Radio broadcaster Alan Jones has come under intense scrutiny following his Jacinda Ardern comments. Picture: Supplied
Radio broadcaster Alan Jones has come under intense scrutiny following his Jacinda Ardern comments. Picture: Supplied

‘Full review’: Fresh blow for Alan Jones

RADIO veteran Alan Jones has been put on notice after Macquarie Media announced a pending "full review" of his program in the wake of his "appalling" Jacinda Ardern comments.

The controversy began last month, when the shock jock attacked the New Zealand Prime Minister on-air after she criticised Australia's climate change policies.

In the wake of the scandal, Macquarie Media chairman Russell Tate publicly warned Jones would be sacked if he made similar comments in future.

However, the saga has now taken another turn, after the company reportedly sent a letter to advertisers today pledging a review of Jones' Breakfast Show on 2GB and 4BC.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the letter reportedly stated Jones' comments "fell below the community standards expected of us as (a) broadcaster".

"This incident has brought into sharp focus the need for all Macquarie Media broadcasters to ensure that the debate they bring to the microphone and the words they use are, at all times, respectful and reflect the standards expected today by our listeners, our clients, and the wider community," the letter allegedly reads.

"Through this incident, we have experienced the ability of offended groups to greatly amplify their complaints and to actively disrupt you, our clients and your staff, who have done no more than seek to engage with the audience which chooses to listen to us," Mr Tate said in the letter.

"Of course, we have seen valued commercial partners withdraw from Alan's program, but the fact is we got it wrong in the first place and we must now do everything possible to ensure that doesn't happen again," he said.

"To that end, we have already commenced, with Alan's encouragement and support, a full review of the 2GB/4BC Breakfast Show's content, presentation and controls with a specific focus on audience and guest/third party engagement. That review will extend into all 2GB/4BC programs."

The announcement has been welcomed by social media users, with one Twitter user claiming it was a case of "very little very late".

Macquarie Media declined to comment when contacted by news.com.au.

The scandal began after the 78-year-old unleashed an extraordinary spray at Ms Arden, labelling the respected leader a "complete clown".

"She's a clown, Jacinda Ardern; a complete clown,'' Mr Jones said.

"I just wonder whether Scott Morrison is going to be fully briefed to shove a sock down her throat.''

He went on to describe her as "a swallower" of the climate change "hoax" and a "joke".

"She is a joke, this woman; an absolute and utter lightweight," he said on social media.

Soon after, new audio aired on ABC's Media Watch revealed even more concerning comments made by the 2GB host about Ms Ardern.

The Alan Jones controversy inspired this street art by Sydney-based artist Scott Marsh. Picture: AAP Image/Paul Braven
The Alan Jones controversy inspired this street art by Sydney-based artist Scott Marsh. Picture: AAP Image/Paul Braven

The clip was taken from Jones' 2GB radio program on August 15, and was part of his original attack against Ms Ardern.

In it, the audibly angry host can be heard saying: "This lightweight New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern is challenging Scott Morrison over climate change. Now I hope Scott Morrison gets tough here with a few backhanders … hasn't got a clue this woman."

The comments received widespread condemnation, with former prime minster Malcolm Turnbull describing it as "appalling" and a "misogynistic rant", with Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama also slamming Mr Jones on Twitter.

Members of the public also voiced their outrage over the broadcaster's words, with many calling on advertisers to pull their sponsorship from his program and the network.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern refused to be drawn into the scandal. Picture: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern refused to be drawn into the scandal. Picture: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

That pressure worked, with more than 100 companies withdrawing their advertising dollars, which the Sydney Morning Herald claimed cost parent company Macquarie Media more than $1 million.

That mass exodus of corporate advertisers was largely due to concerted campaigns by social media activist groups such as Mad F**king Witches and Sleeping Giants Oz.


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