Thursday, November 1, 2012

Country Girls

Wendy Machin is a girl from my home town, just a few years older than me. We’ve met probably half a dozen times in total, and our families know each other. It’s even possible that we may be distantly related, but I’m not sure about that. Wendy and I attended the same high school – it wasn’t hard. Our small town only has one high school. Wendy studied Communications at the Institute of Technology (now UTS) and a few years later, I studied Communication at Mitchell CAE (now Charles Sturt University.)

Wendy is without doubt a feminist role model for small town girls like me. She was elected to North Sydney Municipal Council at 25, until she stood for election to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly in the seat of Gloucester, which included our home town. That was the first election I voted in. The seat of Gloucester was a very safe National Party seat, and Wendy won the by-election as a member of the National Party. Wendy was the first woman to represent the National Party in the Legislative Assembly, rising to be Deputy Speaker while still a single woman in her early thirties.

These days, Wendy is the President of the NRMA (Road Service, not insurance). She’s also a mother, a farmer, a wife, a private consultant in PR and Issues Management and has served on the boards of various NGOs, including Save the Children (NSW), the National Council for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. She has also been the Deputy Chair of the Australian Republican Movement. She is a master at multiskilling – and has a Masters in Commerce.

Wendy Machin is the perfect example of a women who can, and has, done what she wanted to do. I'm not suggesting that Wendy's life has been perfect, but it has been blessed by the opportunities created by feminists of previous generations, not notably, the 60s.

Wendy is a puzzling blend of conservative politics and progressive actions. With her history as a member of the Young Nationals, then a National Party politician, she is without doubt comfortable with conservative values and policies. Having said that, she has broken through barriers and blazed a new trail for women in conservative politics in Australia, she's blasted a hole through the glass ceiling at the NRMA, and she continues to set the bar in multi-skilling.


Yesterday, the NRMA under Wendy’s leadership, refused to withdraw their advertising from the Alan Jones Breakfast Show. The NRMA is the first major company to remain with Alan Jones’ show. An explanation was posted yesterday on their Facebook Page (left).

I know that Wendy is aware of Mr Jones’ recent comments, and that she finds them as inappropriate as I do. I also know that she is a Communications professional like I am, and that she is are aware of Mr Jones’ history of bombastic and biased political pronouncements, his half-truths, his extreme climate change denial and on-air provocation and intimidation of guests who do not share his opinions. The fact that Wendy is a National Party member means she might well share a few of his opinions and might not have felt the wrath of Mr Jones herself. That's not relevant.

The crushing response to Nic Lochner’s petition asking businesses to pull their advertising from 2GB – 116,000 signatures – and the successful and sustained campaign by Destroy the Joint prove that this new conversation is not just another social media meme.

If anything good has come from the Mr Jones’ comments, it’s that it has been a catalyst for a new conversation in Australia, a conversation not just about women and misogyny, but also about standards of behaviour, about respect, and about what we are willing to accept from our media, our colleagues and our society. Finally, we're talking about where the line is drawn. 

More than 80 major advertisers have decided that the line is drawn on this side of Alan Jones’ style of broadcasting and public speaking. They have cancelled their advertising on The Alan Jones Breakfast Show and are standing together to support the women (and men) who are driving the appeals for more respect, more civility, more care within our communities.

The town where Wendy and I grew up is a small town. We would have known many of the same people, the same classy women who set the standards in small town Australia in the 1960s and 1970s: my grandmother Queenie Easton, our cousin Isabel Carpenter, Grandma Queenie's peers Joan Lucock, Ina Mallyon, Glad Skinner, Ruth Gardner and of course, the Machin family. They would never accept the kind of bully-boy tactics and verbal insults that we’ve heard on the radio in recent years, and they’d be disappointed in us if we did.

I don’t want to return to a time where I have to wear a floral frock from Osti, and a pair of gloves to play canasta while I wait for my husband to come home from work, and I can’t believe Wendy would want that for her daughters either. What we do want – and what we deserve – is an informed media that respects its audience, its government, and the society in which it operates. Alan Jones does not meet that criteria, and by associating the NRMA with Mr Jones, Wendy Machin is aligning “Our NRMA” and herself with his now tarnished brand.

As a communications professional, I would advise the NRMA to cut ties with Alan Jones and cancel any advertising booked on his show. It's not simply a commercial decision; it has meaning. It doesn't matter how many times the NRMA publishes its denials about supporting Alan Jones, or how many press conferences they give, as long as the NRMA still advertises on Mr Jones' show, it has positioned itself on the Jones side of the line, and the wrong side of history.


