Microphone bully Alan Jones clearly thinks himself a genius because, in addition to believing he knows more than all the climate scientists on the planet, now he is telling epidemiologists that they do not know what they are talking about with regard to COVID-19. This was made clear when he said that COVID-19 is just ‘the health version of global warming’ and added “Unless I’m moving in different circles, the almost universal reaction I am getting is that we have gone mad.”2
Despite this denial of the seriousness of COVID-19, his radio station 2GB has taken the extraordinary measure of sending 78-year-old Jones and his equally silly stablemate 65-year-old Ray Hadley, to their respective rural properties in Fitzroy Falls and Dural, from where they are supposed to continue their radio broadcasts remotely3. Jones would be unlikely to survive an encounter with COVID-19 given his age and considerable underlying medical conditions, and Hadley would also be at risk. The COVID-19 death rate of people in their 70s is about 8%, while the death rate of people in their 60s is 3.4%.4
As he himself indicates, Jones clearly does move in odd circles; mostly ever decreasing circles of gullibility, ignorance, sycophancy and narcissism. Eventually, if COVID-19 doesn’t get him, he will disappear up his own fundament. Jones is one of those people who has an overwhelming sense of his own worth, and a very low opinion of his audience. This is clearly illustrated by the fact that he seems quite happy to take precautions to avoid COVID-19, when he said “I am actually broadcasting away from Sydney at the moment because all sorts of precautions are being taken”3, but thinks the hoi polloi needn’t bother.
Not living in NSW, and not being a rugby follower, my only real knowledge of this person is through other media outlets and the very odd matter of a couple of recent PMs who have made his program their place for pushing their weird agendas. Given this perspective I can only say that there seems to be something very rotten and wrong in the state of NSW that this person has come to have so much influence with both state and federal politicians. The people who listen to his drivel, and believe it, must have serious deficiencies in many areas.
It is bizarre. I used to know people who listened to Jones on occasion some decades ago. Even then I was sceptical of the old fart. I’d far rather listen to the ABC, as it is not a drivel- and advertisement-filled as the commercial television or radio. I used to listen to the commercial radio when driving to work, some decades ago. But then I grew up.
There is a small group of Jones acolytes (Jonestownians maybe) in my workplace that seem to ape him as he accelerates through his dotage from hyper reactionary to exclusively contrarian and always ready push his blatantly provocative and misguided opinions irrespective of factual counter arguments. As concerning as that maybe I’m becoming even more alarmed regarding the failing Scotty and his evangelistic background after watching footage compiled on The Intercept with American televangelists performing all sorts of voodoo and blithering nonsense. A sign of these days (heave).
I think ultraconservative people like Jones and others can see their irrelevance on the horizon and they don’t like it. It is incipient ‘relevance deficit disorder’, which is manifest in people like Mark Latham and Bettina Arndt. Tony Abbott seems to be going the same way, now that he is out on his ample ear, so to speak. The same is true with the religious. As the world becomes less religious (even the islamic world!), the religious are seeing their power waning, and they do not like it, and are desperate to do anything to try to prevent that decline continuing.