Advertisers have started pulling their sponsorship of Alan Jones’ 2GB radio show following the host’s controversial comments about Prime Minister Gillard and the death of he father, John over the weekend.
Freedom Furniture, Woolworths, Mercedes Benz and Challenger have confirmed they’re pulling their sponsorship and the managing director of air-conditioning company JJ Metro West said it was considering its options.
News Limited reported exclusively yesterday that 2GB radio host and ‘shock jock’ Alan Jones said Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s father, John Gillard – who passed away earlier this month had – ‘died of shame’.
Jones made the comments during a 50-minute speech to group of 100 Young Liberals at a $100-a-head function at Sydney University.
The function reportedly also had auction items available, including a ‘chaff bag jacket signed by Alan Jones’ – in reference to previously offensive comments Jones has made about the Prime Minister.
“The old man recently died a few weeks ago of shame,” Jones told the audience. “To think that he had a daughter who told lies every time she stood for parliament.”
You can listen to the full audio of Alan Jones’ speech here.
Yesterday Alan Jones held an almost hour-long press conference in Sydney today where he (sort of) apologised to Julia Gillard for his comments at a Young Liberal Party function, where he said the Prime Minister’s late father had ‘died of shame’.
Online news website Perth Now reports:
[Alan Jones] said his comments to a Sydney University Liberal Club dinner were unacceptable, and he had contacted the Prime Minister’s office to see if she would accept a personal apology…
Jones said he had not considered resigning over the remarks. “The advertisers aren’t queuing up to pull their advertising – that’s up to the station,” he said. He said he had heard the “died of shame” remark at a children’s party, and likened it to “black-humoured comments” made in the trenches of Gallipoli.
“I shouldn’t have repeated the story. I’m old enough and smart enough to know that shouldn’t have happened,” Jones said. “It was a throw-away thing at a private function – I thought it was a private function.”
Jones said he did not know there was a Sunday Telegraph journalist in the audience, or that his comments were being recorded. “I spoke without notes for 58 minutes, I’ve no idea of the material I covered,” he said.
He said that he was sober when he remade the remark. Jones said he did not dislike the Prime Minister, but did dislike her policies.
He said he’d raised money in the past for female candidates and he resented any suggestion he didn’t think women should be involved in public office. Jones added that he had been the target of Twitter trolls, who had said they wished his prostate cancer would return.
Following the speech, the Sydney University Liberals sent out a tweet saying: “Brilliant speech by Alan Jones last night. It’s no wonder he’s the nation’s most influential broadcaster.” The tweet has now been deleted.
Jones’ comments have made national news with shocked political commentators all weighing in on Twitter yesterday.
Take a look:
Tweet from @TurnbullMalcolm
Tweet from @TurnbullMalcolm
Do you think Alan Jones should resign following his remarks? Do you think his apology was sufficient? Do you think his apology was genuine?