Wendy has responded via my Facebook page: Wendy Machin Hi Sally - I thought it was you, another Wingham girl. I read your blog. Pretty fair and I am glad to see yet another product of Wingham out there and doing well. You are right when you say I do not like the remarks Jones made. You new my Dad and when he died that was a great loss to me. I felt hurt for Julia Gillard when I saw what Alan Jones had said - it was so unkind and just so so wrong. Her Dad, like mine, was no doubt a proud father as he watched his daughter get to the top of politics in this country. I too have a similar Communcations degree as you and I appreciate that people will be critical of the NRMA advertising schedule including the Jones time slot. As you can imagine I am now being subject to a lot of personal pressure. There are several important issues here and they should not be confused. The really important one is proper standards of decency in our community - particularly in our community and political leaders. The media has a crucial role in leading the standard of debate upwards. I fully support that and I think the record will show that I have never indulged in personal attacks or "sledging" (although I have received a bit). The other issue is about businesses of all sizes trying to get on with their job. For many this includes advertising. The 2GB morning time slot has a lot of listeners and for the NRMA this is an important group for us to talk to. Some of the ads you are concerned about were in the traffic report - pretty logical oplace for a motoring organisation to go to given who we need to talk to. Social media is just like a lively debate at the pub - only online so more can see it. Everyone has an opinion and that is their right. But here too, as on radio or in Parliament, we should respect each other. The nasty targeting of some small businesses as part of this wider issue is unfortunate. They and good companies like NRMA should not be punished for another's wrong actions. Surely the best way to send a message is listen to another station?

76 comments:

  1. If I could just correct too points in this article which are somewhat misleading. Firstly the 116,000 signatures - the petition had no security in place to prevent the same people "signing" again and again under different names so this does not necessarily represent 116,000 people. Destroy the Joint's Facebook page has just under 21,000 likes - this number is more likely to be representative of the number of people who support the sacking of Alan Jones. Secondly, 80+ advertisers. A lot of the companies included in this list were never advertising on the Alan Jone's show in the first place. Their statements simply expressed their disgust at his comments (a view which would be shared by the vast majority of Australians) and confirmed they did not advertise on his show.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm, well you personally cannot spell.

      Delete
    2. True, I noticed that after I posted it. (too instead of two). It doesn't make what I'm saying any less true, however.

      Delete
    3. Let's all play nice, and then we won't need to hide behind words like "Anonymous".

      Just a couple of facts to add to the mix. There is a restriction on multiple signatures: each email address is unique, and as such, you can only vote once for each email address you own. I doubt that many people could be bothered logging out and logging in with a different email address just to add another signature. I know I wouldn't.

      The other point is the majority of those 80-odd companies, whether they advertise with 2GB isn't all that important. What they have done is committed not to do it in the future. It's different, as it impacts the station's ability to make money into the future.

      Delete
    4. Susie (formerly Anonymous)November 2, 2012 at 1:54 PM

      You're right a lot of people couldn't be bothered to sign multiple times but a lot of people could. Particularly given that for many (but not all) this is quite political. (There is no similar ongoing organised campaign against Kyle Sandilands). The petition also doesn't actually require any validation of the email address supplied i.e. you don't even have to prove it's your email address. At the end of the day, we just don't know how many real people signed the petition.

      The majority of companies also have not committed not to advertise with Alan Jones in the future - even among those who did have advertising, a large number have used the wording "suspended" to describe their actions.

      Delete
    5. Spelling does not effect your opinion but it does not make it 'true', it makes it your opinion.

      Delete
    6. Susie (formerly Anonymous)November 2, 2012 at 2:28 PM

      It is a fact - not an opinion - that the survey could be signed multiple times under different names. It is a fact - not an opinion - that not all the companies on 80+ list had advertising on Alan Jones and, even amongst those that did, they haven't all committed to not advertising in the future. Go to their Facebook pages and read their statements.

      Delete
    7. Darryl (Formerly anonymous)November 2, 2012 at 3:50 PM

      It is not a fact unless there is proof in numbers, equations, formulas etc.. You have no proof. I am not against your opinion, I am trying to help you argue it so your view is not dismissed.

