The Lone Voice Behind the Microphone

Words spoken on Radio like bastards, bastardary, crap, must be on drugs, rape and pillage our nation, dump her in the sea, would put other people to shame but for Alan Jones it has been a way of life. Speaking continuously for 4 hours, 5 days a week is no mean task. Winner of Order of Australia Medal and right wing populist shock jock, Alan Jones has been ranting over 300 words a minute, with a sizeable section of those written not by him but by professional speech writers. Speaking for so long means you are using your mouth and ears in reverse ways and hence lose the sense of listening.

His bigotry and public ridicule of elected representatives Bob Carr, Morris Iemma, Nathan Rees, scores of Federal Ministers and even the Prime Minister was an affront to those who voted for these politicians to be elected. His sins will need all the pages of this magazine. He was too biased and has lost his sense of reason.

He had this habit of first criticising the politicians and then forcing them to appear on his radio station, berating them and attributing the worst motives to them and forcing them to stroke his false ego.

Abusing politicians and bureaucrats has become his banter for the day. His rabble-rousing daily discourse has no longer been civil. His tirade and verbal abuse against Clever More, Sir Ken Henry and Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens has been total disgusting. The list doesn’t end here. Calling his cohorts of listeners to call and protest and thereby raise a mini storm in the tea cup daily on his show was equally disgusting. His abuse of Sir Ken Henry during the heights of Global Financial Crisis was appalling. Sir Ken Henry is one of the finest global bureaucrats who has been instrumental in steering Australia out of the GFC. While many people do not like Clever Moore’s infrastructure plan for Sydney city, you can’t doubt her personal character and simply can’t agree with the language Jones has reserved for her.

For over two years, Alan Jones has been accusing Julia Gillard of lying and dumping her in chaff bag. His comment that Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s father had “died of shame” was just appalling and totally unacceptable. His half baked apology was of no use.

His stand on coal seam gas mining on prime agricultural land and his help to certain charities and individuals have helped build an aura around the Alan Jones brand. But now the tables have turned as Australia becomes more multicultural. People like Alan Jones face a challenge to make themselves still relevant and anybody pursuing an extreme right wing agenda and practicing bigotry will have limited audiences. In today’s world, anyone with a microphone and access to social networking sites can prove himself and become a celebrity like Alan Jones.

The behaviour of Alan Jones demands the same condemnation which he reserves for the Middle Eastern community in his show. If we criticise the behaviour of minority fringe elements, we also need to make sure that extremist ideologies amongst the majority community need to be condemned.

Australian Communications and Media Authorities decision to order the comments of Alan Jones to be fact-checked by his radio station’s producers before going to air is a welcome step. Jones will be made to attend training sessions to ensure what he says on air is factually accurate and that he understands the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice.

Tony Abbott and other politicians who appear on his show will risk alienating their audiences and further polarising their support base. The shrill narrative coming out of this show needs to be contained.

Its time that we stopped legitimising abuse on radio stations.

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