Thursday, 11 October 2012

Why Alan Jones deserves our thanks

You all recognise this iconic picture of Alan Jones, taken after his appalling comments about the PM's late father. I think it says it all.  "You mean you don't like offensive comments? News to me!"

In many ways, though, I think that we should give him a round of applause. This has been one of the most positive things to happen to the left-wing's campaign since Abbott in a speedo!

Susan Mitchell's article HERE is a good comment, but I don't think it goes far enough.

They say that any publicity is good publicity. Maybe in politics, but in business, you can only take so much bad publicity before you can't afford it any more.

2GB has stopped all advertising on Alan Jones' show. Estimates have put that at $80,000 PER DAY! Advertisers are pulling out of the station left right and centre, and the station is hemorrhaging listeners and sponsors. How long can the station afford that much bad publicity?

Ok, so Alan Jones' comments have backfired on all political shock-jocks, and on the stations that hire them. Surely, people will think a bit more seriously about their rhetoric before they say it? Well, probably not, but we now have a precedent for a shock-jock who went to far, getting the backlash.

Ok, so how else has this assisted the left? Well, assuming you can call Labor 'left', it gave Julia Gillard the most amazing opening to attack Abbott's motion regarding Mr Slipper's 'offensive' text messages. "I was offended when Alan Jones said that my father died of shame.' She then linked him very cleverly to the Coalition, noting that Alan Jones was speaking at a function attended by 'Young Liberals.'

So Jones has given Labor a free kick at the opposition, and he has lost so much money that his station HAS to be re-considering his employment. (Kyle Sandilands anyone?)

But how long will this last? Jones' show after he came back on air without advertising was one of the most-listened to shows of the time slot. Anyone who was anyone wanted a summary of his comments that day, just so they could comment and judge. Media covered it ad nauseum, and his comments about cyber-bullying have become major debate points.

Also, you can't ignore the fact that he is popular with his audience. He makes comments like these because he knows his audience well. Indeed, the function at which he made the comments in question found them quite entertaining. No one there objected to them. His regular listeners, too, wouldn't stay tuned to the show if there wasn't something about his rhetoric and vitriol that they were attracted to.

I just can't see that this will have any long-term effect. Sure, Labor has made the most of it, and good on 'em, but next week Alan Jones will be talking, and the week after, as will all the other right-wing shock jocks who will say anything for a reaction.

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