23 October 2019

Tabling of Jones petition may see ad guidelines tightened

| Ian Bushnell
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2CC bus ads

The Alan Jones ad on the back of a Transport Canberra bus. Photo: File.

A petition calling for Transport Canberra to immediately remove 2CC’s Alan Jones ads from the back of buses in their fleet has been tabled in the Assembly.

Transport Minister Chris Steel will have three months to respond to the petition started by Canberra Women in Business president Peta Swarbrick, but because it garnered more than 500 signatures it will also go to the Environment and Transport and City Services Committee, which may recommend changes to Transport Canberra’s advertising guidelines.

The petition was sparked by Jones’ on-air comments about New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, a month after 2CC announced it would syndicate the Alan Jones Breakfast Show.

The ACT Greens threw their support behind the petition, stating that the government should not profit from Jones’ “blatantly sexist, misogynistic dog-whistling”.

Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur tabled the petition, which drew 540 supporters in four weeks.

Ms Swarbrick said the petition underlined the depth of feeling in the community about comments and attitudes like those expressed by Jones.

“The greatest good that can come from this is that the guidelines are tightened up,” she said.

She said the government should be setting the standard about whose money it takes and whose it doesn’t.

“Jones uses hate speech and the government has a responsibility not to be seen to be promoting hate speech,” Ms Swarbrick said.

She rejected arguments that the petition was anti-freedom of speech and that 2CC and the government had a right to engage in a commercial arrangement.

“It’s always a freedom of speech issue when its someone in a position of power who has the power to damage another group in society,” she said.

“People with privilege have responsibility and he is totally unrepentant about it.

“It’s about the government as a purveyor of advertising holding themselves to a much higher standard than any other commercial entity.”

Ms Swarbrick said she would be happy to give evidence to the committee, saying it would be a good discussion to have in the current climate.

Ms Swarbrick she can’t believe 2CC broadcasts the Jones show, given his relentless Canberra bashing.

The current Transport Canberra advertising policy states that ads must not represent, portray or promote “a message that can be deemed offensive or demeaning to specific community groups (i.e. religious, ethnic, women, etc)”.

Jones said of Ms Ardern on 15 August: “I just wonder whether Scott Morrison is going to be fully briefed to shove a sock down her throat … Now I hope Scott Morrison gets tough here with a few backhanders.”

Around 80 advertisers have withdrawn their support from radio station 2GB and the Jones show since he made the comments about Ms Ardern. Macquarie Media said they would terminate Jones’ contract if he made similar comments again.

Jones wrote to Ms Ardern on 16 August apologising for his remarks, saying he would “never wish any harm” towards her. The apology letter was obtained under freedom of information laws.

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Since the outer suburbs of Canberra lost their local bus services they don’t have to put up with Alan Jones in their neighbourhood. Lose Win.

Capital Retro10:09 am 24 Oct 19

“I saw it again this morning!!!”

Are you stalking this bus, Jessica?

Here’s a possible solution.

Instead of a pointless petition that takes only a trivial investment in time to sign, how about the people who want him banned use crowd funding to raise enough money to buy the advertising space.

Then his ad will be gone and they can put their own ad on the bus promoting whatever they want.

Capital Retro10:08 am 24 Oct 19

That would be an alien concept for the haters.

If they were gainfully employed and could afford to buy the advertising space, they would probably have better things to do with their time than whine about Jones.

Yes Alan Jones used a “figure of speech” to get his thoughts across on how he felt. Yes it was a bad choice of words but to suggest that people would see this as a green light to behave in this way is crazy. And to suggest he actually meant it in the physical sense is absurd. With that view in mind we will need to ban all books and movies with any violence as anyone viewing or reading will be sure to commit a violent act as a result.
People can decide if they wish to listen to him or not that’s what the off button is for. Marijuana is far worst for your health but we are happy to legalise that…..go figure?

Capital Retro6:59 am 25 Oct 19

I think Alan Jones would agree that with the Greens, reality is an illusion caused by lack of drugs.

rationalobserver8:29 pm 23 Oct 19

I’m offended that our taxes were used to paint the action busses in rainbow colours. Does my offence equal your offence at Jones?

Yes – may need to start a petition.

I reckon I could get 540 signatures in a couple of hours to ban the greens.

rationalobserver10:39 pm 24 Oct 19

I could get that many just from the people I know.

540 people signed the petition. Meanwhile 400,000 Canberrans didn’t and kept listening to their radios.

Capital Retro6:28 pm 23 Oct 19

Right on JM.

Obviously a lot of the people that have joined the petition have never listened to the ABC. There were two female commentators on 666 yesterday who were wishing horrible things to happen to Donald Trump.

Also, hardly a day goes by without the F word being proudly uttered on the ABC. That’s more offensive to me than what some people are perceiving Alan Jones said/meant.

There are some borderline homophobic comments about Jones on this thread too; that’s unacceptable.

Wow – “540 supporters in four weeks”. This calls for immediate action !!!!!

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