Alan Jones has claimed he’s fallen victim to a vicious social media campaign and even death threats since his latest comments about New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern were leaked – but brushed off the growing crisis of advertisers abandoning 2GB in the wake of the scandal.
The shock jock, 78, spoke out in an interview on Nine News on Tuesday night, revealing he’s been left shocked by the cruel comments and threats to kill him in the wake of the controversy. Jones sparked outrage last week when he controversially hit out at Ardern, claiming Scott Morrison should “shove a sock down her throat”. And just days later, a new audio clip of him speaking on air revealed he also appeared to urge Morrison to give her “a few backhanders”.
“This lightweight New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is challenging Scott Morrison over climate change,” Jones said on air on August 15, in comments which aired on ABC’s Media Watch on Monday night. “Now I hope Scott Morrison gets tough here with a few backhanders – hasn’t got a clue this woman.”
Broadcaster Alan Jones is on the ropes tonight, fighting for his job as more and more advertisers pull sponsorship from his top rating show. He told #9News he doesn't have a problem with women and doesn't care if advertisers walk. @MarkWBurrows pic.twitter.com/iW8H19XDDT
— Nine News Sydney (@9NewsSyd) August 20, 2019
Multiple advertisers have since cut ties with 2GB due to Jones’ words towards Ardern, with many claiming they do not support anything relating to violence against women. Of those was mattress brand Koala, gym company Anytime Fitness, Total Tools and Snooze.
However, asked about so many leaving the show, Jones insisted it’s their decision and told Nine on camera: “There will be others that take their place.” He also added: “I’ve got no comment about the advertisers, they can make their own judgement if they go.”
Quizzed about the scandal as a whole, Jones said: “I don’t go around pumping up my own tyres, but on my desk in the last 48 hours have been letters from people whom I have helped infinitely women more than my critics.”
However, he admitted he has also fallen victim to a relentless social media campaign and added: “It seems to be okay that, on social media about Alan Jones, say that we should kill him… The language being used about me is just extraordinary.”
It comes hours after Ardern herself broke her silence and hit back at the shock jock, claiming “revenge is best served through a Bledisloe Cup”. The 39-year-old appeared on The AM Show in New Zealand on Tuesday morning where she responded to Jones’ fiery outburst against her.
Ardern addressed the comments, claiming she doesn’t have the time to react to the criticism received for her opinions and it’s all a part of being a politician.
Newly discovered audio shows broadcaster Alan Jones suggested NZ PM Jacinda Ardern should be “backhanded” over her views on climate change.
Mr Jones has already apologised for other comments he made about Ms Arden that same morning. pic.twitter.com/gidlLuheld
— News Breakfast (@BreakfastNews) August 19, 2019
“I am a politician, I am open for criticism and of course, we should all be held to account and the idea that any politician could or should be protected, I absolutely rally against that,” she told The AM Show. “You should see my social media. We sign up for that when we are politicians.
“I have tried very hard, specifically on this Alan Jones comment, you won’t find me having particularly reacted or responded. I don’t have an opinion on every single person that says something about me, particularly given this is an Australian commentator. We have enough of our own to occupy my time.”
While Ardern remained remarkably civil with her response, she did reference Jones’ time coaching the Australian rugby union team the Wallabies and the recent win by the All Blacks, who defeated the Aussies 36-0 to retain the Bledisloe Cup.
“I understand he used to be closely linked to the Wallabies, so let’s just say that revenge is best served through a Bledisoe Cup,” she added.
And a stream of advertisers have since pulled the plug, with Koala confirming on Twitter: “Koala has cut ties with Alan Jones. We’re a significant buyer in the medium and it’s something we should have done earlier. Climate change is real, violence against women starts with words and the bloke has had too many chances. @2GB873 time to wake up.”
Koala has cut ties with Alan Jones. We’re a significant buyer in the medium, and it’s something we should have done earlier. Climate change is real, violence against women starts with words and the bloke has had too many chances. @2GB873 time to wake up.
— Koala (@KoalaMattress) August 19, 2019
While Anytime Fitness took to Facebook writing: “Thank you for your feedback over the past few days. The comments made last week by Alan Jones regarding Jacinda Ardern do not represent our view or values. For this reason, we pulled all our advertising from 2GB last Friday and do not have any further advertising planned with the station.”
And Snooze added: “We take the comments made by Alan Jones on the 15th of August regarding Jacinda Ardern very seriously. These comments do not reflect the values of Snooze. We have pulled all advertising from the show and we currently do not have any advertising planned for the 2GB station at this time. Before making any further statements, we will look to understand 2GB‘s plans for their network and the hosts that represent them.”