Monday, October 1, 2012

Well beyond the pale

Outspoken 2GB Sydney talkback host Alan Jones is in strife; the Sydney Morning Herald reported at the weekend:

There are calls for a boycott of radio station 2GB over remarks by Sydney broadcaster Alan Jones that the Prime Minister's father, John Gillard, had "died of shame".
The talkback host told a packed room of Liberal Party members: "Every person in the caucus of the Labor Party knows that Julia Gillard is a liar, everybody. I will come to that in a moment. The old man recently died a few weeks ago of shame. To think that he has a daughter who told lies every time she stood for Parliament."

Alan Jones is a no-nonsense individual, but these remarks were beyond the pale. And as the Herald reports this morning, Jones has taken a deep breath and apologised:

Alan Jones, the Australian radio host, has - like Mitt Romney - learned the perils of being loose-lipped at an ostensibly private function, after a journalist secretly recorded a speech in which he declared that Julia Gillard's father died "of shame".
Jones, whose remarks were universally condemned after being published in yesterday's Sunday Telegraph, was addressing a dinner held by the Sydney University Liberal Club.
There were gasps and shocked laughter among the 100 students when he made the reference to John Gillard, who died last month while the Prime Minister was at the Apec leaders' summit in Russia.
After being roasted on Twitter and denounced by politicians of every persuasion, the 2GB broadcaster called a news conference yesterday in which he delivered a lengthy apology.
"I was taught as a young kid by my father [that] if you're going to eat crow, you should eat it while it's hot," he said. "There are days when you just have to concede and man up and say you got it wrong."

It hasn't however stopped a torrent of criticism towards Jones; read on:

Among those queuing up yesterday to lambast him were the Liberal frontbenchers George Brandis, who described his comments as being "in very poor taste", and Malcolm Turnbull, who tweeted that they were "cruel and offensive".
Pundits were equally scathing. In the Sun-Herald, columnist Peter Fitzsimons called Jones "a vicious, woman-hating bully".
On The Punch, News Ltd's news and opinion website, the veteran political journalist Malcolm Farr wrote that the outburst confirmed that Jones was losing his grip, turning into "the embarrassing uncle who has to be kept away from the microphone during the wedding toasts".

Jones claims the remarks were made at a private function, and were off the record. He's been in the business long enough for that excuse to be a lame one, and we would venture to suggest that he has quite a bit more hot crow to eat yet.

We're no fan of Julia Gillard or her government, but using the death of her father to attack her in this manner is both offensive and unacceptable. 


The Gantt Guy said...

I find it depressingly predictable that a "right-wing shock-jock" who was giving a speech at a private function is vilified in the media from pillar to post for his comments, and yet Bob Carr's speechwriter and ALP lackey Bob Ellis (Carr who has joined the conga-line of suckholes trying to make out Tony Abbott somehow has a stake in Jones' comments) makes equally hurtful comments and the media is, well, silent.

Depressingly predictable.

Keeping Stock said...

That may be the case Gannt, but Ellis' comments have not been reported here (at lest I haven't seen them), and they certainly don't exonerate Jones, who even when he was coaching the Wallabies was a polarising personality.

The Gantt Guy said...

No it doesn't, Inv. I was merely pointing out the obvious media bias. Particularly hypocritical, since Jones is the enemy and Ellis is an ALP animal.