The ethics of commercial radio?
Driving back from "Uamby" last night I scanned the Sydney radio dial to pick up news of the race riots. I found - amid the reports of legions of police patrolling the streets and overseas media focussing on Australia and trashing our image as a tolerant society - 2UE's Stan Zemanic (?) ranting like a reborn Ron Casey, urging all Australians to insist that "lebs" assimilate and become Aussies. He blamed multiculturalism and advocated cultural purity. (Does he know this was a central plank of National Socialism ideology). One of his guests was Pauline Hanson who said "the Shire" was like a second home to her. (Really? That could be the problem here.) She whined on in her semi-articulate, wheedling way, reciting her mantras ("If they don't like it here they can go back to where they came from...") and hitting all the code words for racism, including "I am not a racist, but". Stan then took calls from Lebanese women who he abused, called "halfwits", as is his way. He did point out he was being paid to abuse people on air. And he is. The Southern Cross Network pays Stan to attract listeners to hear their advertisers' commercials. But surely the act of inflaming racial tension and goading rioters should not form part of a company's commercial operation. Especially when the Government and the Police are trying to calm the warring sides down. Such Shock Jockery takes advantage of the freedom of speech in our liberal democracy to endanger public safety, social cohesion, and Australia's international image... for profit. This is the credo of commercial radio. A stick rattled in a swill bucket. Zemanic is a mouthpiece for his nasty views, his network and his industry. As is the king of shock jocks and cultural icon among John Howard's battlers, Alan Jones. (One doesn't need to switch on his show to know what he'll be saying. He's a Pauline Hanson devotee as well. And definitely Alan Jones is not a racist. He says so...)