Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

Alan Jones

In 1994, the then Prime Minister Paul Keating is reported to have said about Alan Jones, that his radio program was, "middle-of-the-road fascism."

Always one for a nice take down, Keating wasn't wrong then, and is not wrong now, days after Jones said that the current Prime Minister's father died of shame. He was at a Liberal Party event when he said it, delivering an off the cuff fifty-eight minute 'private' speech, where he had also put up a coat made from chaff bags to auction. That bag, if you aren't aware of it, is a reference to a previous comment, wherein the Prime Minister should be thrown out to sea in such a bag. On Sunday he gave what can only loosely be called an apology, in which he spent most of his time trying to convince people that a fifty eight minute speech was a private thing, and how would he know it would get out? He probably blamed a woman, to coincide with his previous comment that females in power are destroying the joint.

If you are unaware of Alan Jones, then you probably live in another country, or lucky. Perhaps you're both. But with John Laws relegated to sipping Bundy and Coke and wearing his bling during the odd interview that takes place in his retirement, Jones is what many would consider the King of Right Wing Talk Back Shock Jock Radio, but to characterise him strictly on that would be to ignore his many years in the public sphere and the complex relationship that his personal and public life have with it. Having been at one stage an English teacher, Jones has also been a speech writer for Malcolm Fraser, a football coach, an actor, and a large contributor to charities, most of them having to do with children. In addition to this, a lot of claims have been made about Jones on sexuality, the experiences of which are on public record--being caught in a London toilet--and his removal from a head position at King's due 'questionable' behaviour, and John Laws' non bling interview where he accused Jones of pressuring the then Prime Minister John Howard to keep David Flint as the head of the ABA because of a relationship between the two men. Chris Masters, in his book on Jones, believes that Jones' denial of his homosexuality and repressed nature of it is the defining characteristic of the broadcaster. In addition to this, Jones also has a long history of being accused of plagiarism, brought up on numerous charges for defamation and lies, comments that have targeted racial minorities and public figures, and he was also part of the Cash for Comment scandal, wherein he advertised businesses on his program without ever stating that he was being paid to do so.

To understand Jones is, I think, to understand all of this: the fame, the denial, the repression, the lies, the scandals, the, as Paul Keating said, "Middle-of-the-road fascism." The figure that is painted from the culmination of these events is a dark one, an angry, bile spewing individual, a man of of hate, of lies, of a fortune built from anything but truth. It pays well to remember this as he is discussed before you, and to understand also that Jones, after a career of hate, is not going anywhere soon.

Jones' comments on the weekend are nothing new for him. In a society that values free speech, he is fully within his rights to say it... just as the society he lives in is fully within their rights to slap him for his words, which should and must be done. In a perfect world, the ugly, false, hate filled bile that emerges from Jones would be difficult to find an audience: people would demand facts, demand actual articulation, and would call him on his many faults, including the current one that relations to the Prime Minster, which is his misogynistic, bullying behaviour. People would point out that his comments about women, in any position of power, are nothing short of insulting. Indeed, that is what a lot of people are saying, and this is good, because if you wish to live in a society that values equality, the words that Jones has given air need to be shut down, need to be denied fully. It is only through that that he--and those who follow in his model--will find it difficult to grab an audience, find it difficult to work, and find themselves relegated to the radical, right wing hate media that is listened to only by people who did not evolve into individuals with thumbs.

And for this who support him, who support, in this case, the bullying of women...

...Well, it was the CEO of Woolworths who purchased the chaff bag jacket and, as the girl said earlier today, "It's time to do more shopping at IGAs."

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