      Delete
    8. Susie (on a different computer)November 2, 2012 at 7:09 PM

      That's awfully nice of you Darryl. I don't agree that the fact needs to be proved specifically in numbers but agree that it does need to be proved. With the survey, if you go to change.org you will see there is a survey on the home page petitioning Waverley Council to allow Volley Ball on Bondi beach. I've just signed the survey as Mitchell Wassell - you can see me in the signatories - but that's not my name, it's Susie. We will never know how many real people and how many fake people signed the Sack Alan Jones petition because there is no way of knowing.

      There is a list on the Sack Alan Jones Facebook page of companies who have withdrawn their advertising from the Alan Jones show. On that list is Big W. If you go to Big W's Facebook page you will see that on 1 October they said:

      "Hi everyone, thank you for all your recent posts. There have been posts calling for us to pull advertising and sponsorship from Alan Jones' program.
      To be clear, we do not and have not recently sponsored or advertised on this program."

      It is a fact that they did not withdraw their advertising because they were never there.

      Delete
    9. Susie (on a different computer)November 2, 2012 at 7:20 PM

      Just one more example in case you think Big W is an isolated case. From Toyota, also on the so-called list of withdrawers:

      "Hi everyone, Toyota Australia shares the public's concern regarding comments made by broadcaster Alan Jones. The comments made by Mr. Jones are completely inappropriate and are not endorsed by Toyota Australia or its dealer network.

      We have no current advertising bookings with Alan Jones or 2GB, nor do we have plans to in the near future."

      They did not withdraw and they have not committed to never advertise in the future.

      Delete
    10. you support the Alan Jones show by advertising with them... your choice ... my choice to vote with my feet and cancel any thing I have to do with NRMA

      Delete
    11. Agree with your last comment Susie. I have become bored with the Alan Jones attack, I stopped listening to this strange person many years ago. I am also bored with Tony Abbot's attack on the carbon tax. I want Malcolm back as opposition leader so I can consider a vote for the coalition. Meanwhile my vote will remain with an independent. I cannot see why volley ball cannot be played on Bondi, it used to be played there, informally, some years ago by friends and families.

      Delete
    12. Thanks Darryl. I'd actually like to see Julie Bishop as opposition leader. She was extremely impressive in parliament this week.

      Delete
    13. No problems with Julie Bishop as long as that pugilistic person is outed. In fact if Julie was given free reign, I think she may display some forward thinking rather than toe the current aggressive style she is forced to do now.

      Delete
  2. Hmmm, well I personally know a few people who signed the petition but are not followers of DTJ. So it is very difficult to know the numbers accurately. DTJ followers would have to be FaceBook members and many people in older demographics are not, but they would definitely support the sacking of Jones. This has obviously been a long time coming. People have long memories when it comes to being vilified and verbally abused. Decades of doing that is coming back to bite Jones.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "good companies like the NRMA should not be punished for another's wrong actions. Surely the best way to send a message is listen to another station?"

    I'm not a 2GB listener, but I support the community action against Alan Jones and his advertisers. Wendy is right when she says I can express my taste by listening to another station. But the issue here is maintaining proper standards of decency in our community. When 'good companies' support Alan Jones they are propagating the hate speech and disrespect he spreads. I'm sick of it. Those same companies compete for my support. Well I'm saying that I don't want to pay for people like Alan Jones to bring down our community standards. I will no longer financially contribute directly or indirectly to this cycle of abuse, and sadly, at the moment the NRMA is part of that cycle. It is the responsibility of all of us, including listeners, consumers, and advertisers to maintain our community standards. Sally and her supporters are trying to do their bit. Your move NRMA.

    ReplyDelete
  4. How does that work?

    "The 2GB morning time slot has a lot of listeners and for the NRMA this is an important group for us to talk to. .......Surely the best way to send a message is listen to another station?"


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like..'how does that work?' statement. I hold several Degrees, not in communication, but what I'm getting from Wendy Machin's statements is.."we (NRMA) do not support AJ's views, but we WILL support his programme as a traffic report has the right group of people listening to it"......then, on the other hand.."if you don't like AJ's views, change stations"???? Perhaps my comprehension skills need to be sharpened by studying a course in 'double-speak'?????

      Delete
    2. Susie (on a different computer)November 2, 2012 at 10:16 PM

      I suspect she is alluding to this. In the last radio survey, the number of people listening to him in Sydney increased by 22,000 to 464,000. This is a significant group of people who can't cost effectively be reached by any other media. If all those who feel Jones should be sacked were sufficient in number they could all start listening to another station and boost its ratings so that station became a more viable proposition for advertising than 2GB. If and when that happens I'm sure NRMA will happily move their advertising.

