Supporters of the far right have suggested that Alan Jones and his ilk represent “core values”. Jones devotees claim, free from constraints (such as good manners) that Jones is best able to represent the views of “average Australians”.
Core values could be described as our assumptions, and our expectations; a value system which we believe ought to be true, not just for ourselves but for others. These are notions of how we believe people ought to behave, speak and act and could include concepts such as honesty, integrity, equality of opportunity and respect.
Especially dear to the Australian ethos is the ideal of a fair go.
If Alan Jones represents core values, then it is core beliefs of the darker realms me-thinks..the fair go does not exist, but in it’s place is power, denigration and ridicule; anyone daring to put forward a contra opinion “should be taken out and shot!”.
As expressed by Kerryn Williams:
The shock jocks don’t limit their misinformation and fear mongering..they can be heard mouthing off on any controversial issue, particular if there are marginalised or victimised people involved who make easy targets for whipping up prejudice.
Previously there has been the suggestion that there are others pulling Tony Abbott’s strings (Minchin and Howard), with Abbott their more than willing puppet. However, are we in the future should Tony Abbott ever become prime minister, have Government By Shock Jock?
The above thought might at first glance appear to be an exaggeration, because clearly Jones’ influence could be considered a dwindling one due to his lack of appeal to the younger demographic.
Yet recent statements not just by Jones, but Andrew Bolt also come to mind and both deliberately give the impression that they that they have substantial political influence. And why not when you have Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott not only stating that he would repeal s18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, being the Act which secured Bolt’s conviction but of Tony Abbott’s recent statement, as reported by Phillip Coorey:
TONY ABBOTT says he was ”absolutely oblivious” to Alan Jones’s controversial remarks about the Prime Minister’s father when he told the Parliament on Tuesday that the government ”should have already died of shame”.
On this one I am prepared to give Tony Abbott the benefit of the doubt – yes, he could be that stupid, or perhaps devious is a far more apt description.
We therefore have highly vocal, publicity seeking employees of the mainstream media purporting to speak on behalf of “average Australians”, people who attempt to convince all that they are representatives of the “silent majority”: a perception of political influence. Shock jocks decide what the debate will be, the tone of that debate and the conditions under which all might participate in that debate: a perception of personal influence.
One must suspect due to Tony Abbott’s previous responses to Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt, that he is more than willing to use the lowest form of debate in his quest to win at all costs. I would advise Tony Abbott to be careful as the next strings which Jones might decide to pull might be his own.