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Chinese writer wins Nobel Prize for literature

Chinese author Mo Yan has won the Nobel Literature Prize for writing that mixes folk tales, history and the contemporary, the Swedish academy has announced.
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”Through a mixture of fantasy and reality, historical and social perspectives, Mo Yan has created a world reminiscent in its complexity of those in the writings of William Faulkner and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, at the same time finding a departure point in old Chinese literature and in oral tradition,” the Swedish academy said on Thursday.

Yan, whose real name is Guan Moye and was born in 1955, ”with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary”, the jury said.

Mo Yan has published novels, short stories and essays on various topics, and despite his social criticism is seen in his homeland as one of the foremost contemporary authors, the Nobel committee noted.

In his writing Mo Yan draws on his youthful experiences and on settings in the province of his birth.

Last year, the literature prize went to Swedish poet Tomas Transtroemer.

The literature prize is the fourth and one of the most watched announcements this Nobel season, following the prizes for medicine, physics and chemistry earlier this week.

The Nobel Peace Prize will be announced on Friday, with the field of possible winners wide open, followed by the Economics Prize on Monday, wrapping up the Nobel season.

As tradition dictates, the laureates will receive their prizes at formal ceremonies in Stockholm and Oslo on December 10, the anniversary of the death of prize creator Alfred Nobel in 1896.

Because of the economic crisis, the Nobel Foundation has slashed the prize sum to eight million Swedish kronor ($A1.18 million) per award, down from the 10 million kronor awarded since 2001.

AFP

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Djokovic powers into Shanghai quarters

Player-of-the-year honours are still to be decided between the quartet that split the season’s four major singles titles, but the consistency award is Novak Djokovic’s to lose. In just one tournament has the world No.2 failed to reach at least the semi-final stage, and he is now one match away from extending that record in Shanghai.
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Djokovic hit 12 aces, won 93 per cent of points on his first serve and did not face a break point in last night’s 6-3, 6-3 third-round domination of Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez at the Shanghai Rolex Masters, in a worthy sequel to Wednesday’s fine serving display against Grigor Dmitrov.

“I’m trying to enjoy the efficiency of my serve,” said Djokovic, who won the China Open on Sunday in his first event since losing the US Open final to Andy Murray. “I’m not very well known around the tour for big serving.  But so far in this tournament, and also in Beijing, it has been working very well for me. It has been giving me a lot of free points, a lot of confidence into the matches.”

Having relinquished the No.1 ranking to Roger Federer after Wimbledon, Djokovic is still capable of regaining it before the end of the season, although a Federer victory against Swiss compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka last night would have been enough to guarantee an unprecedented 300 weeks at No.1 for the 17-time grand slam champion.

“I think it’s fair to say it has been quite an evenly balanced year between the four, if you want to call it,” said Djokovic. “But it hasn’t been over. There’s still a few more big events to come. Still there are things up for grabs, like No.1 place in the world. It’s something that gives me a lot of motivation with Roger also.

“On the other hand, we haven’t had four (different) grand slam winners in how many years? So this is a great opportunity for the people to see a new grand slam winner, to get more attention to our sport. From that perspective it’s really good.”

Murray, who had a first round bye and a second round walkover, made a belated but brisk start to his title defence, dropping just four games against  Alexandr Dolgopolov, and will now meet tricky Czech veteran Radek Stepanek, who eliminated eighth seed John Isner 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3.

Fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was the first to reach the last eight, a 6-2, 7-6 (7-2) winner over Marcos Baghdatis. The ATP World Tour finals aspirant will next play Tomas Berdych, the fourth seed in the ongoing absence of Rafael Nadal, who reached his fourth Masters 1000 quarter-final of the season with a 6-2, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4 defeat of American Sam Querrey.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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How Lance cheated us all

TO START what was deemed a new and better doping strategy, Lance Armstrong and two of his teammates on the United States Postal Service cycling squad flew on a private jet to Valencia, Spain, in June 2000, to have blood extracted. In a hotel room there, two doctors and the team’s manager stood by to see their plan unfold, watching the blood of their best riders drip into plastic bags.
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The next month, during the Tour de France, the cyclists lay on beds with those blood bags affixed to the wall. They shivered as the cool blood re-entered their bodies. The reinfused blood would boost the riders’ oxygen-carrying capacity and improve stamina during the second of Armstrong’s seven Tour wins.