      Delete
  5. The vast majority of Alan Jones' despicable comments,eg at the time of the Cronulla riots, the "women are destroying the joint" comments etc etc WERE spouted on his radio program, so Wendy Machin and NRMA's response that the comments about the Prime Ministers father were said in "private", is a furphy. Not good enough, NRMA, continuing to associate your company with Alan Jones' version of hate radio will reflect badly on NRMA, as it should.

    ReplyDelete
  6. As an NRMA member of nearly 50 years, I say "Not good enough Wendy" - your advertising is paying Jones' salary. You are putting money into his pocket which is a pretty strange thing to do if you really find his comments offensive. I say it is time for us all to put our money where our mouth is and not support any product or service which supports extreme views as expressed by Alan Jones or Ray Hadley. Enough is enough

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are a 2 member for 50yrs household....wrote to the NRMA as we do not agree with the Roadside Service advertising on AJ's program...their response was along the lines of....."if you want to cancel your membership...that's your right and decision"......OK, that's how they feel, DONE!!!!!!!

      Delete
  7. As professional women we could not complete our career without coming up against these big moral decisions. If I were in Wendy's position now I would without a doubt resign before advertising on 2GB again. However many years ago when I came up against 'the boss' I buckled under the pressure and did things I would not consider morally right now. Confrontation was not my strength and my Values were blurred. I wonder what are Wendy's strengths and what are her values. Do her values and morals reflect or cross over at all with those of her work? (that's a question, not accusation) My belief is that to have a great career you must see it as part of your personal life.....not apart from.
    I am still and always will be appalled by the comments made. As I have grown older I learnt to be more diplomatic about what I say.....what happened in Alan Jones' case??

    ReplyDelete
  8. I concur with all the comments above, Wendy. NRMA is doing the country a disservice by continuing to support a hate-monger. Your comment about listening to another station by way of protest is fair enough - I will interpret that as taking my insurance dollars to another company.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ME TOO.....BUT NRMA DON'T SEEM TO CARE!!!

      Delete
  9. I am surprised at Wendy Machin's conflation of consumer and social polity, and between the consumption of individual brands. I do not listen to Alan's show without exceptional cause, but that doesn't mean that I have no interest in those that associate themselves with him. It seems strange to me that a common response from strong conservatives is 'if you don't like it, don't listen to it.' It's like saying that I need to be a Nazi in order to criticise Nazi ideology, and that if I'm not a Nazi I should just ignore Nazi behaviour and let them go about their business. Obviously this is not the case because social responsibility rests on all citizens, and although neo-liberal philosophy would have us reduce all social interaction to market lines, we are duty-bound to stand up for what is right and not just what supports our interests.

    What is particularly surprising is that few people have picked up on Jones' comment about Muslims and replaced the term with Jews. The public would have been righteously outraged (and justifiably so!) and the backlash would have been immeasurable. However, because Jones is a true bully, he will pick on the weakest and most vulnerable segments of our community, safe in the knowledge that his position is unassailable. I hope we prove him wrong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alan Jones never made a general comment about Muslims - he was referring to a group of Muslims who supported the view that women who are raped deserve it because they are not covering themselves appropriately.

      Delete
  10. It is entirely false to assume that the number of people on a petition or liking a Facebook page represents the total number of people concerned.

    As for Wendy Machin, let's translate:

    "There's money in it for us so we'll support this horrid trash. And now that demand has gone down it is cheaper for us to advertise on 2GB. As for the backlash, we reckon not too many people will go to the trouble of changing their insurance, and we can blunt some of the remaining backlash by making sympathetic noises to show we care. Even though we don't. We're betting the net result for us is: CHA-CHING!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "and since I'm one of the boys in senior management I can't be seen as a wimpy female taking the vapours at the first rude words on the airwaves. I'm tougher than they are, ha!"

      Delete
    2. Be aware it's NRMA roadservice, and nothing to do with NRMA insurance, they are seperate entities.

      Delete
    3. Then NRMA insurance should be very afraid. Many will confuse the two.

      Delete
    4. I cancelled both...well aware they are different entities! Still under the NRMA banner.....

