enough. They deserted him in there droves. The SMH reported that after:
“He was forced to apologise after telling a Sydney Young Liberal fundraiser in 2012 that Ms Gillard’s father “died of shame”, commentary which caused the broadcaster to temporarily suspend advertising after more than 70 companies walked away from the breakfast show.
A jacket made from chaff bags and signed by Mr Jones was also auctioned at the event. Mr Jones had previously said on air that Ms Gillard should be “put into a chaff bag and thrown into the sea.”
Then there were the comments made by Jones about New Zealand’s Prime Minister Ms Ardern last year when he said that Prime Minister Scott Morrison should “shove a sock down her throat” following Ms Ardern’s warning at a Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu that Australia “will have to answer to the Pacific” on climate change.
And let’s not forget his aggressive treatment of Opera House chief executive Louise Herron telling her she should resign.
A fair dose of misogyny, I should think.
He lied about the Grantham floods. In doing so he defamed many ordinary people especially members of the Queensland-based Wagner family. They received 2.7 million in damages.
He has the dubious record of having had more complaints upheld by the communications watchdog than any other radio presenter. He has had to make more apologies for his lying and insults than John Farnham has made comebacks. Each time his audience has increased.
He leaves a litany of lying as long as Tony Abbott’s.
Other than the 35 years he has spent in radio he has been a teacher where his apparent liking for teenage boys has been well-documented, as has the notorious moment in a London toilet.
He has been a speechwriter for Malcolm Fraser, a political candidate and coach of the Australian national rugby team for which he was awarded an Order of Australia in 1988.
Also well documented was the cash for comment revelation in 1999 that he sold his opinions for millions. He should have been sacked on the spot. But he was protected by those that he made millions for and by an audience with short memories
But what is it that occupies the minds of men that they need be so malevolent in their thinking? That the power of persuasion with reasoned thought and debate no longer suffices.
What is it in the backgrounds of people that causes their narcissism and their inability to accommodate difference or equality?
Is it the sins of the fathers that invite their racism? In the media, is it loyalty to the despot?
Why is it that the megalomaniac Alan Jones with his vile gutter speech attracts a huge listing audience?
Why is there this preponderance of right-wing attitude? This alignment to neo-conservatism and nationalism? Why have we allowed ourselves to be saturated by extremism? Why do those who feel unrepresented and unheard think their problems will be reconciled by the likes of Jones?
Perhaps the answer can be found in materialism. Or in an entitlement society. Maybe it’s those elements of Christianity who believe in a gospel of wealth.
Perhaps the deliberate assassination by the political and religious right of science has something to do with it. Maybe it’s the death of truth, as we know it. Jones, after all, thought climate change was a hoax.
Maybe it’s the preponderance of right-wing propaganda in our media. There are, to my knowledge, no left wing shock jocks. Whatever it is why are they so feral about it? Well I’ll have a bit of a stab.
With the media I believe it is the threat of annihilation and in turn, profit. Social media and the advent of bloggers are now threatening their power and influence.
But the mystery to me is why the middle and the deprived classes of society think their lot will be improved by listening to the vile thoughts of Alan Jones.
I’ll leave this with you. Do watch:
— The Feed SBS (@TheFeedSBS) May 14, 2020
My thought for the day
The original intent of free speech was to give a voice to the oppressed and to keep governments honest. In the United States, the first amendment is now used as a justification to incite racism, validate hatred and promote both religious and political bigotry.
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