Media

To Think Sky Axed Alan Jones for This Empty Vessel

I miss Alan Jones on Sky News. Am I alone? Was he effectively dumped to squeeze in Piers Morgan? I don’t know that either, though I read something of the sort at the time. I hardly ever record anything, except if it’s about English football, if I can’t be there when it’s aired live. Made an exception for the redoubtable Jones. He was especially marvellous on the virus beat-up. Anyway, this is preambular to my mistake in watching Morgan on Friday evening; shipped for our edification all the way from the UK. A mistake not to be repeated. I remember hanging onto Q&A for much too long, which I’m confident caused bouts of nervous dyspepsia.

Morgan was outraged about the ten-year-old girl who apparently had to leave Ohio to seek an abortion. She had been ill-used by an illegal immigrant to the United States since she was just nine, or so it was reported. A terribly unsettling story to be sure. The Democrats, including Joe Biden, have made the most of it — a cudgel to beat the Supreme Court and as propaganda for the upcoming mid-term elections.

Now, at least two days before Morgan’s broadcast, I saw the Attorney General of Ohio interviewed. He made it clear that the child could have been “treated” (as he put it) in Ohio. There was no need for her to leave the state. From reports, it seems that the child was a day or two over six-weeks pregnant when she sought an abortion. Ohio has a heartbeat law which restricts abortion after six weeks.  However, exceptions are allowed when the health of the mother is at risk. To my mind, this case certainly qualifies. But you have to say that the position is not as clear as it should be. Something a journalist-cum-commentator might delve into further.

There have also been suggestions that the pro-choice crowd manipulated the situation, and the timing of the abortion, for political effect. If true, evil stares us in the face, as it often does when the Left is at work. Something a journalist-cum-commentator might delve into further.

Of course, Morgan was not the least interested in facts or delving. He had two American guests, Tomi Lahren and Ben Ferguson. Both radio and TV commentators, both conservative, both pro-life but with somewhat different views. Ms Lahren believes that an exception must be made in the law for women, never mind young girls, who are victims of rape or incest. I happen to agree, but that’s by the way.

Ferguson strikes a harder line, arguing that the life of the unborn child must be considered no matter the circumstances, while also agreeing that safeguarding the life of the mother is paramount. Importantly, he reminded Morgan that the attorney-general of Ohio had said there was no need for the child to leave the state. He might as well have talked to the wall. For Morgan, the story of the child being forced to leave was too good to let go. And he repeated it several times as though it were gospel. It might be a lie but, hey, it bore repeating for effect.

Ferguson asked him: If ten years was too young to countenance a girl carrying a baby, at what greater age would be the cut-off point? A fair question. Morgan’s answer: let me ask you a question. A weak-kneed response, if there ever was one. But it also stymies debate. Abortion needs debating by fair-minded people. People who agree that the unborn baby is a human being and that abortion means killing that human being, yet who have different views about the circumstances when it should be allowed. This bloke Morgan is so bombastic that debate is out of the question. As it was when he later interviewed Franklin Graham.

Graham is pro-life; it goes without saying. However, when pressed, he admitted that he would be “torn” if it were his ten-year-old daughter. This opens up a rich possibility of enquiry. What an opportunity. Not for Morgan. It simply provides an opportunity for him to restate his own position, as though we hadn’t already heard it multiple times.

Morgan switched to homosexuality. Why not. Thereafter followed the inanest questioning; never the least informed by Graham’s well-considered answers. Apparently, according Morgan, God must move with the times, or words to that effect. God isn’t a weathervane or the Vicar of Bray, Graham responded, albeit in more common or garden words. Of course, Morgan didn’t follow that at all. Too hard. It isn’t Christian, he averred, to condemn homosexual unions.

Wouldn’t you think that decades in public broadcasting would inform even the most obtuse minds that Christianity isn’t about doing good according to the measure of the times. It’s about accepting our Lord Jesus Christ as our saviour and its about understanding that the Bible, not fads, fashions and fetishes, anchors our behaviour.

All sexual activity outside of a marriage, for the avoidance of doubt, between a biological man and woman are sinful. Thus, homosexual sex is sinful; as is fornication more generally. If you’re homosexual don’t feel singled out. We’re all sinners; even if not on a sexual plain (as unlikely as that is), then in other ways.

Rightly expect us Christian heterosexuals not to cast the first stone. However, don’t expect us to celebrate sin in whatever guise it presents itself; our own or anyone else’s. And don’t expect Christian clergy worth their salt to keep shtum about sin. Not keeping shtum is their job.

