Mama Said Knock You Out

Posted: October 2, 2012 in Media, Politics

With all the controversy around Alan Jones, his comments, and his behavior, it’s time to look at things that can be done about it.

Firstly though, there have been some who have brought Alan’s past problems with public toilets into the debate, and have faced vitriol as a result.

Contrary to the right wing defenders of Alan Jones, the raising of this is not a homophobic attack. If that were the case, then I guess that would mean bringing up Alan’s workmate at 2GB, and fellow Shock-Jock, Chris Smith’s suspension from the station due to sexually assaulting female members of staff is hetrophobic?

It is clear to most that the commentary from some parts of the right-wing media has gone too far, and 2GB seems to be the main culprit.

It is not that I am against shock jocks, far from it, I am all for the freedom to express opinions, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this, or have a blog site. It seems to me that shock jocks, and talkback radio has been around for donkeys years, but it is only lately that things have gone beyond the realm of decency.

In fact, of all the other stations, and all the other shock jocks, nobody else has come under so much fire as Alan Jones for their words and actions. Alan’s defence that he is just “doing his job” would imply that none of the other shock jocks are, or they would be facing the same backlash.

No, Alan is in a league of his own here, and his employers at 2GB encourage it with both their support and apathy.

So, what should be done?

If they have the willpower, I have some ideas that I think the Labor Party could put in place.

Block Them

In NSW, when the O’Farrell government was in it’s early days, Barry was determined his government would be scandal free. This nearly went out the window when one of his front bench, and Minister for the Arts, George Souris, found himself in a police station after masturbating on a balcony and then trying to force himself on the two gay men he had been watching in a pool whilst his hand was busy with another member.

It soon became apparent that George and his standing member were not welcome in the pool, and the police were summoned.

Rather than have this out in public, O’Farrell’s office allegedly told reporters that if they reported it, they would be out of the loop whilst he was in government. The story never hit the mainstream media as a result.

The Labor Party should shut 2GB out of the news loop. If they are holding a press conference, they should actually remove the microphone marked 2GB, they should not make any comment whilst a reporter from 2GB is there, even asking them to leave the room if possible. Whatever they have to say will not be favorably reported on the station at any rate.

Certainly no Labor MP’s should appear on the station.

Boycott Sponsors

This one is easy, keep ALP staff and members updated with who is advertising on 2GB and who is sponsoring the shows.

If Virgin are a major sponsor still, don’t allow staff and MP’s to fly with them. If Woolworths still advertise there, tell people to shop at Coles. Just keep people informed, set up a website and let social media do the rest if need be.

Also, no government advertising of any kind at all should be directed to 2GB.

However, you can go even further.

Block Tenders

Whilst the Labor Party is in power at Federal, State, or even local level, advertisers and sponsors can be blocked from submitting any government tenders.

Not only this, they can be taken off the supplier books and have their accounts closed. This way with a change of government they will have to go through the entire process of setting up accounts to supply government again.

For those of you who are unaware, setting up an account to supply government, is a painful and massively lengthy process. No company would wish to have to go through the process twice.

This is a huge disincentive for any organisation.

The issues involving the so called “shock-jocks” are not getting better, they are becoming worse. The US Tea Party style of political activism is rapidly taking over the debate on the right side of politics. What we are bearing witness to now, is the cost of allowing this influence to take hold.

This cost is the deterioration of sensible political debate in favor of vitriol, personal attacks, stunts and slogans. The truth is the first casualty and the victims of all this are the public, who understandably, are frustrated with politics at large, partly as a result of this.

Some of these stunts fail, such as Alan Jones’s Convoy Of No Confidence, which attracted around 300 people, thus displaying the nations overwhelming confidence in the government if they could only find 300 that had none.

However, some of the stunts, such as Jones’s comments re the Prime Minister’s recently deceased father, and his endorsing of her death by drowning her at sea in a chaff bag, do resonate, and often offend.

In the US, there has been a significant shift away from the Tea Party antics by the conservatives. They have seen the ugly side with one Congresswoman being shot, and most consider the Tea Party as extremists and a bit strange.

