opinion

"The language used about me is just extraordinary." The profound hypocrisy of Alan Jones.

Alan Jones, a man who has fantasised on radio about disposing of women’s bodies in chaff bags, hanging them above the streets of Sydney, and suffocating them with socks, would like us all to be a little more careful with our language, please.

“The language used about me is just extraordinary,” the 2GB broadcaster said in an interview with Nine News on Tuesday.

The vocal criticism has come in response to Jones’ suggestion that Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison “shove a sock” down the throat of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, in order to silence her on the subject of climate change.

Alan Jones speaks to Nine News. Post continues below. 

Video by Nine News

“Here she is preaching on global warming and saying that we’ve got to do something about climate change,” the 78-year-old said on his breakfast program on Thursday.

“I just wonder whether Scott Morrison is going to be fully briefed to shove a sock down her throat.”

But alas. It is us, most of whom do not have a microphone, or a $4 million annual salary from our nationally syndicated radio show, who ought to think twice about the “language” we choose to use.

“It seems to be OK that you can in social media, about Alan Jones, say that we should kill him,” Jones told Nine News on Tuesday, horrified.

Of course, no matter what an individual espouses, we would never endorse threats of violence. To do so is to immediately lose an argument.

Threatening to ‘kill’ Alan Jones feels not only barbaric, but lazy given how easy his actual ideas are to argue with.

But the irony of Jones – a man who has, with the words he is paid an astronomical amount to say, suggested a woman be thrown to sea in a body bag, or hanged, or suffocated – suggesting we all ought to tone down our language, is almost too much to bear.

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Jones is also the same man who was found to have likely encouraged “violence or brutality and to vilify people of Lebanese and Middle-Eastern backgrounds on the basis of ethnicity,” at the time of the Cronulla Riots.

More specifically, in April 2005, Jones referred to Lebanese Muslims as “vermin” who “rape and pillage a nation that’s taken them in”.

He used his enormously popular breakfast radio program to read out a widely circulated text message that said: “Come to Cronulla this weekend to take revenge… get down to North Cronulla to support the Leb and wog bashing day.”

Jones, according to the New South Wales Administrative Decisions Tribunal, “incited hatred, serious contempt and severe ridicule of Lebanese Muslims”.

But it’s us who ought to watch our language.

And there was the time the broadcaster, widely considered to be one of the most influential men in the country, suggested that then Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s father had “died of shame” because his daughter was a “liar”.

In the aftermath, Macquarie Radio Network made the decision to suspend all advertising spent with the Alan Jones show, in order to relieve the social media pressure placed on brands to boycott the network.

We discussed Alan Jones’ comments on last week’s episode of Mamamia Out Loud. Post continues below. 

Jones called the backlash, “21st century cyber-bullying”, because, as always, Jones is the victim. Not the woman who was told it was her fault her father died.

There’s only one voice Jones appears to respect, and that’s his own. While Jones’ 34-year radio career has relied almost entirely on criticising people he does not agree with, Jones cries “bullying” whenever he finds himself on the receiving end.

The (predominantly) women in his firing line have had to get used to being discussed with the language of contempt, violence and gross condescension.

Lebanese Muslims were powerless when a white man they’d never met described them as rapists.

No doubt, Australia has a problem with bullying.

But it’s certainly not being directed at Alan Jones.

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