The following day, Armstrong extended his overall lead with a swift ascent of the unforgiving and seemingly unending route up Mont Ventoux.

At a race in Spain that same year, Armstrong told a teammate that he had taken testosterone, a banned substance he called ”oil”. The teammate warned Armstrong that drug-testing officials were at the team hotel, prompting Armstrong to drop out of the race to avoid being caught.

In 2002, Armstrong summoned a teammate to his apartment in Girona, Spain. He told his teammate that if he wanted to continue riding for the team he would have to follow the doping program outlined by Armstrong’s doctor, a known proponent of doping.

The rider said that the conversation confirmed that ”Lance called the shots on the team” and that ”what Lance said went”.

Those accounts were revealed yesterday in hundreds of pages of eyewitness testimony from teammates, email correspondence, financial records and laboratory analyses released by the United States Anti-Doping Agency – the quasi-governmental group charged with policing the use of performance-enhancing drugs in Olympic sports.

During all that time, Armstrong was a hero on two wheels, a cancer survivor who was making his mark as perhaps the most dominant cyclist in history.

But the evidence put forth by the anti-doping agency drew a picture of Armstrong as an infamous cheat, a defiant liar and a bully who pushed others to cheat with him so he could succeed, or be vanquished.

”The USPS Team doping conspiracy was professionally designed to groom and pressure athletes to use dangerous drugs, to evade detection, to ensure its secrecy and ultimately gain an unfair competitive advantage through superior doping practices,” the agency said.

Armstrong, who retired from cycling last year, has repeatedly denied doping. Yesterday, his spokesman said Armstrong had no comment.

When Armstrong decided in August not to contest the agency’s charges that he doped, administered doping products and encouraged doping on his Tour-winning teams, he agreed to forgo an arbitration hearing at which the evidence against him would have been aired, possibly publicly.

But that evidence, which the anti-doping agency called overwhelming and proof of the most sophisticated sports doping program in history, came out anyway.

Under the World Anti-Doping Code, the anti-doping agency was required to submit its evidence against Armstrong to the International Cycling Union.

The teammates who submitted sworn affidavits – admitting their own doping and detailing Armstrong’s involvement in it – included some of the best cyclists of Armstrong’s generation: Levi Leipheimer, Floyd Landis, Tyler Hamilton and George Hincapie, who claims he was clean by the time he cycled with Cadel Evans in 2011.

Their accounts painted an eerie and complete picture of the doping on Armstrong’s teams, squads that dominated the sport for nearly a decade.

”His goal led him to depend on EPO, testosterone and blood transfusions but also, more ruthlessly, to expect and to require that his teammates would likewise use drugs to support his goals if not their own,” the agency said in its 202-page report.

Drug use was casual among the top riders, and some shared EPO – the banned blood booster erythropoietin – as if borrowing cups of sugar from a neighbour. In 2005, Hincapie on two occasions asked Armstrong, ”Any EPO I could borrow?” and Armstrong obliged without question. In 2003, Armstrong showed up at Hincapie’s apartment in Spain and had his blood drawn for a future banned blood transfusion, Hincapie said, adding that he was aware that Armstrong used blood transfusions from 2001 to 2005.

Kristin Armstrong, Armstrong’s former wife, handed out cortisone tablets wrapped tightly in foil to the team at the 1998 world championships.

Riders were given water bottles containing EPO as if they were boxed lunches. Jonathan Vaughters said the bottles were carefully labelled for them: ”Jonathan – 5×2” meant five vials of 2000 international units each of EPO were tucked inside.

Once when Vaughters was in Armstrong’s room borrowing his laptop, Armstrong injected himself with EPO and said, now ”that you are doing EPO too, you can’t go write a book about it”.