      Delete
  11. Great Blog and I totally agree with dropbears comments. I have to wonder what carrot has been dangled in front of Wendy Machin for her to willingly inflict backlash upon herself and the company she runs. Perhaps there is a move to Canberra in the future?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sounds like a bit of a cop out to me. Know enough about Wendy to think she may agree with some of his political views, but that she's a moderate feminist perhaps? I signed the petition and it would only allow me to do it once when I clicked again as I wasn't sure if it had gone. I think this comment above says it all:

    'If anything good has come from the Mr Jones’ comments, it’s that it has been a catalyst for a new conversation in Australia, a conversation not just about women and misogyny, but also about standards of behaviour, about respect, and about what we are willing to accept from our media, our colleagues and our society. Finally, we're talking about where the line is drawn.'

    ReplyDelete
  13. The petition only allowed you one vote on Facebook. It did ask that I share it with my friends but only the one vote.Wendy Machin , Australia doesn't need another spineless politician regardless of gender. I've gone back to AAMI after your watery little blog. Pathetic

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It only allowed one vote under your Facebook identity but you could vote as many times as you liked using random names. You simply had to logout between each vote.

      Delete
  14. Attention Wendy Machin

    I am now changing channels on NRMA!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. As an NRMA customer, I would like to let Wendy know that I will not continue to be an NRMA customer if they do not change their decision. So Wendy, you can continue to stick to your views, but be very aware that they will affect your company. Even if I am the only one, I stand by my moral values. I will not support NRMA whilst they support Alan Jones! So over to you Wendy, keep advertising on Alan Jones show and you will lose at least one loyal customer, and a lot of good will as well, cause it will be the last time I tell anyone to consider NRMA

    ReplyDelete
  16. Advertising on Alan Jones = Brand image fail. When will companies , big and small, get that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Channel 9 and Channel 7, who both advertise on the AJ show, have access to daily audience figures. They know for a fact that this only has a positive effect on their audience.

      Delete
  17. I've just not listened for years. Now I'm going further and not paying. And I am bothering to have a discussion with anyone else too, on Facebook and anywhere else, about why they should not pay to have our airwaves sprouting hate. As a communications professional, Wendy, you should be considering whether that's the communication your brand wants.

    ReplyDelete
  18. "Surely the best way to send a message is listen to another station?"

    My changing the channel will not solve the problem of the racism and violence promoted by the Alan Jones program. Cancelling one's NRMA Membership on the other hand is the best way to prevent any fees ending up in Alan Jones's pocket.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Merriwyn Spicer-WensleyNovember 2, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    I'm from WA, so my boycotting the station, if possible, wouldn't be noticed anyway. In the case of the NRMA I can't even choose not to do business with them, as they don't operate here. I can however discuss with them and the rest of our society what I want to hear in the public discourse, which is civility and respect. I choose not to do business with those who advertise on Alan's program so that I do not fund him to do something I find objectionable. I think less of any company, large or small, who chooses to pay him to speak offensively on radio.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I can't help but think there's something wrong with, or missing from, this statement

    "The seat of Gloucester was a very safe National Party seat, and Wendy won the by-election as a member of the National Party."

    It seems to discount her achievement. It's a safe seat and she won it. Was it supposed to say it was a safe seat for another party?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, the statement is correct; there's no hidden meaning or error.

      Delete
  21. I find it very curious that a group against sexism is putting all their efforts into penalising selected Alan Jones advertisers but totally ignoring the advertisers on the Kyle and JackieO show. Or is Kyle's brand of sexism OK because the Prime Minister appears on his show?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One battle at a time. If Kyle Sandilands forgets his manners, I'm sure the DtJers will be there in force.

      Delete
    2. I have made many protests to the employers of the 'Sandilands & Jackie O things", as they are known as in our home.......deaf ears....we won't listen to them, nor watch them. I'm sure there are a lot more people protesting as I am...seems a losing battle, just as AJ seems to be

      Delete
    3. Susie (on a different computer)November 2, 2012 at 9:54 PM

      In the survey following Kyle's on-air rant where he referred to a female journalist as a "Fat Slag" and went on to say "You haven't got that much titty to be wearing that low cut a blouse. Watch your mouth girl, or I will hunt you down.", his audience dropped by 114,000 (compared to an increase of 22,000 for Alan Jones in the most recent survey). Alas, the drop in audience for Kyle and Jackie O was short-lived. The numbers have rebounded. I don't know if all the advertisers are back as I refuse to listen to him and no-one is monitoring. The Prime Minister has also appeared on his show at least two times since the incident (9/5/2012, 30/6/2012).

      Delete
  22. What a total copout.

