The ancient Australian shock-jock yesterday targeted Jacinda Ardern, urging Australia’s PM to ‘shove a sock down her throat’. It’s all in keeping with a substantial history of being an arse.
The plucky nation of Australia excels in a range of endeavours, but nowhere more than the angry, anguished howls of bloated, Jurassic men. It’s a crowded field, from the columnist who creepily attacks the mental health of a teenage campaigner to the senator who blamed the mass murder of Muslims in Christchurch on Muslim immigration.
But while some come and go, the great stayer of the Australian troll pantheon is Alan Jones. The 78-year-old shock-jock-in-chief sharted his way to headlines yesterday by taking aim at Jacinda Ardern. It was heaven sent for the NZ prime minister, drowning out the latest awkwardness wrought by her deputy prime minister and coalition partner. And it was just the most recent phlegmy outburst on the part of the rugby coach turned broadcaster.
Yesterday Jones took exception to Ardern ticking off Australia for its climate change policy by gently telling his 2GB radio audience she was a “complete clown” and that the Australian PM, Scott Morrison, should “shove a sock down her throat”.
Another woman prime minister, Julia Gillard, was a favourite target. In 2012 Jones said she was “off her tree”, and that she should be “put into a chaff bag” and “throw her out to sea”.
Later in the year, Jones gave a speech at a Sydney University Liberal Club dinner. Among items being auctioned at the event were chaff bags signed by Jones. And in his speech, he said of Gillard’s deceased father, that he has “died of shame”. What a guy.
The very same year, Jones responded to government investment in promoting Pacific Island women’s role in business and politics with his thoughts about women in leadership more generally. He said, using words that came from his mouth: “Women are destroying the joint.”
A consistent critic of the centre-right Liberal Party for being too lefty (he stood for election for the party in the 70s), he advised party members just last month to pursue a particular approach to campaigning. Specifically: “Don’t be worried about running a fear campaign, because Australians are afraid.”
Addressing an anti-carbon-tax protest in 2012, he called climate change science “propaganda”, and climate change itself “witchcraft” and a “hoax”.
He is also the patron of the “Galileo Movement”, whose mission is exposing the “political fabrication of global warming alarm”.
He’s been snapped heaps of times for nicking other people’s work and passing it off as his own. The weirdest example dates from 1990, when he was shown to have copied large sections of his column, unattributed, from a work of fiction – specifically, the Frederick Forsyth novel The Negotiator.
In 2018 he was forced to apologise after a hectoring interview with Sydney Opera House chief Louise Herron, in which he berated her for opposing the projection of a horse-race advertisement on the landmark.
In 1993, he described Aboriginal musician and educator Mandaway Yunupingu winning Australian of the Year as “ridiculous” and an “insult”, saying he won the award simply because of his colour. Later that year he said to aboriginal rights campaigners: “When you say this is your nation, it’s not, it’s Australia’s nation.” Australians, he gurned, “are being asked to pay taxes to fund people who are seeking title to productive land to which they’ve made no contribution to its productivity”.
He gave succour to racist boos directed at aboriginal Aussie Rules player Adam Goodes, saying: “They just don’t like the fellow… Someone’s got to ask the question: why are they booing Adam Goodes and not the other 70 indigenous AFL players. He can fix this by changing his behaviour. He again today plays the victim.”
He backed Israel Folau over his homophobic social media posts, saying rugby authorities had “destroyed his employment and internationally destroyed his name for quoting a passage from the bible for God’s sake.”
He’s repeatedly used the N-word on air.
In 2005, he read out on-air a text message – he said he didn’t support it, he just, you know, read it out verbatim – which exhorted: “Come to Cronulla this weekend to take revenge. This Sunday every Aussie in the shire get down to North Cronulla to support the leb and wog bashing day.”
The same year, he characterised Lebanese Muslims as “vermin” who “rape and pillage a nation that’s taken them in”. A tribunal would later find that he “incited hatred, serious contempt and severe ridicule of Lebanese Muslims”.
Subscribe to The Bulletin to get all the day’s key news stories in five minutes – delivered every weekday at 7.30am.