April 10, 2007 01:11pm
Article from: AAP
- Host read out letters highlighting racial tensions
- Broadcast "encouraged violence, vilification"
- Watchdog not convinced broadcast was in good faith
RADIO broadcaster Alan Jones broadcast material likely to encourage violence and vilify people of Middle Eastern descent in the lead-up to a Sydney race riot, the broadcasting regulator has found.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found Harbour Broadcasting Pty Ltd - the licensee of commercial Sydney radio station 2GB - twice breached Australia's broadcasting code in the lead-up to the December 2005 Cronulla riot.
2GB's Breakfast with Alan Jones program came under ACMA scrutiny following complaints from listeners about material aired between December 5 and 9, 2005.
The regulator found the Commercial Radio Code of Practice 2004 was breached by comments aired on Jones's top-rating breakfast program between December 7 and 9, 2005.
Those comments contravened the code by being "likely to encourage violence or brutality" and "likely to vilify people of Lebanese background and of Middle Eastern background on the basis of their ethnicity".
ACMA's report focused on Jones's broadcasting of correspondence from listeners about tensions at Cronulla in the days before the December 11 riot.
It said while the comments were "presented for a purpose in the public interest, being discussion of factors contributing to unrest in Cronulla ... ACMA was not persuaded that the relevant comments were presented reasonably and in good faith".
Talkback radio’s role in instigating the riots
Volume 4, Item 3 of the Hazzard report, entitled, “2GB Broadcast Synopsis: 4th December 2005 to 9th December 2005: Alan Jones, Ray Hadley, Jason Morrison,” devotes 108 pages to broadcasts from Sydney radio station 2GB in the lead up to the Cronulla riots. Whilst not “strictly verbatim”, it is a “verified and accurate” record.
On these radio programs, listeners call in, correspondents read out letters, and the hosts constantly volunteer their opinions and interpretations of events and issues.
Alan Jones is one of Australia’s most promoted personalities, and enjoys the closest of relationships with Prime Minister John HoWARd, as well as with the Labor government in NSW. He is a former speechwriter for the Liberal Party, and a recipient of the Order of Australia.
It is impossible to reproduce the volume of filth and backwardness spewed forth by these radio commentators and their talk show guests in the space available for this article. But to give a sense of the racialist climate they created at the time, it is crucial to revisit at least some of what they said.
Day after day, hysterical exchanges such as the following occurred on morning radio:
Caller: “What kind of grubs do we have here?”
(Alan) Jones: “What kind of grubs? This lot were Middle Eastern, we’re not allowed to say it, but I am saying it.”
The following “correspondence” was read on air by Jones:
* “Unfortunately this happens regularly at Cronulla—gangs of Lebanese youth just swarm over the beach, stealing from and assaulting beach goers; they pick on the youngest.”
* “Alan it’s not just a few Middle Eastern bastards at the weekend, it’s thousands. Cronulla is a very long beach and it’s been taken over by this scum; it’s not a few causing problems, it’s all of them.”
* “Police are too afraid to act … if we were allowed to act the way we want to, we could solve a lot of problems … these Middle Eastern people must be treated with a big stick—it’s the only thing they fear.”
Jones openly advocated and encouraged violent reprisals and vigilante behaviour against young men of Middle Eastern appearance.
For instance a caller, John, said: “These people, half of them may be home grown; they have infected minds; they don’t live the Australian way … if the police can’t do the job the next tier is to us.” Jones replied: “Yeah, good on ya, John.” When John said: “Shoot one, the rest will run … when you’re outnumbered 20 to 1 you don’t put your hand up and play by Queensbury rules,” Jones replied with laughter and added: “You don’t play by Queensbury rules; good on ya, John.”
Ray Hadley, another “shock-jock” on 2GB, unleashed equally disgusting comments, and also incited violence. Asked whether surf lifesavers should allow people of Middle Eastern appearance to drown when in distress in the water, Hadley commented: “That’s good because there is one less to bash them [the lifesavers]. I don’t care, I’m sick of it; I’m not in the mood today to pander to minorities.” He continued: “It’s about time we reclaimed our beaches.”
Jones 'lashes out' at Cronulla ruling
by Me and You! Wednesday April 11, 2007 at 10:40 AMNow Jones, speaking on his program on 2GB this morning, has lashed out at the ruling and it goes without saying the authorities that made that ruling. Where's the remorse?
Sydney radio shock jock, Alan Jones has lashed out at the Australian Communications and Media Authority after it ruled he broadcast material likely to encourage violence in the run-up to the Cronulla riots in 2005.
Yesterday the Authority also ruled that Jones's comments before the riots were likely to vilify people of Middle Eastern descent.
During one broadcast Jones encouraged a biker gang to turn up at Cronulla railway station to deal with those he described as "Lebanese thugs" and "scum".
Now Jones, speaking on his program on 2GB this morning, has lashed out at the ruling and it goes without saying the authorities that made that ruling. Where's the remorse?
Then again what would you expect from a violent racist?
Should 2GB hang on to their license if they don't take Jones off the air for his criminal acts? Yes indeed!
They say, that 'the authority' is yet to decide what action to take against Jones.
But inciting violence and racism in the community is a crime in Australian punishable by law, especially if those comments are produced by a public broadcaster.
But what about the law? What action are those authorities taking? What compensation is Alan Jones offering to all those people who were beaten up and or had their property damaged?
CMA links Alan Jones to Cronulla violence
The Sydney radio station 2GB and its breakfast host Alan Jones have been found to have breached the commercial radio code by broadcasting material that was likely to encourage violence, in the lead-up to the Cronulla riot.
Australia: Police report reveals real instigators of Cronulla race riots
A five-volume New South Wales police report released last month sheds light on the dangerous and reactionary forces that instigated, and were involved in, Sydney’s “Cronulla Riots” of December 11, 2005. On that day, approximately 5,000 people, mostly young, gathered on Cronulla beach, many draped in the Australian flag. They launched a nationalistic, alcohol- and drug-fuelled pogrom against anyone of Middle Eastern appearance, injuring more than 20 people, two of whom were stabbed.
Australia: Police report reveals real instigators of Cronulla race riots
According to Assistant Police Commissioner Hazzard’s report: “The blame for the ethnic tension that was evident, could not exclusively be attributed to either the Middle Eastern or Caucasian Australians.”
In other words, the Cronulla riots were not caused by ethnic tension between “Anglo” Australians and those of Middle Eastern background or appearance per se. Another factor was required for the riots to erupt.
The class issues behind Australia’s race riots
The racist violence that exploded in the Sydney suburb of Cronulla on December 11 has exposed the ugly face of Australian society. Intense social pressures generated by the prolonged assault by the Howard government and its Labor predecessors on living standards have erupted in a malignant and reactionary form. A violent and drunken mob—draped in Australian flags, singing the national anthem and chanting nationalist and racist slogans—sought out, abused and physically assaulted anyone who appeared to be of Middle Eastern origin.
Government and media provocations spark racist violence on Sydney beaches
Violence erupted on Sydney’s beaches yesterday, following days of media provocation. Some 5,000 people rallied against so-called “Lebanese gangs”, then attacked immigrants and Muslims, who had been accused over the past week of harassing beach-goers. More than 20 people were injured, and two were stabbed, in confrontations across a number of Sydney’s eastern suburbs. About 100 cars were also vandalised.