Alan Jones was back on air this morning presenting his first broadcast since the story broke about his vile comments regarding Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s late father (which you can read all about here).
Jones opened the show by ‘apologising’ for his offensive remarks:
“The comment should not have been made, the comment had the capacity to hurt the Prime Minister grieving over the death of her father. There are many ways to say the same thing. The simplest way of saying it is, I was wrong.”
However, Jones’ subsequent comments revealed that he still doesn’t get it. Like. At all.
“….a lot of this stuff about me is an attempt to silence and destroy Alan Jones. Well I’ve got news for these people. I don’t back off and I don’t frighten easily. You have picked the wrong target… All of this is of course designed to intimidate, to silence and to destroy, let’s not kid ourselves what this is about.”
The reaction from Twitter has been one of outrage – demanding that Jones be taken off the airwaves.
Take a look:
But we thought that The Punch journalist David Penberthy put it best in his weekend column:
Jones’ mantra in his personal dealings is “pick and stick”. It is both a promise and a demand of unwavering loyalty, by which those in his circle pledge to stick by each other through controversy and scandal. Jones is an inveterate letter writer and will put pen to paper to upbraid those he perceives as disloyal or disrespectful. He would probably regard a column such as this as fitting that category. So be it.
His comments about Julia Gillard’s late father were a disgrace. His subsequent apology was pathetic. Anyone with a pinch of decency should now be prepared to man up, as Jones laughably declared at the start of Sunday’s press conference, and tell Jones where he can stick his pick and stick.
In order to understand Jones you first have to recognise that he is defined by a deep-seated siege mentality, where life is regarded as a permanent ideological war and those around him are drawn up on the lists he assembles in his mind of friends and foes.
The contradiction of Jones, who has no real personal life at all, is that when he is not broadcasting he busies himself with generous acts for put-upon individuals and families, doing unpaid charity work, writing letters to ministers on behalf of people who are illiterate or uneducated…
Jones, who is fond of talking of himself in the third person, lashed out at the Twitter campaign for an advertising boycott, and talked about how horrible it was (and it is) that some have wished his cancer to return.
“This is the best way to neutralise and silence Alan Jones. They use this as an excuse to silence Alan Jones,” he said. It’s almost as bad as saying a woman’s father died of shame over their daughter.
This is karma writ large. Alan Jones is getting everything he deserves.
News.com.au reports that community outrage over Jones’ comments has seen many sponsors pulling their support for Jones’ program:
Overnight, sponsor Bing Lee tweeted that it did not condone Jones’ comments and that it would be removing all advertising from his programs.
Coles, Mercedes-Benz, Freedom Furniture, Dilmah Tea, ING Direct, Challenger financial services and the Australian International Motor Show yesterday joined the growing list of major companies to cancel advertising on Jones’ top rating 2GB breakfast show.
Sponsors have largely responded to the community’s reaction to Jones’ comments, with thousands taking to Twitter to express their outrage, 70,000 signing an online petition asking advertisers to pull their support (you can sign it here) and countless letters and emails being sent.
But he (Jones) underestimated the power of the ordinary women and men who have had more than enough. Who shop. Who invest money. Who drive cars.
We hit the phones, we hit the emails. We were on Twitter and Facebook despite the fact that we are in our 50s and 60s. I did it myself and I’m usually the kind of person who would just decide never to shop at Big W myself; or never to go to Harvey Norman; or never to fly Virgin.
But a year ago, I had the great pleasure of seeing the impact that social media had on an airline that continued to treat its customers with disdain and disrespect. When I made my complaints public, I got my money back and so did the others who were stuffed around.
But that was a private and individual problem – and not nearly at the level of significance as the comments made by Alan Jones. We can always work as individuals but it is never as effective as when we work together.