An Appreciation

Free Speech, Lynch Mobs and Alan Jones

I had not been one of Alan Jones regular listeners until about three years ago, when what grabbed my curiosity was the sheer volume of hate and vitriol directed at him. Typical of the Left and its social media legions, the attacks were almost always personal, seldom about the content of what he had to say. “He must be doing something right,” I thought, taking the measure of his enemies. So I started listening.

This week, haters all over the country, even those in parts where his radio show isn’t heard, are rejoicing that Jones is switching off his microphone for good at the end of the month. So why all the hate? Jones expresses opinions on many topics, opinions with which many disagree. Heavens, I disagree with him at times, but I don’t hate him. So why does he animate his critics to fits of frothing and fury? Why have they campaigned for advertiser boycotts, signed petitions demanding he be taken off the air, blitzed regulators with complaints and called on his employer to zip his lip? Why do they go into outrage mode so quickly when he makes a genuine slip and then exaggerate the size of the gaffe with the bare-faced aplomb of a sporting fisherman describing his hooked tiddler as a giant marlin? Why do they  portray him as racist, misogynist etc etc whenever he articulates an uncomfortable truth or opinion?

The simple answer is that they cannot and will not tolerate having their precious views and ideologies challenged. Oh, they can dish it out alright — the abuse and vilification, the concerted attempts at character assassination, the threats against sponsors threatened with guilt by association. Do what Jones does, pick apart their causes and arguments, and the cry-bullies of the Left switch from rabid attacks to feigning the delicacy of soap bubbles. ‘Oh, we’re so offended, boo hoo’ and ‘What he said is so inappropriate’ — you know, that sort of thing.

They are lightning fast to take offence because in today’s woke world being offended has the power to silence others. Most of us have been on the receiving end of an ‘I’m offended!’ and know the pressure of expectation that we must change our thoughts, words and beliefs. And if we can’t reform ourselves as ordered the demand is a simple and salty ‘Just shut the **** up.” Notice the hypocrisy? In their pleas to be insulated from ‘offence’, the Left spares not a thought for those genuinely offended by obscene language. The fact that one of the chief social media entities calling for Jones’ sacking goes by the name of ‘Mad F***ing Witches’ — one of their tweets is at left — says it all.

Jones, along with Andrew Bolt, is enemy #1 for the snowflakes, the woke and whinger ninjas of the ‘caring’ Left for all the messages he delivers that they don’t want to hear and believe others should never hear. Over the years, by assembling facts and coherent arguments, Jones has clobbered them, not least by defying their campaigns and continuing to broadcast.

Now I am not saying that Jones is always right. Many Quadrant Online readers, I imagine, look askance at his vocal opposition to fracking. Nor am I suggesting that his choice of words is always the best. Consider, as one example, the calls to haul Jones off the air for suggesting that Prime Minister Morrison deal with Saint Jacinda of Aotearoa by shoving “a sock down her throat”. Didn’t the mob go to town on that one! ‘He’s encouraging violence against women’, the bleating Left cried in orchestrated unison. That particular episode of outrage was confected, as usual, and baseless too. Had Jones used that venerable expression “stick a sock in it”, would his critics have found grounds for complaint?  Probably, but it would have required an even greater effort to do so with a straight face.

As well as providing insightful commentary on a variety of important topics, Jones’s ability to send his detractors into immediate meltdown has been a fantastic source of entertainment, there being few things quite so grotesquely amusing as an apoplectic leftoid mob feeding on its own outrage. In order to justify their attacks his critics trawl through the many years of his broadcasts to find the quotes that can be presented as proof of his inherent evil. Judging by radio ratings, the very many Australians who tune in must be evil too. But most of us are not public figures like Jones, so what does this mean for our right to dissent from leftist orthodoxy? If he and others like him can be silenced by people chanting ‘Offence! Offence! Offence!’ then any one of us can be silenced. Our right to express opinions, to disagree and demand the Left justify what pass for its arguments, is increasingly being stripped away. If Jones’ long career teaches us anything it is that we need to contest the Left at every turn. If we let their inclinations to control and censor go unchallenged, they hip-and-shoulder civil debate from democracy’s stage and force it further into the wings.

Many, like myself, when wanting to express a concern because we feel something isn’t quite right, sometimes decide it just isn’t worth the effort. All it takes is for your snowflake interlocutor to say “You offended me and hurt my feelings” and then, suddenly, you are accused of being a bully. As has happened so often to Jones, some sniveling  prig might even go running to your boss with the demand that you be fired forthwith. Actually, it wouldn’t be just one complainant, as the Left’s trolls and skirmishers always hunt in packs.

For those hell bent on silencing others with whom they disagree, keep in mind that clamping the lid on a boiling pot guarantees it will soon or later boil over. Healthy, open and civil debate stops the pressure building, forestalls the eruption of anger arising from enforced silence and frustration. Debate of the kind Alan Jones has promoted for decades should be lauded, never stifled or outlawed.

