Don Imus sacking – more to come?

April 14, 2007

So there’s a fuss in the American media about racist shock-jocks and Don Imus has been sacked from his CBS gig. The Poynter Institute is one of many media organistions to weigh into this debate.
There’s another example, that’s perhaps not so well known outside Australia at least. The loud-mouthed Alan Jones, the tarnished ‘king’ of Australian talkback has also this week been found ‘guilty’ of racial incitement. His comments had much more effect than those of Don Imus.
In December 2005 Jones used his popular morning talkback show to encourage Anglo-Australians to converge on a popular Sydney beach to ‘reclaim’ it from supposed gangs of Lebanese-Australian youths.
The Australian broadcasting watchdog has found Jones breached guidelines on broadcasting racially vilifying comments. Unfortunately ACMA has so far not indicated what penalty, if any, will apply to Jones.
It’s unlikely that his employer (in which he also has shares) will sack him.
It’s also not the first time Jones has been in trouble. He was involved in the now infamous “cash for comment” scandal that rocked Australian broadcasting a few years ago. That he’s still on air is testament to the weak nature of the broadcasting laws in Australia.