Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Sydney Race Riots: Clarifying last nights post

In last nights, "Goodnight from Sydney" post, I referred to Sydney's "race riots". The post included a satirical remark about Sydney's highly influential talk back radio.

For those of you are not familiar with Sydney radio, David Marr has an excellent article in the Sydney Morning Herald, that may clarify my comments. The article called "One-way radio plays by its own rules," describes the actions of morning radio announcer Alan Jones.

Alan Jones is highly educated and highly influential at local, state and federal level. His power is such that when Bush visited Australia, not only was he was the only Australian media representative that the US secret service allowed anywhere near Bush, he was seated next to him at dinner.

There is not a politician in Australia who would not take note of his show. His show (and others) are constantly monitored by political staffers. Politicians from the Prime Minister down will phone in to counter or encourage, issues that arise.

Two quotes from the article may give you an idea of what I mean:

"He assured his audience he "understood" why that famous text message went out and he read it right through again on air"

This is the content of that message

"Come to Cronulla this weekend to take revenge. This Sunday every Aussie in the shire get down to North Cronulla to support the leb and wog bashing day …"

The article tells of a caller who recommended vigilante action. Jones responded, "Yeah. Good on you John".

Video may have killed the radio star, but in Sydney radio has killed the voices of common sense and reason.