An example of this strangeness would be Tea Party disciple, and Liberal Senator, Cory Bernardi. His comments regarding same sex marriage went beyond strange even. Bernardi seems to think that if gays or lesbians marry, then mans best friend, his dog, will suddenly become a friend with benefits, as society embraces bestiality. Strange thinking indeed, and somewhat scary for someone in our senate.

At a time when the media is coming under more scrutiny, and serious questions are being raised about the responsibilities of the media, this should be seen as an opportunity, as hard as that may be.

This is an opportunity to pull a segment of the media into line, that has been acting as a law unto itself for far too long.

As I write this, The NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal have thrown out Jones’s appeal against a decision that he incited hatred. This decision was part of the fallout from the Cronulla riots, and based on comments Jones made on air in 2005.

Thanks for the wise words Alan

I just hope somebody heeds the call and actually does something more than just putting out a condemning media statement.

  1. denniallen says:

    hear hear Mr Wicks…we must take a stand and keep the pressure on no matter what form…if we dont, things will go back to business as usual in a couple of weeks because they think we will have forgotten…no we wont….

  2. chazza says:

    Hi Peter to block tenderers contracting to government would be an abuse of executive government. No public servant would or could do that. However, absolutely no reason why the government shouldn’t lock them out of news conferences. Turn the oxygen off.

  3. Lisa Craig says:

    The worm has turned – thanks in part to bloggers like yourself that keep us informed. Social media can make a difference ! Thanks Wixxy.

  4. kenacko53 says:

    Wixxy, while I agree with you on virtually every issue you raise and comment on, I have a slightly different take on this one. I am a lifetime supporter of Labor and possess an ingrained distaste for all things to do with the Liberals, I was brought up that way. When I became aware of the comments Alan Jones uttered, I was as appalled as anybody but admit it didn’t surprise me, this is the person “Alan Jones”. He is in my opinion a very toxic individual who generates hatred and vitriol as a matter of course, it is his modus operandi. No doubt the vast majority of Australians also came to read or hear his comments and I’m sure were overwhelmingly disgusted in them, regardless of political allegiances. this is where I believe the Labor Party would have been better advised to largely stay away from a political dialogue on this issue and just let the whole thing sink into the minds and hearts of the populace. There is no need to create a political issue which can then become a diversion as is now the case. The issue now is one where Alan Jones can claim to be a victim and seek a sympathy vote from gullible sections of the community and defuse the real issue. Thinking Australians are smart enough to make up their own minds on what took place, they don’t need Labor politicians to tell them.

  5. Julie L says:

    Hi Peter, this man seems to display psychopathic, even megalomania tendencies. These shock jocks do not run the country. No one voted for them. But they can and do influence public opinion. I guess it’s our version of Murdoch/fox media. The scary thing is that he has a large audience – mainly white, 55+, middle class listeners who I’m afraid will continue to listen to him and still will believe everything he says. Apparently they were all pandering to him on air this morning. This is where his power comes from. Advertisers seem to really like it. So while you and I will never listen to him and never agree with anything he says, he continues. Because its all about money. Nothing else. I know I’m very cynical, but I’m afraid we may have to wait for him and his listeners to die out – and hope that another mob like it will not emerge from the ashes!

  6. Cuppa says:

    That radio station (really a 24-hr Liberal propaganda pusher) does no favours for Labor. So why should Labor help it in any way? Labor shouldn’t.

    Even to just have a Labor pollie appear on one of its sessions helps the station. Take your standard “interview”. The Lib-jock builds it up in advance: Coming up after the news we’ve got Labor Minister Joe Bloggs. This drags in listeners’ attention, they are compelled to listen for longer to hear the Lib-jock give the Labor guy a hard time. This enticing of listeners boosts the station’s ratings, makes it easier to sell more advertising, make more money.

    Then at the conclusion of the “interview”, the Lib-jock “opens the lines” for audience reaction. Now, the audience is overwhelmingly Liberal – anyone supporting progressive parties has long since run screaming from the radio with their ears on fire. So the Lib-fans ring in, and they reinforce the abuse said by the Lib-jock, and all together they put shit on Labor in one massive ugly Liberal circle jerk. It’s the ultimate circle jerk. Vicious cycle is it, with the emphasis on vicious.

