Friday, October 5

Can you draw a line on freedom of speech?

Generally I am not one to be getting all political. But every now and then something comes along and my mouth, or perhaps fingertips, can not be stopped. The whole incident between Alan Jones and our fearless red head leader of the country, Julia Gillard is one of those times.

In case you by chance are not an avid fan of this shock jock or Australian politics and have missed all the excitement let me bring you up to speed.

Within a social setting loud mouth Jones essentially said that the recently deceased father of our Prime Minister died with shame based on some of her actions at times.

Now before we go to much further there are a few things I need to say. Firstly I cannot stand to listen to Alan Jones. My preferred radio station plays his apparent best of for an hour every week day. I am glad that during that hour I have things other than listening to the radio to do.

On a good day I find Alan Jones to be one eyed, condescending and deeply in love with Tony Abbott. I am too polite to share how I feel about him on a not so good day. That being said I am not sure he deserves to be taken off the air though.

There is no denying that what he said was hurtful, uncalled for and totally out of line. But he did not say it to Gillard's face, in fact he did not even say it on air. He said it in the company of what he thought were friends, who he was probably trying to impress with his stupid dry sense of humour.

Forgive me if I am wrong, but we do live in a free and democratic country don't we? Freedom of speech and being able to say what we think and how we feel is one of the many reasons people go out of their way to come here.

By demanding a radio station cancel a show based on what the host said in private is surely crushing that whole freedom of speech concept isn't it?

The brand sponsorship being pulled however is another matter altogether. If sponsors would rather not be associated with such scandalous, hurtful remarks then more power to them. It is their money,their brand,their decision on who represents them. It is by no means the same as telling him he can no longer speak.

Just to add a further twist to my thoughts, had the radio station decided to sack him I would have fully supported the move. Again their money, their choice and all that. My issue is with the concept of not liking what someone says and therefore wishing to cease the opportunity for them to be heard.

Does freedom of speech have a line that can be crossed?
Are the times when people should be stopped from expressing their point of view?

Joining in with


  1. I understand the public uproar when a repeat offender such as Kyle Sandilands crosses the line. He does it on air, intentionally and callously. In that case, yes, the public should absolutely press sponsors to drop association.
    But this Alan Jones thing is very different. It's almost as if people were primed and waiting for the next chance to pick up their pitchforks. Sponsors are being bullied and harassed into severing ties, whether the company members take issue or not.

    It's just hypocritical of these same people to rush to the defense of JG while talking smack about her themselves.

    For the record, I don't believe Australia has a constitutional right to freedom of speech, just an expectation, but I could be wrong.

  2. I think the people that badmouth the person who said something wrong, by making facebook pages or even signing a petition are as much in the wrong as the person who said something.

    it goes both ways..

  3. Interesting, I hadn't though about it like that. Freedom of speech is so important. Yes, Jones is a tool, and as that's not the first time he's spouted off I'm surprised he is still working as much as he does (and is sponsored as much as he is).

  4. I think he's still sponsored because like him or not people still listen. There are hundreds of thousands of people who do not have freedom of speech. My thought is that people like Alan Jones and Kyle Sandilands are not only using freedom of speech the wrong way, the are in fact complete arse holes.
    Prue x

  5. I think someone tweeted amongst all this "Freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom to be an asshole." I think the rules are very different for people such as Alan Jones. He should always be very careful who he says what to! It's like the nude pictures of Kate. She should be entitled to privacy, but my advice would be to act like someone is always watching, b/c most times it turns out someone is. Ideal? no, but it is reality.

  6. I'm completely appalled with what Alan Jones said. I don't and will never listen to him or his station. I think the positive in this though that while freedom of speech leaves the floor open to idiots like Alan Jones to say unforgivable things, it leaves the rest of Australia to shun him down.
    I hope he's done damage to his career. I hope the rest of Australia see him for the twisted fool that he is.

  7. Blundermum is right, we don't actually have a constitutional right to free speech in this country (Just finished media law, shocked me too), but in general it's a concept we're pretty well in love with. I don't have a problem with advertisers pulling out if they don't like something he's said, you have the right to free speach, I have the right not to listen to you.

  8. What he said was wrong, no doubt, but like you said it was in private.
    We all say things in private that we wouldn't want aired, and maybe thats the lesson here?

  9. No we don't have freedom of speech in Australia, it's more of a decency type thing (remembering someones rant on Kidspot once upon a time) I do believe he can say whatever he wants but I don't think he should get away with it. When you go to a school you are expected to wear your uniform and if you misbehave in your uniform, even outside of school, you will still get in trouble for that. Because you are an ambassador.
    He is an ambassador for his station and for the companies that advertise on that station, I would hate for my product to be associated with him and the hideous things he says, on a regular basis.
    But that's just me :D


Fairy wishes and butterfly kisses to you, thanks for stopping by, it really means a lot, you taking the time so say hi. I try as much as I can to write a reply but if for some chance I don't get to it please know that I always read them.