The Absolute Truth About Marketing
Thursday, September 14, 2006
  The lynch mob and Alan Jones
Alan Jones is hurt. Alan Jones is angry. He harbours a lot of bitterness. You can hear it when he is burning a hole in someone with words like white phosphorous. He is conflicted. He longs to be a leader. But he can only be the leader of a lynchmob. He is a divider. A man of prodigious talents, he is content to spend them ranting against minorities. "Going off," as one of his station managers once told me. "They tune in because they love to hear him going off." I guess every white city has at least one. Like pornographers, they grow rich by appealing to the worst side of human nature. It's a living. Yesterday, Alan was pushing the view that all immigrants should learn to speak English and uphold Australian values. It was the Lebanese this time. His broad implication was that they all rort social security, can’t speak English. His greatest moment was just before the Cronulla race riots which really put Australia on the map. He was whipping up audience fury against the Lebanese, and proudly declared “I have led the charge on this one. No one was interested before I got onto it.” In Mr Jones's Orwellian view of the world, the Lebanese provoked the riots. The white rioters' behaviour was 'understandable'.

Contrary to what many people believe, Alan is not a racist, nor does he hate people from Asia and the Middle East simply because they are here, like many of his listeners appear to. No, Alan clearly has a business model that includes inciting hatred for marketing purposes. Some may call it unethical. The owners of 2GB - John Singleton, I believe - call it business. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Alan Jones does so much good on a micro-level. He does a lot on the quiet for charities. He'll take up the cudgels for the little person. But at the same time he does so much damage at the macro-level by dividing the community. He is divisive. Imagine what a nation we would have if he put his talents to uniting us as a community. If he focussed his immense power as a communicator and leader on celebrating that which unites us rather than those things that divide us, he would be a nation-builder of greater influence than any prime minister.

The tragedy for Australia is that we have lost a great leader in Alan Jones.
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