DO me a favour? Ignore Alan Jones.
The radio veteran’s most recent comments suggesting Julia Gillard’s father died of “shame” because of her daughter’s “lies” are foul and reprehensible.
The condemnation has been swift and comprehensive, although some are still waiting for Tony Abbott to also voice his personal disgust.
Alan Jones will in time apologise, if only because of pressure from his sponsors and his employer. But it won’t be real contrition.
And then what?
Chances are he will go back to his radio show. Just like just after he called for Ms Gillard to be downed in a chaff bag.
The well-regarded conservative campaign strategist Mark Textor took to Twitter last night to dispel some myths about Alan Jones:
“Jones’ trick has been in part to convince many of the elite that his voter influence was significant when mostly it has been marginal.”
He went on to point out that Jones has a “relatively demographically limited, mainly Sydney based audience”.
The suggestion is that Jones’ “influence” is a cultivated myth, fueled by the propensity of other members of the media hanging off every word he mutters.
So why don’t we treat Alan Jones like the troll he is?
“Excited and dramatic reactions encourage them to continue or escalate their bad behavior, to see just how upset you will get.”
We – journalists and politicians – need to ignore them.
We need to ignore him.
It seems Alan Jones’ “power” comes from his perceived influence.
After all, that’s what his employer and his sponsors are buying.
If Jones is deprived of this clout he will enter into the realm of irrelevancy where he belongs.
But that is a matter for us.
- (Post script: And yes, I realise the irony of writing a blog post about Alan Jones while urging you all to ignore Alan Jones.)