Landis was asked to babysit the blood inside the refrigerator of Armstrong’s apartment, just to make sure the electricity did not go out and the blood did not spoil.

David Zabriskie, a five-time national time-trial champion, recalled serenading Johan Bruyneel, the long-time team manager, with a song about EPO, to the tune of Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze.

At the same time the drug use was nonchalant, it was also carefully orchestrated by Armstrong, team management and team staff, the anti-doping agency said. ”Mr Armstrong did not act alone,” the agency said in its report. ”He acted with the help of a small army of enablers, including doping doctors, drug smugglers, and others within and outside the sport and on his team.”

Armstrong relied on the Italian doctor Michele Ferrari for training and doping plans, several riders said. Armstrong continued to use Ferrari even after he publicly claimed in 2004 – and testified under oath in an insurance claims case – that he had severed all business ties with Ferrari.

The anti-doping agency noted that Armstrong had sent payments of more than $US1 million to Ferrari from 1996 through 2006, based on financial documents discovered in an Italian doping investigation.

As an example of the extreme care the team would take to avoid positive tests, the doctor suggested that the riders inject EPO directly into their veins instead of under their skin, which would lessen the possibility that the drug would be picked up by tests. He pushed the use of hypoxic chambers, which he said also reduced the effectiveness of the EPO test.

The team’s doctors came up with fake maladies so that riders could receive an exemption to use drugs like cortisone, several riders said. When Armstrong tested positive for cortisone during the 1999 Tour, Armstrong produced a backdated prescription for it, for saddle sores. Hamilton said he knew that was a lie.

Riders said they felt that they needed to dope to stay at the top of the sport and stay on the team. Armstrong was instrumental in the hiring and firing of team personnel and pressured riders to stay on a doping program, the anti-doping agency said.

The evidence made it clear, the agency said, that Armstrong’s drug use was extensive, and that he also was the lynchpin holding the team’s doping program together. It said that is why it barred him from Olympic sports for life and stripped him of his record seven Tour victories.

”It was not enough that his teammates give maximum effort on the bike, he also required that they adhere to the doping program outlined for them or be replaced,” the anti-doping agency said. ”He was not just a part of the doping culture on his team, he enforced and reinforced it.”

NEW YORK TIMES

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Battle heats up for W-League team spots

NEWCASTLE Jets W-League coach Wayne O’Sullivan has challenged his players to demand selection in round one with a strong performance tonight against the Herald Women’s Premier League Select side.
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The match at Wanderers Oval from 6pm will be the Jets’ final trial before their W-League season opener against Sydney FC on October 21 at Leichhardt Oval.

The WPL side will be coached by championship-winning Adamstown mentor Shelley Youman and comprises players from Rosebud, Merewether United, Charlestown City Blues and Football Mid North Coast.

Competition for spots is healthy in the Jets camp after two modified trials against the Sky Blues, a 4-3 loss and 2-all draw, and intraclub matches.

“We had an internal game last night among ourselves which was very competitive and it gave us another look at the final pieces and who is going to play where and who wants to be the first in line,” O’Sullivan said yesterday.

“So tomorrow night is very much about doing the right things and people showing they’re ready.

“The final pieces will go into place next week, so I really want people to put their hand up and say, ‘I wanna start first round’.”

All bar two of the 19-woman squad will be available tonight.

Madeline Searl (strained knee) and Mikaela Howell (thigh strain) will be rested to overcome injuries, but the remainder of the squad is expected to see game time.

Tonight’s trial will also give local fans their first glimpse at US imports Tori Huster, Tiffany Boshers and Angela Salem.

Salem and Huster will play in the midfield and Boshers is expected to push further forward on the left wing.

“They’ve been great for the group from a cultural point of view,” O’Sullivan said.

The imports were all leaders on the field and brought experience which had showed in training, he said.

Wayne O’Sullivan.

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EDITORIAL: Ideology and the jobless

MONTHLY unemployment figures should be treated with caution.
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The sample size used by the bureau of statistics in its regular survey is small and the figures are consequently best viewed as a series over time.

