JEFF CORBETT: Keeping up with Jones

THE cyber-generated assault on businesses that advertised on the Alan Jones 2GB show has had a devastating impact on the advertisers and the radio station.

That assault, whipped up through Facebook and other social sites, is nominally at least in response to Mr Jones’s vulgar statement that Julia Gillard’s father died of shame because of her lies, and it does appear increasingly that the anti-Jones campaign has a political purpose rather than being merely an expression of protest.

It is likely, too, that the use of tens of thousands of viral emails to overwhelm and even destroy the advertisers’ computers is more than civil protest, and I would not be surprised if that is put to the test soon.

Still, it is a powerful use of new media and suddenly the old media is vulnerable. Is it censorship or merely people expressing outrage? Here’s what you had to say.

Peterk: “Jeff, I think what Jones said is far more offensive than anything you have said, although a few middle-aged overweight bikies might beg to differ. The reality is that money from advertisers is what keeps the shock jocks on air. Whether 100,000 people or 20,000 listen does not matter if the 20,000 buy more. It is the obvious Achilles heel and it’s not the first time nor will it be the last that advertisers have flexed their muscles or been targeted by campaigns. The problem for Jones is that firstly he didn’t apologise (he never used the word sorry and played the victim himself) and, secondly, he has run similar campaigns against others all through his career. He, like many so called opinion columnists, are mouthpieces for political parties and Jones has been as vitriolic and hate filled as any.”

Abundance: “I have a sneaking suspicion that Alan Jones, Ray Hadley and John Laws are the same person. They certainly all have the same double digit IQ. Maybe that other damn fool, Kyle whatzizname, is their offspring. I choose not to listen to any of them. It’s all utter drivel. A great way to boost the productivity of Australia would be to pull the plug on almost all media. Let’s face it, there’s not much fair dinkum journalism any more, especially now that Jeff’s going to take the mash brew hobby to full ahead both engines. Radio shows, almost all television, and most claptrap on the internet is an utter waste of life.”

Directeur Sportif: “Welcome back from hols JC! I heartily approve of the campaign over Mr Jones’s comments. The new media changes the way we interact with those who make public comment, whether they are public figures or merely contributors to a blog. In the past if one disagreed with comments made in the media one wrote a letter to the editor, or a lodged complaint. It was completely at the discretion of the recipient to print or acknowledge it, even if there were thousands of them. The general public would be none the wiser. There is nothing new about consumer boycotts, but in the age of new media they are much easier to coordinate quickly and importantly keep in the public consciousness to sustain momentum. For the companies concerned it becomes not only a moral but an economic choice.”

Danielle Jones: “I am really angry at Alan Jones but not for the expected reasons. Yes what he said was abhorrent and cruel. No-one, no matter how disliked, deserves such trolling (yes it was trolling, those words are exactly the kind internet trolls spew forth). But my anger at Jones is far more political. His idiotic diatribe has garnered sympathy for a politician who far from deserves it.”

Mike King: “Self-righteous indignation is Jones’s stock in trade. I accept that he has done much for charity and that he is highly successful in his field. I just don’t like listening to him and bristle whenever I hear snippets of one of his rants. I was reasonably ambivalent about him until the Cronulla riots, but I believe his behaviour in the lead up to that was beyond the pale. However, as despicable as his Gillard comments were the attack on the businesses, large and small, that advertise on the network is unfair. For most small businesses they are looking at ratings numbers not content when they advertise so they are not endorsing his commentary. This attack on them is bullying, plain and simple.”