    ReplyDelete
  23. NRMA is not a small company. I dont understand why you'd want to be associated with Alan Jones. Seriously, there are many many other advertising choices you could make!! Like anonymous said above, a total cop out!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. "I've just not listened for years. Now I'm going further and not paying. And I am bothering to have a discussion with anyone else too, on Facebook and anywhere else, about why they should not pay to have our airwaves sprouting hate. As a communications professional, Wendy, you should be considering whether that's the communication your brand wants"

    I agree with this. Have never really listened but his bile still makes it out through other media. My NOT listening will achieve nothing and I'm fed up. I want change. NRMA associating itself with this man is very poor form.

    ReplyDelete
  25. "all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"
    You don't get that many chances in life to make a significant ethical decision that may change the course of society.
    You have that chance Wendy, I wish you to use it wisely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well said Scott, this is exactly the quote that has been running through my mind.

      Delete
  26. Chris Cooke

    It disgusts me an a not so recent migrant(1970s)to see this great country sliding down the slippery slope of The USA's "Morality for sale" way of doing business. The NRMA is no small entity and its support against Mr. Jones and his cohorts would be seen by decent Australians as moral strength and integrity, its failure to support that view will be seen as it being a shifty, untrustworthy business enterprise and lead many to question the veracity of its advertising and its Management objectives and its responsibilities to its customers. I suggest that anyone purchasing its products READ THE FINE PRINT WITH THE UTMOST CARE

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yep, quarterly results beat long term integrity every time. Sad.

      Delete
  27. Travel toBali is very good to booking from Bali Hotels Accommodation. You will find something natural around the island. Exploring the island of Bali, and Best deal of hotels. Check also special deals on Bali Hotels in Kuta Hotels, Seminyak Hotels, Legian Hotels , Nusa Lembongan Hotels,
    Nusa Dua Hotels ,and Sanur Hotels. Or if you want to get holiday in Phuket, you can book from Phuket Hotels , Patong Hotels booking online,and Istanbul Hotels Turkey for Istanbul Turkey Online reservation.. Thank You.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Australian culture has long been polluted by Alan Jones, Kyle Sandilands, and other media figures, and by many politicians for that matter, and it is great to finally see ordinary Australians find a public voice to express their displeasure with these culture polluters. True, one may personally change the channel but that does not stop the general pollution; getting people, business, money, and trend to criticize and isolate the polluters does. For my part, I have signed the various online petitions to halt advertising for Alan Jones' radio station; I have emailed companies of which I was a customer and who still advertised; and I have just changed my car insurance from AAMI to QBE, since I do not wish to be support Alan Jones, even indirectly, by giving money to the owners of AAMI (Suncorp) who also own businesses that advertise on Alan Jones' station. I am presently a member of NRMA and, unless NRMA decides to stop advertising on Alan Jones' station, I will strongly consider cancelling my membership with NRMA. Up till now, I have enjoyed being a member and would be sad to leave; however, the general health of Australian culture is more important.
    Cheers, Thomas.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Wendy Machin is letting being "one of the boys" in senior management cloud her commercial judgement. A real pity.

    And my car insurance is up for renewal too...

    ReplyDelete
  30. Like Merriwyn Spicer-Wensley (who posted a bit earlier), I'm a West Australian who hasn't the option of switching from Alan Jones' program to another station because we have the great good fortune of being spared Pontifications of the Parrot (or should that be Putridities of the Parrot?)on our airwaves. WA's isolation has its good points: no cane toads (except in the Kimberly); no minah birds; no skeleton weed; and no Alan Jones! Unfortunately, there's no escaping him altogether because his most reprehensible statements are reported over here. I was most appalled in 2005 when, at the height of the Cronulla riots, he infamously described Lebanese Muslims as "vermin" and "mongels" (amongst other insults). Happily, the richly deserved social media backlash against Jones has provided me with a means of expressing my disgust at his inhumanity and lack of civility - a personal boycott of those businesses which blithely ignore the public's revulsion and continue sponsoring his program. It's people power, pure and simple. The consumer is king, not the demagogue who would be king. So if Wendy Machin and the NRMA want to continue down the path of tacitly supporting the vile nonsense with which countless Australians now associate Alan Jones, they should be cognisant of the adage "You reap what you sow" - and brace themselves for a whirlwind of opprobrium and dissent, including from many of their own customers. As for NRMA having no presence in WA, my advice to them is don't bother: we're very happy without Jones, and if you're in bed with the Putrescent Parrot, we'll remain very happy without you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susie (on a different computer)November 2, 2012 at 10:35 PM

      Are you referring to him reading a listener letter which was in response to footage of young Lebanese men taunting police around The Rocks in Sydney on the day before Anzac Day, which was aired on a TV current affairs show on April 27?