But that hasn’t stopped the government and the opposition from sparring over the latest set of numbers.

The September figures showed a jobless rate of 5.4 per cent, up from 5.1 per cent in August. This is the highest unemployment rate since April 2010.

The government says more people are in work than ever before, and a small swing upward in the jobless rate is all due to the Coalition in Queensland sacking swathes of public servants. Feeding this assertion is a high Queensland jobless rate of 6.3 per cent.

Extrapolating from this assertion, the government has warned voters that “this is what Liberals do”, adding that opposition leader Tony Abbott would – if elected prime minister – soon be drafting thousands of redundancy notices for commonwealth government employees.

Liberal shadow treasurer, Joe Hockey, has come back at the government with the counter-argument that Labor is to blame for the higher unemployment because it has fostered a climate of low business confidence.

After that, the argument splits along the usual ideological lines, with Mr Hockey defending the Queensland job cuts and insisting that getting that state’s budget back into surplus is a better strategy than using public expenditure to bolster employment.

Mr Abbott, predictably, has declared that jobs are being lost because of the economic effects of the carbon tax.

Hollowed economy

Politics aside, a rise in unemployment has been predicted for some time.

The mining boom – untempered by any effective resource tax – drove up labour costs and the dollar, hollowing out the non-mining sectors of the economy.

Warnings went largely ignored, perhaps because some policymakers believed the process would reverse when the boom eased. It hasn’t, at least partly because massive programs of money-printing by foreign governments have created a “race to the bottom” in currency values, leaving Australia isolated as an attractive high-yield haven for overseas investors trying to preserve the value of their money.

Tragically, neither side of politics has managed to espouse any vision to combat this problem, leaving it up to the reserve bank to do what little it can by gradually cutting interest rates.

Even more tragically, it’s likely that neither side will be bold enough to act usefully in the near future, with Labor having badly mishandled parts of its stimulus package in the wake of the first round of the global financial crisis, and the Coalition philosophically wedded to notions of austerity.

Most tragically of all, that means unemployment figures may get worse before they get better. Instead of arguing ideology, the nation’s leaders ought to consider the human cost that possibility implies.

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Hincapie: I didn’t dope when Cadel won Tour

MATES: Cadel Evans and George Hincapie. Picture: Getty ImagesWASHINGTON: One of Cadel Evans’s senior teammates, George Hincapie, has admitted doping but says he stopped long before helping the Australian to his 2011 Tour de France triumph.
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The American’s confession came as the United States Anti-Doping Agency on Wednesday revealed all of its evidence in the investigation of countryman Lance Armstrong, including testimony from Hincapie and 10 other former Armstrong teammates.

Hincapie was a US Postal Service teammate of Armstrong when the cycling legend won seven Tour de France titles in a row from 1999 to 2005.

The vastly experienced Hincapie joined American team BMC Racing in 2010, the same year as Evans, and was a valued lieutenant as Evans rode to his historic victory in the Tour last year.

Admitting to doping while riding with Armstrong, he said on Wednesday that he had not taken performance-enhancing drugs since 2005.

USADA stripped Armstrong of his seven Tour crowns and imposed a life ban upon him in August. The agency sent a report of its findings to the International Cycling Union on Wednesday.

Hincapie posted a link to his statement on his website and Twitter account as USADA revealed the full extent of its probe.

“Because of my love for the sport, the contributions I feel I have made to it, and the amount the sport of cycling has given to me over the years, it is extremely difficult today to acknowledge that during a part of my career I used banned substances,” he wrote.

“Early in my professional career, it became clear to me that, given the widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs by cyclists at the top of the profession, it was not possible to compete at the highest level without them.

“I deeply regret that choice and sincerely apologise to my family, teammates and fans.

“I have competed clean and have not used any performance-enhancing drugs or processes for the past six years. Since 2006, I have been working hard within the sport of cycling to rid it of banned substances.”

“During this time, I continued to successfully compete at the highest level of cycling while mentoring young professional riders on the right choices to make to ensure that the culture of cycling had changed.”