    So where’s the benefit to Labor in that? They’re not going to change the minds of anyone in the audience because the audience is virtually 100 per cent Liberal. All it does is give the Lib-jock and the Lib-fan listeners a huge gratuitous free kick at Labor – the umpteenth free kick against Labor in any given day on that “station”. It benefits the station – Labor’s opponents – financially. And appearances bestow on the Lib-jock a credibility they don’t deserve. It’s all downside for Labor.

    If I were the party leader I’d make a rule for all party members/reps/MPs/candidates. No appearances, don’t take their calls, don’t answer their questions at pressers, don’t talk to or help in any way. Shut.them.out. This is an approach I’ve advocated for quite a while.

    • Sandra says:

      Cuppa, you are making so much sense with your reply to Wixxy’s article.
      To shut 2GB out to the point of exclusion can be done, not only by staunch Labor people, but by anyone who has found this station to be so objectionable.

  7. MWS says:

    Gabrielle Giffords was a Congresswoman. She wasn’t a Senator.

  8. I think it was Morris Iemma who, without precedent in my time paying attention to politics, ignored Jones through a whole election campaign. Without any damage. Certainly, Jones is not as powerful as he once was and his bluff has been largely called. I am not the only one to have noticed AJ’s inability to draw a crowd, and the fact that his influence among swinging voters is zero. You are dead right the ALP should shut him out.

    The other front should be to keep hanging this lunatic around Tony Abbott’s neck. Maybe as a Green I notice this more, but we are constantly reamed as a party over past proposals to decriminalise drugs and make addiction a health issue, and less rational proposals by, for instance, my dear vegan colleagues. The ‘loony left’ muck sticks well, even though we are the only party in consensus with science and economic expertise on many key issues. The US is right now giving us a clear indication of how much the far-far right elements can destroy the credibility of conservative politicians.

    I never thought it at the time, but we actually miss John Laws. At least he cared enough to desire to be seen as a thinking man. Alan Jones is just an unapologetic, seedy, misogynist old queen.

  9. Paul says:

    Mystery surrounds VP Lawler FOI request
    Fair Work Australia President Justice Iain Ross has directed tribunal members and staff to search for any documents relating to discussions within FWA regarding articles about Vice President Michael Lawler posted on the website.
    It comes in response to a freedom of information request. However, mystery surrounds the identity of the person making the request, with FWA refusing to release details.
    Vexnews has published several articles online about VP Lawler’s relationship with Kathy Jackson. Jackson told Workforce Daily VP Lawler had not made a FOI request to FWA. A spokesperson for Senator Eric Abetz confirmed the senator’s office was not involved. Vexnews editor Andrew Landeryou told Workforce he had not filed a FOI request either.
    HSU member Daniel Govan, an operating theatre technician at Royal Melbourne Hospital who first filed corruption charges against Kathy Jackson, told Workforce he had lodged a FOI request but it did not “pertain specifically to VP Lawler”.
    In a leaked email sent by Justice Ross to all FWA members this morning, he reveals the FOI request relates to “documents relating to discussions within FWA about articles posted on the website ‘Vexnews –‘ about Vice President Michael Lawler, from 1 January 2012 – 10 September 2012″. “Please undertake a search for documents that may be relevant to this request. Please advise me no later than Monday 8 October 2012 if your chambers,” Justice Ross said.
    FWA is due to make a decision on the request by October 18, he said.

  10. Mac says:

    Every time a Labor politician refers to the Coalition they should instead refer to them as “The Conservative Party.” Every day, at every doorstop and in every interview. It would have the same effect that the Conservative Party has achieved by referring to the price on carbon as a “tax”.

    They are no longer a “liberal” party and their slide to the right should concern anyone who believes that religion and politics should never be bedfellows. Tony Abbott has form letting his religous beliefs interfere with the governing of the country.

    That the Liberals (then) managed to roll Abbott on the RU486 issue was to their credit. That they didn’t roll him to ensure that all Conservative Party members were allowed a conscience vote on the gay marriage issue showed the influence the far Right has on the party. It also disenfranchised voters in electorates such as Malcolm Turnbull’s.

    As far as Alan Jones is concerned, anyone who has read “Jonestown” by Chris Masters and still believes that Jones is a man of character needs to read it again.

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