Tim Dunlop has a good post up about Brian Toohey’s piece in yesterday’s Sun-Herald. Toohey argues that much of the commentariat hand-wringing about malign shock-jock influence could be sensibly addressed by politicians simply not giving them the issue-based oxygen they require.
He paints a picture of a disgruntled Bob Carr padding round in his jammies on a wintry morning waiting for ‘the call’ from Jones’ producer. Jones speaks to around 11% of Sydney’s radio audience every morning. They are largely elderly, conservative and are about as attracted to the notion of “swinging votes” as they are to the notion of “swinging sex.” This mob would vote for an old right hand boot if Jones instructed them so to do and – given the uncertain eyesight of many of them – probably have. But to look at it in another way, Jones misses out on 89% of the Sydney radio audience every day.
Why then do he and Laws (who was recently given a run for his not inconsiderable money, in his Sydney timeslot, by ABC Radio’s Sally Loane) continue to wield such apparent influence? Answer: politicians and opinion-makers give it to them because ‘that’s the way the system works.” It kind of suits everyone in a way not unrelated to the practices of the Marquis de Sade and indelibly linked to “old media.” Bob! Switch your phone off and Get a Blog!