      The group of men called police "pigs", and mocked the Anzac traditions, but were not arrested by police.

      Or are you referring to his comments about a Muslim sheik, Faiz Mohammad, who suggested that women who wore short skirts or didn't cover themselves were to blame if they were sexually assaulted?

      Delete
    2. Hey Susie. Because I am not exposed directly to Mr Jones' rantings and ravings in WA (no station being foolish enough to air his program), what I know about this matter comes via ACMA (the Australian Communications and Media Authority). As you may or may not be aware, ACMA (an independent governmental watchdog) just last month fined Jones for the comments about Lebanese Muslims in Australia, including those obnoxious quotes I cited in my previous quote. I'm an historian and it perturbs when when I hear a broadcaster in Australia use the same kind of invective against ethnic minority groups which were emloyed by the Nazis against the Jews in the 1930s. The term "vermin" might have be taken straight out of the Joseph Goebbels playbook. Clearly, the context in which Jones made his comments about Lebanese Muslims in Australia was not deemed just cause for his gross misconduct behind the microphone. The umpire has ruled against Jones in this matter, as in so many others, but true to form, he and many of his misguided devotees are prepared to respect the rules and bodies which administrate the rules only in so far as they can be made to serve their own bigotry. Anything else is decried as part of some commie conspiracy, which is a sure indication of a deep-seated paranoia fueling xenophobia. Before you jump to all sorts of conclusions about me, please note that I am a seventh-generation Anglo-Celtic Australian, voted Liberal in the 2010 election, worked for nearly three decades in the private school system and come from a pioneering WA farming family - hardly the background of a card-carrying Bolshevik! It would be a grave mistake to think that everyone who supports centre-right political parties like the Libs and Nats can stomach the vile hate speech which emanates from shock jocks such as Jones and Co. Australia would be a much better society without it. Free speech guarantees Jones' right to spew forth his many irrational opinions but ordinary, decent citizens people of this country revolted by his behaviour have every right to take their business to companies which avoid any association with his program (and there are now many of these, thank God!). It is exactly the same kind of action black Americans took during the 1950s and 1960s to win civil rights in the face of systemic discrimination, especially in the Deep South. Finally, I have to say that the kind of blinkered vision of the world displayed by Alan Jones and his apologists prompts me to recall the observation by Gerald W. Johnson (a famed American historian, biographer and novelist) that "The closed mind, if closed long enough, can be opened by nothing short of dynamite."

      Delete
    3. Hey Anthony, you've inadvertently just proved that your information didn't come via the ACMA. I'm well aware of the recent ruling but it was not a ruling by the ACMA, it was a ruling by the New South Wales Administrative Decisions Tribunal Appeals Panel. The ACMA did not report the decision. It would appear that you actually read a newspaper headline and didn't read much further. The comment for which he was fined $10,000 was the reading of a listener letter which was in response to footage of young Lebanese men taunting police around The Rocks in Sydney on the day before Anzac Day. The group of men called police "pigs", and mocked the Anzac traditions, but were not arrested by police. The letter said:

      "What did we do as a nation to have this vermin infect us like this?".

      "They've got no connection to us. They simply rape, pillage and plunder a nation that's taken them in."

      I agree with the Tribunal that this letter shouldn't have been read out but it concerns me greatly that so many people are happy to condemn someone without even bothering to acquaint themselves with the facts.

      Also not sure why you'd assume I would come to conclusions about your nationality, occupation and voting habits. It never crossed by mind. But for the record, I'm an immigrant who went to a public school - my father was a motor mechanic and my mother a payroll officer. And I voted the same as you in the last election.

      Delete
  31. People listen to AJ's show to hear AJ not the adds. Therefore it is silly to think he is benefiting more from the adds than they are from his popularity. That is why they choose to advertise on his show. More people will hear their adds. If they quit someone else who wants to better their business will take their place. Do you guys think your're going to run everyone out of town. The man apolagised. If you don't accept that then that's your problem. Stop harassing innocent businesses because you don't like AJ. Your threatening methods are not unlike terrorists'. NRMA have done nothing wrong yet you want to punish them by forcing them to make a negative business decision. Grow up people. All power to you Wendy Machin for not succumbing to these unreasonable demands. My fleets will stay with you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is simply arrant nonsense, I'm afraid.

