Wednesday, 11 September 2019
Jones, Mr Alan
Enough is enough. It's time for Alan Jones to hang up his headphones and get off our airwaves. A man who will use his public platform to spread violent, misogynistic and racist views has absolutely no place in our public discourse any longer. Here is just a small sample of the ways Alan Jones has demonstrated in recent years that he does not deserve the privileged position he holds. He has used the N-word on radio more than once. He suggested Julia Gillard's father died of shame. He breached commercial radio standards for his reporting of environmental issues. He bullied the head of the Sydney Opera House live on air and called for her to be sacked because she was unwilling to promote a horse race. He asked Prime Minister Scott Morrison to shove a sock down the throat of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and 'backhand her' after disagreeing with her stance on the need for climate action. This has to end. Alan Jones has to go.
After each of these public misdeeds and public outcries he has made a half-baked apology. But an apology is not enough. We need to remove the toxic impact of shock jocks on politics once and for all and we need to start with getting him off air. People may say his program doesn't broadcast into Melbourne, but we hear about everything he says all the time because everything he says gets picked up and repeated by other media outlets all the time. He seems to dictate what the federal government does. We need to grapple with what it means when we continue to allow a man to hold the power he does and use his platform in such a way. It's not just about his listeners; it's about his undue influence over our political system.
But we also need to consider what it means for our community. What does it mean for a young person when they hear someone on radio threatening violence against a woman? What do they take away from repeated instances of racist statements being met with little punishment? We're lucky to have the position we have here in parliament. Membership of this place gives us a major megaphone to broadcast the messages that matter most to us and our community, and, over decades, Alan Jones has built a megaphone of his own, but his track record of using that megaphone to spread hate, fear and violence must come to an end. We can have different points of view about politics in this country, including on the airwaves, without spreading hate, fear and violence.
Since last year, over 18,000 people have signed my petition calling on 2GB to say to Alan Jones that enough is enough. Disappointingly, as long as he continues to offend, the signatures will continue to flood in. I want to celebrate today the excellent campaign that's being done by so many to chip away at his power. I want to especially celebrate Mad F-ing Witches and Sleeping Giants, both of whom have targeted so effectively the root cause of why Alan Jones can continue to cling to power: advertising revenue. Since his comments about Jacinda Ardern, more than 105 companies have distanced themselves from the program, including Coles, Koala mattresses and Mercedes Benz. This boycott is understood to have already cost the network over $1 million, and this will continue. (Time expired)