Life is too short. Tucker Carlson is worth a watch, as is Rowan Dean. There are a few others (few being the operative word) with unadulterated conservative principles on show. But then are they entertaining enough, apropos Alan Jones, to occupy one’s time?

30 comments
  • Simon

    Agreed – Morgan’s ‘interview’ of Craig Kelly on GMTV was the rudest, most blinkered interview I have seen, outside of ‘our’ ABC of course.

    I have agreed with Morgan once, when he called this new ghastly left we are all afflicted with, ‘intolerable’. but overall he is a pale shadow of Alan Jones.

  • rosross

    Totally agree. Morgan is mediocre and not particularly bright. Alan Jones was substantial and very intelligent and he still is.

  • Michael

    Have tuned in several times to Piers Morgan’s show, but never made it through. After my most recent partial view, I decided to give it a miss in future.

  • Ian MacDougall

    So…… Why isn’t Jones all over Sky TV?
    Could it be that Murdoch has been a closet leftie all along.? Could well be that his strategy has been to show the Right up as the bunch of galahs that they really are, and all while operating from under the bed, where Reds are typically found.?
    Makes a lot of sense, if you ask me.
    (Chortle.)

  • RB

    Morgan will fail here as he has everywhere else he has peddled his mediocrity.

  • Adelagado

    None of them hold a candle to Mark Steyn on GBNews (a newish British TV channel), viewable here for free on Youtube. The guy is always unique and often riveting. He is killing Piers Morgan in the ratings in the UK.

  • rod.stuart

    I miss Jones as well.
    And I agree with Adelagado. Mark Steyn is brilliant, as is Neil Oliver on GBNews.
    So far as Morgan is concerned, I can’t even stomach the ads announcing his arrival. Sky lost Frangalopoulos or whatefver his name was to GBNews. I doubt that he woud have entertained any idea of hiring Morgan.

  • Michael Deal

    I’ve listened to Alan since his radio debut on 2UE in 1985. He is intelligent and engaging. I love his new show. Yet as a conservative he is not consistent. Last week he quoted a piece written by the Anglican Rector at St James King Street attacking the evangical conservatism of the Sydney diocese. Jones in opining on the article agreed and decried the moral conservatism of Sydney Diocese and called on them to move with the times on issues such as SSM.

    The next night he was quoting another article and bemoaning the loss of traditional conservative values. Well, what do you want, Alan? Some conservative values and not others? If that is the case, then you are not a conservative because you are not conserving foundational values such as marriage. Jones wants to ride the Saturn rocket to the Moon but decries the stages that fuel and his rocket. As I said, I enjoy watching Alan, but he is infuriatingly inconsistent.

  • Patrick McCauley

    Yes Morgan was absolutely shameful on the night mentioned … with the self righteousness of a mediocre lefty … bullish and boringly predictable he bullied all those who tried to extend the conversation outside of his repeated bigotry. Thats the third time Ive tried to watch him and the last. Not in the same ballpark as Alan Jones who is nuanced and highly intelligent. I also love Mark Steyn and just to prove I don’t hate the English – Brendan O’Neill …

  • Dallas Beaufort

    Classic check book journalism, in disguise.

  • ianl

    >”He [Jones] was especially marvellous on the virus beat-up” (quote from Peter Smith from the above article)

    This *is* the reason Jones was dumped. Panahi confirmed this about a week or so after Jones was gone with a little comment, sandwiched between programmes, to the effect that C19 vaccines were the way to beat the virus and that was Sky policy.

    Others may wonder what Panahi may have been offered to “voice the hatchet”.

    Morgan’s show is not worth further comment.

  • tommbell

    For those who don’t know, Jones is now on ADH TV streaming Monday to Thursday. Morgan is a blow-hard with little acuity. But no doubt Sky management think him sufficiently edgy. Jones joins Latham and Cameron in Sky hosting exile.

  • john.singer

    Alan Jones has been Australia’s most capable commentator for the last two decades and that braggart Piers Morgan is today’s hasbeen.

  • mazziepudding

    The media are allegedly being given money directly, or adjustments are made to their licensing fees, to spruik the government’s line on covid, especially the vaxxines and prophylactics. Alan Jones is his own man and refused to be silenced. You Tube’s brief ban on Sky News from posting social media videos in August rattled management even more..