      Delete
    2. So what you are saying in your simplistic and chidish statement Anthony is that AJ specifically targeted NRMA to advertise on his show - not the other way around. The statement by Anon at 9:12pm that you responded to makes a lot of sense. I would like to refer to you as a fool but I actually feel sorry for your lack of education on this matter... and what is it that you are afraid of?

      Delete
  32. Your choice to support 2GB and Alan Jones who is a part owner of the Station.... my choice to vote with my feet and not support NRMA

    ReplyDelete
  33. It is ironic that this group purporting to support "women " is badgering Wendy Machin, a "woman " , for protecting the business interests of the
    excellent company that she heads . Wendy has explained why her company chooses to advertise on 2GB . Despite DTJ's failing attempts to destroy Alan Jones , he is still going strong and has increased his ratings . You will always have my support and admiration Wendy . DTJ is waging a guerilla war against businesses who still advertise on 2GB . The destroyers are not intelligent enough to realise that innocent people might lose their jobs if those businesses they are targeting with their emails and threats go to the wall .
    Your heroine , Julia Gillard , is still appearing on the Kyle Sandilands show despite his scandalous comments . Your hypocrisy is breathtaking DJT .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am a woman repulsed by AJ's comments..used to listen to him...gave up. I do not belong to DTJ (whatever that is?), just find his comments vile & hateful, patricularly to the female gender. Kyle Sandilands is also on my 'do not listen to list', but I do not like being labelled as 'not intelligent', or having....'your heroine, Julia Gillard' attached to my views. Perhaps you belong to the NRMA Board or management???

      Delete
  34. I simply can't agree with Wendy's view here. There are two things that concern me:

    1. As a consumer I look to the companies that I spend my money with to have more than just a financial view. As someone who has run businesses I understand that my company's - and by extension my - reputation and how it / we perceived in the market place have a very real impact on my bottom line. The justification here is very poor and ill-thought.

    2. The justification of small businesses going under because of Alan Jones shows a lack of management expertise. You can still get to those same demographics, you just need to find a different way to do it. Solving problems and doing things better are meant to be a core capability of any decent manager. A small price to pay in terms of maintaining my company's reputation.

    I have noted that some people still choose to frame this in terms of politics (anonymous @ 10:44pm). I am a swinging voter. I make my decisions on how I vote based on policies and what I believe is best for my country (and by extension me). I resent the linking of my belief that we should be improving the level of public discourse in this country with one side of politics or another. For example - again to Anonymous @ 10:44pm - I have not seen anything from DTJ which states the PM is their hero. It was comments made against her which lit the fire but they are very separate things. Your politics are clouding your judgement here.

    I suppose there will always be people who can find a way to justify their continued involvement. It's not at the same level but does remind me of Lady Margaret Thatcher not supporting boycotts of companies working in South Africa during the apartheid regime. Again, a view of the money clouding a need to make a difference and define a better society. Hopefully this campaign will also lead to a better society in which we all live

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/get_jones_campaign_driven_by_union_and_labor_figures/P20/

      Delete
    2. I'm not aware of any ALP or Union figures behind DestroyTheJoint...but I am aware of the political affiliations of Alan Jones and his supporters.

      Delete
    3. The figures behind Destroy the Joint include Sally McManus, a branch secretary of the Australian Services Union, Emily Mayo, an ASU organiser and Victoria Brookman who stood for Labor against Brendan Nelson and worked for a NSW Labor politician. Alan Jones is not a member of any political party and is critical of both major political parties during his broadcasts.

      Delete
  35. I disagree with the idea you can just buy Jones' advertising without "buying into" Jones, as asserted by Wendy Machin - there's an association that your decision to purchase (in this case, Jones' advertising), something I develop more in my article :

    http://lawcrimepolitics.com/lets-alan-jones

    ReplyDelete
  36. Wendy Machin has gone out of her way to communicate that she is a caring Australian. As such, shouldn't she also care about the racial vilification, the proven lies and the bullying behaviour of a man who uses fear to maintain his ratings, at the cost of traditional Australian values of fair play and kindness?

    I believe that anyone who advertises with Alan Jones is tarnished by him. In the case of the NRMA this is even more significant because they are using member's funds to support him.

    ReplyDelete