Mr Jones, thank you for firing up the furnaces of public debate — thank you even when I think you’ve got it wrong.

14 comments
  • DG

    Leftoid…I love it.
    Also, I am like you on Jones. I listen to his program most mornings…while taking kids to school. I love his upfront determination to say what he thinks and with reason; I also disagree with some of his positions. But he is always playing a straight bat and well worth the airtime he’s occupied over the years.

  • Greg Williams

    I too listen to AJ all the way from WA, when I get up early enough. The thing I liked most about his entire process was his preparation. He always seemed to have researched every topic on which he was talking to the nth degree. Little wonder the shouty left, who rely more on emotion than fact, dislike him so much.

  • Warty

    I rather liked Alan’s comments about Jacinda Adern, and not far beneath the surface (my surface) is one of those rather natural emotions we are not entitled to express, unless directed towards the Right. I admire him for being able to express the views so many of us hold, but are not hard enough to be able to express them in the way he does.
    At least he is continuing with Sky.

  • Michael

    Very telling that we now not only have ‘climate denial’ but ‘covid-19 denial’.

    The Committee for Public Safety sure wants to control us.

  • John Cook

    We don’t get him in SA, so we hardly know who he is.

  • rod.stuart

    An excellent tribute to a fine outstanding Australian, Anthony.
    His opposition to fracking always grated on me as well.

  • lloveday

    John Cook,
    .
    I have had no problem getting Jones in SA, nor in overseas countries, either live or via a podcast.

  • Davewin

    I am a new Zealander. Ardern runs a minority Government, not simply in Parliament, but with a major deficit in the popular vote. Her grandstanding in Australia simply shows she has no bottle and is revealed as the publicity trick Socialism always runs when they have been in Opposition many years are are desperate for a win. Our election in September will be revealing.

  • DG

    Apropro of this article I saw a short video by Stephen Hicks, the philosopher, that shines the light on leftist potty mouth and bad temper. https://youtu.be/KbA9ALOrHaA

  • tomgrothe

    I live half the year in Brisbane and half the year in Minnesota and listen to Alan when I can in both places thanks to the internet. In the US the Left does the same thing when they can’t find someone who can get higher ratings than a person with conservative leanings: they boycott, threaten to boycott and bombard sponsors with threats. The sponsors don’t want the resulting bad press so they often take the easy way out and stop advertising with radio and TV hosts the Left doesn’t like. The whining Left can never find hosts that can beat people like Alan Jones in Oz or Rush Limbaugh in the US so they get the sponsors to silence anyone with an opinion that they and their cohorts don’t like. The boards of large companies are now packed with people that have gone to universities with no tolerance for diversity of thought so they refuse to allow their companies to be associated with anyone who may offer an opinion with which they disagree. They censor and silence their philosophical opponents rather than debating them. The Left also realizes that they can’t win the debate so rather than focusing on ideas to discuss they make personal attacks on the individuals of whom they don’t approve. Name calling rules with personal insults when their ideas don’t pass muster. Alan Jones is a national (and international) treasure and I hope he resurfaces with another radio or TV outlet (I know, fanciful thinking) but probably will need to go the podcast route if he’s still interested in getting his message out to the public.

  • padraic

    I agree with you Anthony about the Leftovers’ use of foul language. You see it on the ABC in what are presented as “comedy” shows. There is no wit, just foul language – the producers of undergraduate comedy reviews at university would be cringing at the sight. I agree with rod,stuart – an excellent article on a great Australian. I don’t always agree with him, especially re fracking. My wife agrees with most of his views but raises eyebrows when he cuts in and hogs the show sometimes, but I know he has time constraints and has so much good to say in a short time.

  • mags of Queensland

    I have long been an admirer of Alan Jones. While I disagree with some of his stances of matters he is always on the side of the voiceless majority. If he takes up your cause you can bet something will be done about it.As for those gutless advertisers who won’t advertise on his program – go woke,go broke. It’s your loss as he has the largest radio audience in the country and your products won’t get a look in. I remember a couple of years ago when advertisers pulled out, their names were published and listeners in their droves refused to buy their products. Brilliant idea, I don’t think.

  • whitelaughter

    I have no interest in listening to the radio, but I would find it helpful if when shopping I could know which advertisers have ignored these boycott calls so that i can purchase their products. Surely this is something that could be handled easily? Especially give that is the *purpose* of advertising, to sell products?

  • mara.ashmore

    Yes please. Can someone publish a list of all the companies that caved into the bullies and pulled their advertising and also a list of the ones that didn’t. That way, we can all adjust our spending habits accordingly. I am sure that Alan Jones’ audience has must more buying power than the foul-mouthed, spineless, lefty types hunched over their computers spewing their bile in their Newtown attics.

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