The Macquarie Radio Network (MRN) has has announced a temporary suspension of advertising for Alan Jones’ breakfast show. This follows the decision by Mercedes Benz in the last 24 hours to cease advertising on the same show, but importantly, to ask for the return of the motor vehicle provided to Mr Jones as part of its advertising arrangements.

The two page statement from MRN is shallow at best, but insulting at worst, in the lack of understanding about what has happened here. The statement includes the following:

  • Mr Jones’ apology in relation to the disparaging comments about the Prime Minister’s father was “unambiguous and unconditional”.
  • The “avalanche” of criticism of Mr Jones has come from those who are not part of the regular audience.
  • This is “censorship via cyber-bullying”.
  • MRN generally and 2GB specifically operate in a regulated environment and is accountable to various authorities and to its audience.

The statement makes no mention of Mr Jones’ earlier comments about #destroyingthejoint.  It makes no reference to his track record of misogyny or vilification.  Its inference is that if 2GB’s audience is accepting of Mr Jones’ apology, then things are good.

I must have watched a different apology on national television.  The apology I saw was not unambiguous or unconditional.  I think the word “but” was used on numerous occasions.

Those who are not regular listeners to Mr Jones’ program have a right to demand action in relation to his comments.  It is the 2GB platform that enables him to reach people well beyond those who directly listen to him.  As such, Mr Jones has significant influence.

The regulatory environment is an interesting one.  I’m still waiting for a response to my complaint of early September about Mr Jones comments on 31 August 2012 (see my earlier blog).  2GB certainly has time on its side.  It can take up to 45 days to respond to my complaint, which will put the response into early November.

Well, Mr Tate, Chairman of MRN, things are not good.  I am not a regular listener but I will not allow anyone in Australia who has such wide influence to get away with the comments that have been made.  I will not stand by and have Mr Jones belittle and humiliate women, irrespective of their status.  I will do all I can to ensure that Mr Jones’ influence is removed. The first step should have been for Mr Jones to be stood down and then dismissed.  If that had occurred, there would not have been any need for this “unprecedented decision to suspend advertising in the Alan Jones Breakfast Show”.

Rest assured, Mr Tait:  until Mr Jones is stood down/dismissed, I will not rest.   You will then be able to reinstate your advertisers to tap into that “massive audience” that you are proud of.  I doubt that you’ll have any trouble recruiting a presenter who will engage with such an audience without feeling the need to stoop to misogyny of vilification.

This is not cyber bullying.  This is common sense about ensuring that people of influence do not have any opportunity to utter misogynistic or vilifying comments across our nation.

I’m looking forward to the next chapter.

Oh:  and PS:  I bought a pile of stuff totalling $1,020 at Bing Lee the other day, not because they advertise with 2GB, but because they ceased advertising with the Alan Jones Breakfast Show.



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