Alan Jones Under Fire Again For Ardern 'Backhander' Comments
Radio host Alan Jones will face further public grilling after more comments critical of New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern surfaced, saying he wanted to see her get "a few backhanders".
Jones, host of popular talkback shows broadcast on Macquarie Media's stations 2GB and 4BC among others has been criticised for the best part of a week for a tirade in which he called the NZ PM a "clown" and a "joke".
"I just wonder whether Scott Morrison is going to be fully briefed to shove a sock down her throat," Jones said, after Ardern lobbed a veiled criticism at Australia for not doing more to fight climate change.
Several lucrative advertisers deserted Jones' show and committed to not spending money on the radio network again; Macquarie's chairman said Jones was on his last warning, following a string of outrageous comments over his career; and the host himself gave several apologies to Ardern, both on-air and in writing.
It was only on Monday when the Koala mattress company and the Anytime Fitness gym chain pledged to ditch their ad spend with Jones.
Both Prime Minister Scott Morrison and former PM Malcolm Turnbull criticised Jones' comments, with Turnbull calling the rant "disgraceful" and "appalling".
But the former rugby coach is now under the microscope again, after further comments critical of Ardern surfaced. The ABC's Media Watch program, in running an analysis of the Jones controversy on Monday night, shared another audio clip from earlier in the same show.
"I hope Scott Morrison gets tough here with a few backhanders," Jones said.
"Hasn’t got a clue, this woman."
It was later in the show when he made the 'sock' comments, and towards the show's conclusion, Jones added " Why the hell are we listening to Jacinda Ardern? If I see her once more on the TV, I’ll puke."
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The Project host Lisa Wilkinson was among those who were quick to further condemn Jones, once Media Watch resurfaced the earlier comments, from a time in the morning with probably fewer listeners were tuned in.
Last week, Jones had claimed that he had meant to say "that Scott Morrison should tell Ms Ardern to 'put a sock in it'," and claimed he had been the victim of "willful misinterpretation ".
Nonetheless, he later gave a further apology, and Macquarie chairman Russell Tate said Jones' comments were "careless, unnecessary and wrong" and "should have been more clearly thought out".
"Notwithstanding his apologies, I have today discussed the matter with Alan and advised him that any recurrence of commentary of this nature will result in the termination of his contract," Tate said on Saturday.
Macquarie and Jones have not yet responded to the latest controversy.