Twitter is currently mid-fit over an image that has leaked of tomorrow’s Sunday Telegraph which features an article in which broadcaster and former Wallabies coach Alan Jones accuses Prime Minister Julia Gillard of effectively ‘shaming her father to death.’
The ‘veteran broadcaster’ from 2GB has surpassed Vile Kyle levels of abhorrence with comments told to a group of 100 Young Liberals at the Sydney University Liberal Club President’s Dinner. Jones allegedly said that John Gillard’s death on September 8th was linked to the shame he felt of his daughter and her track record of telling the truth. Jones also asserts that Gillard’s tears at the death of her father are what spiked an increase in popularity in recent polls, as opposed to Tony Abbott being grossly inappropriate in revealing his predilection for erotic fiction, or an actual legitimate increase in popularity on the government’s part. It must’ve been the tears: everyone knows crying at the death of a parent is a grab for Nielsen numbers.
Jones’ exact words were, “The old man recently died a few weeks ago of shame. To think that he had a daughter who told lies every time she stood for parliament. Every person in the caucus of the Labor Party knows Julia Gillard is a liar.“
Jones also asserts that the opposition party are giving Gillard an easy ride on account of her being a woman (Side note: how is this still an issue?) His words on that topic: “They’ve been brainwashed by the media to ‘oh back off, she’s a woman, go easy“. Not completely devoid of the ability to say anything not resembling evacuated bile, Jones still managed to praise Tony Abbott for his “humility. He is a man of incomparable integrity and conviction.”
The broadcaster’s comments come only two days after he received the annual Ernie award for the most sexist public comments in the country after he declared that “women are destroying the joint.” That came second to Sandilands’ infamous “your hair’s very ’90s and your blouse, you haven’t got that much titty to be having that low-cut a blouse, watch your mouth, girl or I’ll hunt you down.“
The Australian had originally published a recording of the speech, which was taken discretely and unbeknownst to organisers of the Liberal Club President’s Dinner (who didn’t know there was a Telegraph journalist in their midst), but have recently pulled it. However, here’s a fantastic tweet issued a week ago after the dinner at which the comments were made that has yet to be removed! Good one, SULC!
These kind of comments are akin to the kind of trolling the Telegraph have so vehemently opposed in their recent #StopTheTrolls campaign – the only difference here is the medium in which they were delivered. The same disgusting lack of logic applies here as it did when trolls told Charlotte Dawson to go hang herself; or when someone posted a sexually explicit tweet about West Tigers captain Robbie Farrah’s recently deceased mother; or when another troll targeted British diver Tom Daley, using his father’s death as motivation for a vitriolic stream of abuse. It’s all just gross insensitivity and dick moves on the largest scale.
This evening there have been calls for a listener and advertiser boycott of Jones’ station, a call for 2GB to denounce his comments, and many, many references to Jones’ history of sexual indiscretions in London public toilets (because of all the shame being discussed).
Real talk: is there some kind of a limit to just how repugnant Jones, Sandilands or any other man prone to these kind of statements can get before they unequivocally lose the support of their employers, their advertisers, sponsors and their audiences? Or, as it has been proven, if the limit – like Jones – never actually approaches anything…
Regardless of what you think about Julia Gillard and her politics, the vile, incendiary comments made by Alan Jones are completely rock bottom and a sad indictment on the state of the current political discourse rooted in blatant unapologetic misogyny.
UPDATE: The Daily Telegraph have just published the full story and audio of Jones’ comments:
Lead image by Scott Barbour for Getty Images. Photo credit Brenden Wood