Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Alan Jones. Are you listening?

Misogynist. Bigot. Racist. Venomous. Inciter. All of these words have been used many times in the past few days to describe Alan Jones. In all forms of media, over and over again.

Let's pretend for a moment that he never said the PM's father died of shame. Lets pretend that the function where he bid on and won a chaff jacket never happened.

What then? What is it about these particular incidents which has incited such anger and an uprising the likes of which has not been seen in recent times in Australia? This comment and the jacket that went with it is not the worst thing Mr Jones ever did. Far from it in fact. He has said things on air which boggle the mind. Judging from the nature of most of them, the man really is bitter and vitriolic.

Have we made him that way? By glorifying his words, calling him a media personality, awarding him an Order of Australia Medal...........perhaps we are all responsible for who this small man has become? Or maybe some people are just so full of angst that it fairly oozes from their vocal chords from the time they can talk.

I looked up Alan Jones on Wikepedia. After the lengthy bits about his history as a person, I reached the section on the controversy. Reading it takes a while as it goes on for quite a while but I took the time to take a look. Most of those incidents mentioned were ones I remembered as they are all ones which were reported on Australia wide. What it makes you wonder though, is why his list has been allowed to get this long?

Over the past few days there have been petitions to sign, sponsors to contact, posts to re-tweet and 'share' on Facebook. It's been a veritable feeding frenzy for the social media world......all on a single topic and about one man and his comments.

Comments that were not even said on air. He spoke at a function, through a microphone, to a crowd who were filled with hilarity after he mentioned the PM and her dad. Pretty awful stuff really and well worth the comments and the shares. It's even had some success in that many sponsors are no longer sponsors and have taken the moral high ground to distance themselves from his words. And he never even said them on air. Those said on air have been much more frightening and have the capacity to do real harm. Take the Cronulla Riots for example. Jones was found to contribute to the inciting of the riots and exacerbating what was already a heated event. This man has power. Real power.

So, how do we take it away? How do we let the media know we no longer accept hate speech, or vile language which angers, inflames and hurts on our airwaves? How do we ensure media continues to be opinionated without being vitriolic?

There is really only one way. Yes, sponsors are deserting the Alan Jones Show, in their droves. People are rallying online and via social media and creating a situation where the comments made will not fade away into nothingness and obscurity. But it won't work. Other sponsors will appear shortly and take the place of those who have left. Ones without morals who don't care about public perception, just public dollars.

Why will they turn up? Because more people tuned into the Alan Jones Show this morning than have at any time in the past few years. People are still listening to him!

I realise some/most tuned in to hear him explain himself further and see what his reaction to the fallout would be. That doesn't matter though. They still tuned in. Later this month, I believe it's the 20th, a full report into ratings will be released. It's that document which his sponsors and bosses will pay attention to. What needs to happen now is a campaign to get people to STOP listening! Turn him off! Listen to something, ANYTHING else. And do not turn him back on. Ever.

It's really the only way to get his rubbish off air.

Encourage your friends, neighbours, online pals, to do the same. THEN see how long he gets to keep his job.

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