USADA chief executive Travis T. Tygart praised Hincapie and others who came forward to give evidence against Armstrong.

“The riders who participated in the USPS Team doping conspiracy and truthfully assisted have been courageous in making the choice to stop perpetuating the sporting fraud,” he said. AAP

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Holidaying medics called to the frontline in Kuta

A COUPLE of hours before dawn on the first morning of her Bali holiday, Linda Hogg was woken by a phone call from her daughter.
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There were reports in Australia of an explosion in Bali, she was told. Ms Hogg passed the phone to husband John and turned on the TV, where reports of destruction at the Sari Club were playing.

As Dr Hogg, a surgeon from Wollongong, phoned Denpasar’s Sanglah Hospital and offered help, neither had a sense of the scale of injury that they had themselves only narrowly avoided.

Ms Hogg, who was born in Indonesia and volunteers at a Bali charity for disabled children, had brought her husband on his first trip to Bali for her birthday.

“I was going to take [John] to the Sari Club but, a few days before we left, my mother decided she wanted to come with us,” she said. They had a quiet meal instead.

When the couple arrived at the hospital the stillness belied a horrific scene.

“It was incredibly quiet, it was very eerie,” Ms Hogg, a paediatric physiotherapist, recalled.

They found ward after ward of mutilated people, some with burns to up to 80 per cent of their bodies. She began compiling a list of patients.

“People were starting to come into the hospital looking for their loved ones,” she said. “They’d woken up in the morning and realised that their bed was empty.”

John started stabilising burns patients so they could be transported to Australia for treatment.

“A lot of [Indonesian doctors] don’t understand those sorts of burns, with 60-80 per cent burns usually you die there,” John said.

He and other Australian and expat doctors improvised among chaos: “We were able to find scalpel blades but not handles; we were just holding the blades between our fingers.”

Over the course of a day, Dr Hogg travelled to half-a-dozen local hospitals: “I would have seen upward of 200 to 300 people.”

Locals aided in the crush, too, by constantly collecting supplies.

“They’d tie someone to their bicycle to bring them in to the hospital, or sat nursing someone while they died,” Linda said. “You have no idea what these amazing people went through because they just wanted to be of help.”

As John helped people hang on to life, Linda went to the morgue and helped to identify the dead.

“I was trying to find something a relative would recognise,” she said. She examined torn rugby jerseys and photographed jewellery and tattoos, trying to put names and faces together. ”It was horrific. There were so many young ones.”

Both drew inspiration from the bravery the injured showed despite excruciating pain and little anaesthesia.

“The wounded people were very stoical,” John said.

But Linda lived with doubts about whether saving people so horrifically injured was futile.

“In Indonesia, they looked at them and said: ‘Anyone with 70 to 80 per cent burns, make them comfortable and let them go to peace.'”

But those fears were quelled by the stories of the survivors whom she’d put on stretchers and accompanied on their way to emergency flights back to Australia. “It makes me feel much better to know they’re getting on with life,” Linda said.

“To see them having children, leading lives, having jobs is wonderful.”

The couple, who’d worked separately all day, finally met at the airbase where the injured lay on stretchers under tents.

“I remember getting back to the hotel and walking into the sea in my stinking clothing to wash off the feeling,” John said. “The sun was just rising, the surf breaking on a distant reef.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Ram raid at Warners Bay nets jewellery 

THIEVES stole thousands of dollars worth of stock and caused thousands more in damage during a ‘‘mad smash and grab’’ at a Warners Bay jewellery store yesterday.
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Lake Macquarie police commander acting Superintendent Murray Lundberg said the thieves reversed a vehicle through the multi-folding security doors at Davidson’s Jewellery in the Lake Village Arcade about 1.30am.

Once inside they smashed through glass counter tops and displays and snatched necklaces, rings and other items.

The offenders then drove the vehicle out of the store, through the arcade and onto the street.

Specialist police examined a large mattock and a black torch that were left behind by the offenders yesterday.

The store’s owners, John and Nonji Penfold, were still assessing the damage caused and the items stolen last night.

