‘Redneck' resonates with many
ONLY a few weeks ago the Twitterverse was aflame with fury at the insensitivity of Alan Jones and his below-the-belt comments about Julia Gillard's dad.
The advertisers were falling and on their Facebook page (with membership nearly 21,000 "likes"), members of the Destroy the Joint community were doing the internet equivalent of painting little Messerschmitts on the side of their Spitfires as they lined up companies to lobby.
Jones was given a serve by the media regulator and told he would have to undergo "factual accuracy" training and employ a fact-checker.
Anti-Jones columnists and his radio competitors were penning obits, assured the Parrot was having his last moult - and their audience agreed. A poll attached to one column on the Sydney Morning Herald website showed 71% believed Jones was through.
But he wasn't. Not even close. Instead, all the while, Alan Jones's audience quietly grew. Yeah, that's right - more people tuned into him.
The latest Nielsen figures show from September 16 through until October 20, Jones's audience numbers rose by half a per cent - the biggest ratings gain in Australian radio in his timeslot for that period.
It appears none of those prophesying Jones's doom bothered to pay much attention to the opinions of his listeners.
Is there something dark in the Australian psyche that makes Jones's redneckery resonate with so many? Maybe.
Maybe it's just that he is the only one talking to that segment of the nation and not treating them like they're a bunch of idiots.