What is it with Sydney …

… Sydney Radio, 2GB and Alan Jones?

I’ve just been looking over the ACMA report on Jones’ broadcasts before the Cronulla riots. out of four complaints, ACMA upheld only one, relating to the broadcast on Wednesday, December 7th, when Jones said:

‘J’ has a good answer, he says police and the council are impotent here all rhetoric and no action. My suggestion is to invite the biker gangs to be present at Cronulla Railway station when these Lebanese thugs arrive, the biker gangs have been much maligned but they do a lot of good things – it would be worth the price of admission to watch these cowards scurry back onto the train for the return trip to their lairs…and wouldn’t it be brilliant if the whole event was captured on TV cameras and featured on the evening news so that we, their parents, family and friends can see who these bastards are…Australians old and new should not have to put up with this scum.

Other complaints – relating to broadcasts on every other day of that week – were all dismissed. The report is only an “investigative report” – concerned only with whether breaches of the Broadcasting Code of Practice had occurred – so it doesn’t include any recommendation regarding penalties. All up, Jones got off pretty lightly.

That hasn’t stopped Jones and John Singleton bitching about it, though, has it? It seems the biggest affront is that ACMA chair, Chris Chapman, has slipped out of Jones’ pocket:

Mr Singleton had said: “I don’t want to get personal with Chris (Chapman), I like Chris, but he has called on Alan (Jones) and me for many favours over the years and we’ve both been forthcoming. So, I’m personally disappointed, but maybe he had no legal alternative.”

Jones was quoted saying Mr Chapman “had more jobs than I’ve had feeds. Mr Chapman has gone around this town on many occasions, to me and to others, seeking references to be written for his appointment to a stack of jobs.” (The Age)

In other words, Chapman has ratted on the mates who were so forthcoming when he was looking for help to advance his career. How utterly unAustralian!

Maybe that’s why Jones’ other, very Australian mates, have rallied to stand behind him, from the Prime Minister down. I don’t know if Kevin Rudd is a mate – I’d rather hope he’s not, and prepared to remain that way – but he seems to have decided that the butter on his political bread is on Jones’ side of the slice. Communications Minister Helen Coonan is very definitely a mate – even though she’s a sheila:

COMMUNICATIONS Minister Helen Coonan has refused to support the nation’s media regulator in its ruling against broadcaster Alan Jones.

Asked by The Age to respond to the Australian Communications and Media Authority finding that the Sydney broadcaster had encouraged violence and vilification of Australians of Lebanese and other Middle Eastern backgrounds, Senator Coonan issued a statement backing Jones. She also hinted that the Government was prepared to review the broadcasting rules which Jones had been found to have breached.

Her statement said: “Alan Jones has made an indelible mark on broadcasting during his long and outstanding career and I encourage the industry to address any concerns that they might have with the current code with a review to ensure it best reflects community standards.” (The Age again – my emphasis)

Top stuff, eh? If a prominent Sydney shock-jock gets ticked off for offending community standards, it’s obviously time to get a new set of community standards.

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Posted in Howardia, media, Sydney
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