Veteran radio announcer, Alan Jones, has announced today that he will be quitting radio and stepping down as host of breakfast programs on 2GB and 4BC.
Jones’ final show will be aired at the end of May and he will be replaced by announcer Ben Fordham.
Alan Jones revealed the news on his breakfast show this morning, saying: “We are living in the world of Coronavirus. The most repeated statement we hear is ‘we must listen to the experts’. Well, the experts are telling me ‘continuing with the present workload is seriously detrimental to your health’. I have listened to the experts and I’m taking this opportunity to indicate to my radio family that I will be retiring from radio at the end of this month.”
It’s a lot of waffle and redundant-speak when he simply could have said, “I’m quitting radio at the end of May.”
But Jones is renowned for his waffling on. A conservative at heart, and in a career that has spanned 35 years, he has upset many progressive Australians with his backwards attitude and commentary.
Much of his career has been reliant on criticising and whinging about the supposedly sordid activities of progressives, but rather than adopt a sensible, diplomatic approach in his critique, Jones has often gone right for the jugular, regularly spouting his rampant conservative views that have won him an audience who, scarily enough, becomes even more abrupt and backward in their thinking and expression.
Jones has been caught out ripping off other people’s stories; in 1990 he lifted an entire section from a Frederick Forsyth novel and put it into his own news article, calling it his own writing. He has been sprung – along with talks rival John Laws – for receiving secret payments from big brands so as to have their products dressed up as editorial when they were in fact advertorial. And he has managed to tame industry peers into remaining tight-lipped about his own sordid affairs off the air.
Still, anything Jones would say – however bigoted, misogynist, racist, homophobic, or wildly unfair and inaccurate – would be considered simply good ol’ criticism from a man who grew to be known as one of Australia’s main shock jocks. To old-school, conservative listeners, at least.
A supporter of the Galileo Movement – a climate change denial group which insists climate change is a hoax perpetrated to form a ‘world government’ – Jones says he does not believe in significant human-induced climate change while he’s been a critical voice for government policy to use the Australian taxation system as a means of reducing carbon emissions, rather than target big businesses… Those same businesses that help fund his rampant radio activity up until recently.
He has been pig-headed towards races outside of Anglo for ages. For example, in 2005, Jones read out a text message encouraging vigilantism, saying “Come to Cronulla this weekend to take revenge… Get down to North Cronulla to support the Leb and wog bashing day”.
In 1993 – the International Year of the World’s Indigenous People – Jones described the choice of Aboriginal Australian Mandawuy Yunupingu (of Yothu Yindi fame) as Australian of the Year as being “ridiculous”, saying Yunupingu was chosen simply for his “colour or history” – whatever that might mean.
Jones went onto television later that year to tell prominent Aboriginal Australian Charles Perkins that Australians “are being asked to pay taxes to fund people who are seeking title to productive land to which they’ve made no contribution to its productivity”. Perkins rightly replied, “You’ve sat on your white bum at 2UE in Sydney all your life so you wouldn’t know what goes on out there”.
In August last year, Jones was called out on insulting New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, by suggesting that Australian PM Scott Morrisson “shove a sock down the throat” as well as saying she deserved a few “backhanders”.
Tens of advertisers began retracting their advertising on Jones’ 2GB program, including mattress merchants Koala, gym chain Anytime Fitness, ME Bank (actually the first to have pulled the plug), Art Union, Snooze, Bunnings, Bing Lee, Big W, A-Mart and Mercedes Benz.
The fallout of Jones’ bigoted commentary in this particular case, like many before it, meant the ground beneath him began to shake.
Fast-forward nine months and it seems, finally, Alan Jones will be off the air for good, as will his sexist, racist and overall bigoted attitude and commentary.
God bless progress.