  • Ceres

    Bombastic sums Piers up well, Peter. Just how long can he last? Alan Jones is one of the old school when people had integrity and at his stage of life doesn’t give a rats. Rowan Dean also has a backbone, doesn’t spruik the jab, jab jab mantra apparent in many on Sky (hello Andrew Bolt) and yes Tucker and Laura Ingraham on Fox. Pickings are getting g slimmer.

  • Suburban Boy

    Mark Steyn a few days ago:

    “As we did the previous week, we beat Piers Morgan every evening this last se’nnight. As I always say, I mention him only because Rupert Murdoch has unaccountably chosen to lavish a fortune not only on the presenter but on his sixty-strong production team, and all he has to show for that outlay is a flop on three continents – and the indignity of being clobbered by what The Guardian dismissed as a ‘niche Canadian’. No wonder Rupert has decided that he can’t afford both Piers and Jerry Hall, and that one of them has to go.”

  • Peter Marriott

    Very clear, very concise and well put together piece Peter, thank you. I like it and for me it has a clear ring of truth to it.

  • John McKenzie

    Interesting comments. Totally agree. Just a silly move by Sky. Any chance they will get the message?

  • Jackson

    Yes, ianl and mazziepudding, the whole of SkyNews was sin-binned by Youtube for a week (was it in July last year?) after Alan Jones forthrightly belled the vax monomania cat. After the horror of being cast into the outer darkness, it was a noticeably chastened Sky that returned to Youtube. There were no more inconvenient and impertinent deviations from the vaccine-as-saviour party line. Everyone in lock-step with the narrative. Certainly no serious questioning of the “safe and effective” mantra. And worse still, Sky went on to effectively ignore the massive vaccine anti-mandate protests in Melbourne and Sydney, until they became so big that they could not be wished away. Even then, Sky greatly downplayed the crowd sizes (reporting without question the “official estimates” supplied by that bastion of rectitude, VicPol) and underplayed the significance of the protests. (Ditto, The Australian Newspaper). Given all of this, I think Sky and Piers deserve one another.

  • cbattle1

    I just assumed Alan Jones had retired from SKY News! But it was strange how he was here one day and gone the next, as if he had never been!

  • Davidovich

    I agree wholeheartedly Peter. I only watched 20 to 30 minutes of one of his shows before switching off. It beats me why Sky have employed him or why Murdoch, allegedly, wants him.

  • Homer J

    One thing about Alan’s new ADTV show. No more Covid-19 stories. At least I couldn’t find it. So it seems that even his new employer censors his right to speak up on Covid-19.

  • 27hugo27

    As an unrepentant vaxxless, mask less deplorable, i find Jones the most courageous presenter around and feel better for having someone in my corner. In a world gone mad he (And you PS) is a voice of reason.

  • Carlos

    The trouble with the ‘Piers show’ is that it’s all about Piers. Can’t hold a candle to Jones.

  • alanhoward05

    I have always liked Alan’s incisive work but “Michael Deal’ above said it well for me.
    Alan Howard

  • Rebekah Meredith

    I have only ever watched tiny bits of Sky News and thus cannot comment on the positions of Alan Jones in general. But I did hear him say, last year, that people should not be protesting when the health orders forbade protests. This statement was in a monologue that was mainly criticizing the authorities, but it showed me his position when it came to actually making a stand for liberty and the rule of law. In a word, AWOL.

  • bomber49

    I miss Jones too, unless you prefer interviews with Hollywood lightweights.

  • andrew2

    There is no need to miss Alan Jones. He is as active as ever with his opinions on Youtube and ADH Tv website.

    It is interesting to see that Alan Jones gets far fewer views on his personal youtube channel compared to when he was on the Sky Australia channel. Is it that hard for people to migrate over to a different channel on the same platform?

  • Lawrie Ayres

    Much as I miss Alan Jones I must admit moving Paul Murray to the 2000 time slot allows me to watch his show and then go to bed. Morgan is a flop pure and simple.

  • Elizabeth Beare

    Good comments. Alan Jones did get a little shrieky at times, and as noted above, could be inconsistent in some of his views, but mostly he was spot on and much needed on Sky. Years ago I couldn’t stand his radio programs, but in recent years I found myself in agreement with him and his perceptive comments more often than not. Surprised myself. Both of us had changed I suspect.
    Piers Morgan is a tabloid bully and not popular in the UK in spite of massive advertising for his new show. He bombed in America with his so-called scoop interview with Trump, who walked out on him. Good people on newer platforms obviously don’t get the depth and range of viewers that they once got on mass media platforms such as Sky.

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