‘‘It was so bad, so much was stolen,’’ Mrs Penfold said.

‘‘Not a lot of the really expensive stuff – luckily that was tucked away in a safe – but they did so much damage.’’

Family friend Alister Mallet, who helped Mrs Penfold clean up the broken glass yesterday, said he thought the thieves had been in and out in a matter of minutes.

‘‘It was just a mad smash and grab by the look of it,’’ he said.

‘‘They got what they could in a hurry.’’

Superintendent Lundberg told the Newcastle Herald there was no CCTV vision of the ram raid and the investigation would hinge on witnesses who saw the incident or any suspicious vehicles in the Warners Bay area.

‘‘At this stage we don’t have an idea about descriptions of vehicles or numbers of offenders,’’ he said.

‘‘Any assistance from the public would be greatly appreciated.’’

The early-morning raid was the second in the Hunter in a few months after thieves used a Fiat van to smash their way into a jewellery store in July.

SMASH AND GRAB: Davidson’s Jewellery in Warners Bay after a vehicle reverse-rammed into it and thieves grabbed goods. No CCTV footage was found.

TOOLS: Nonji Penfold holds up the torch and mattock that were used in the theft. Picture:Max Mason-Hubers

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TOPICS: Idol way to stage

SPOTTING an Australian Idol also-ran can be depressing, like bumping into that guy from school who showed glimpses of talent at footy but spent the next decade in the TAB.
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Not so in the case of Marty Worrall. The Idol 2004 sixth-place getter lives in Newcastle, teaches singing and possesses some serious lungs.

He’s also scored a role alongside Idol Nice Judge and fellow-Novocastrian Marcia Hines in the Long Way to the Top musical.

CAREER FOCUS: Marty Worrall, at right, backs up JPY at the Long Way to the Top concert at Newcastle Entertainment Centre on Tuesday.

“It’s a treat to sing with Marcia after knowing her through my Idol days,” Worrall told Herald entertainment reporter Amy Edwards.

Worrall, a Mayfield resident, is the only male backing singer in the show, which wraps up in Brisbane tonight.

He also provided backing vocals on the The Voice earlier this year and was picked for the Long Way tour after impressing people at Channel Nine.

Lake Macquarie resident John Paul Young joined Worrall on stage during Tuesday night’s Newcastle Entertainment Centre performance, along with Doug Parkinson, who was apparently born at the Mater Hospital.

As you can tell, it was a bit of a Hunter affair.

The terror… the terror…

FORGET Willie Mason or Emile Heskey.

This region’s most eagerly-awaited return to action of 2012 surely belongs to Alan Jones.

The talkback king will dip a toe into the public speaking pond today for the first time since those unfortunate comments about the Prime Minister’s father.

We don’t want to join the list of those Jones has accused of harassing him and his sponsors with “cyber-bullying”. Or “cyber-terrorism”.

(Just as an aside, in the last cyber-terrorism film we saw, Die Hard 4.0, the cyber-terrorists didn’t lobby companies not to advertise on talkback. Maybe the profession has changed.)

Hopefully it won’t ruffle any feathers if we tell you the 2GB breakfast host is guest speaker at Breakers Country Club in Terrigal, for today’s Terrigal Trojans rugby club’s annual long lunch.

Jones is a late replacement in the slot for his ill 2GB stablemate Ray Hadley, who was originally advertised to not “hold back any punches . . . on a wide range of issues from sport to politics and beyond”.

We’re not sure whether Jones will “hold back any punches” at the $80-a-head fund-raiser in the wake of recent events.

Tempt-me-not

WHEN we saw this “lolly free” supermarket checkout at The Junction, we were kind of torn.

Part of us beamed “Good on them for taking a healthy stand”.

Another part sighed, “First World problems . . . “.

As in, how would you explain to someone in Somalia, that in Australia we need a specialised checkout to shield us from the temptation of sweets?

We must admit, we’re suckers for a pack of Mentos at the point of purchase. The lolly-free checkout is probably a good idea.

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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.
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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.”

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