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Oct 19, 2012

Broadcaster Alan Jones ordered into reeducation

The ABC is crowing about the broadcasting thought police ordering Alan Jones off for reeducation at the journalism division of the Karl Marx Treatment Centre.  He is not to be released until he has the hots for Julia Gillard.
Not actually, but the good old government broadcaster is enjoying the news of an order by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) that he attend a course of training on “factual reality and significant viewpoints” whatever this might mean.  Jones was recently pilloried for his comment about Gillard’s father ‘dying of shame’ which is unseemly, however this seems to be about upsetting the GW frantics: 

Controversial broadcaster Alan Jones has been ordered to undergo basic journalism training by Australia's media watchdog. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) says Jones will have to undertake training on "factual accuracy and significant viewpoints" as part of measures agreed with his station 2GB.  The shock jock has been deserted by sponsors and advertisers after telling a Young Liberals conference that Prime Minister Julia Gillard's father had "died of shame" because of his daughter's "lies". 
But ACMA acted after finding that Jones breached commercial radio codes of practice in a statement he made about carbon dioxide emissions in March last year.  The ruling states that Jones said on air: 
"Remembering all this when the percentage of man-made carbon dioxide Australia produces is 1 per cent of .001 per cent of carbon dioxide in the air. Nature produces nearly all of the carbon dioxide in the air. Human beings produce 0.001 per cent of the carbon dioxide in the air and Australians produce 1 per cent of that. That's 1 per cent of .001 is .00001 per cent of the air. 1/100000th." 
ACMA ruled that an ordinary reasonable listener would have understood the material as a statement of fact, not opinion. 
While his figures are clearly wrong (CO2 levels are in the region of 380/390 PPM) it seems somewhat bizarre that a commentator should be penalized for inaccuracy, especially when the complaint is lodged for political purposes by the left wing group, Getup. (For US readers, MoveOn is the equivalent)  
Talk back radio tends to be a space filler for networks, with a listening audience of opinion junkies who go to whichever one of them most agrees with their own views.  It is doubtful whether these really change opinions; more likely they merely help people with existing prejudices reinforce them.  The right seems to dominate this area, probably owing to the left being much less sane to the point where their ideas fail much quicker under examination.
It is curious that the ABC is so happy about Jones having to do ‘journalism training’ to improve his factual accuracy when the report by their ‘properly trained’ journalists itself, contains many factual inaccuracies.  While it is true that some sponsors dropped out owing to pressure by a left wing campaign, 2GB decided to run his show ad free to avoid putting other sponsors under pressure.  Mercedes Benz, a sponsor that made a song and dance over withdrawing its sponsorship has since been found to have pulled out prior to Jones’ remarks.
Menzies House has the story including links to other incorrect aspects of the ABC story. 

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