Alan Jones Is Retiring, Bitch

Notorious talkback radio host Alan Jones is retiring at the end of this month, so allow us to be the first to say: good riddance.

The ratings sensation and frequent bully announced his shock retirement from 2GB this morning, telling listeners he has decided to step down due to ill health.

Jones has had a long, successful, and extremely lucrative radio career that just-so-happened to coincide with several high profile cases of bullying, racism, misogyny, and defamation.

In 2009, he was ruled to have “incited hatred, serious contempt and severe ridicule” of Lebanese Muslims in the lead up to the 2005 Cronulla riots. Jones tried to appeal, but the ruling was upheld.

In 2011, Jones infamously said then-Prime Minister Julia Gillard should be shoved in a “chaff bag and [taken] far in a chaff bag out to sea”.

A year later, he added that Gillard’s father had “died of shame”. He held a press conference to say he “got it wrong” about his Gillard comments, but didn’t learn his lesson.

In 2019, he said Prime Minister Scott Morrison should “shove a sock down [the] throat” of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. His words cost Macquarie Media (now owned by Nine) hundreds of advertisers, according to an activist group, and Jones later wrote Ardern an apology letter.

He also was found to have defamed the Wagner family by accusing them of being responsible for the 2010-2011 Queensland floods, which resulted in $3.7 million in damages. And just last year, he courted controversy for proudly saying the N-word live on air, and arguing that he was perfectly allowed to say it. (He apologised the next day.)

“We are living in the world of coronavirus,” Jones told his “radio family” this morning.

“The most repeated statement we hear is ‘we must listen to the experts’. Well, the experts are telling me in no uncertain terms, and not for the first time I might add, ‘continuing with the present workload is seriously detrimental to your health’.”

It’s being reported that Nine – which owns Macquarie Media, as well as Pedestrian Group – agreed to pay out the remainder of Jones’ $4 million a year contract, which expires in June 2021

He will be replaced by Ben Fordham in the breakfast slot.

Jones’ supposedly vice-grip hold on the levers of power in Australia is apparent by leaders past and present immediately commenting – or being asked to comment – on his retirement. Morrison called to congratulate him on “always doing the right thing by your country”, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that “anyone who commands such a strong following deserves our congratulations and our respect”, and former PM Tony Abbott had this to say”

Even Anthony Albanese told ABC Breakfast this morning that while “it’s fair to say that we’ve had the odd different opinion … I certainly respect his contribution to the media over such a long period of time.”

It’s going to be a long, long day.