News National ‘Sock jock’ Alan Jones issues grovelling on-air apology to Jacinda Ardern

‘Sock jock’ Alan Jones issues grovelling on-air apology to Jacinda Ardern

Alan Jones has apologised for his comments about Jacinda Ardern. Photos: AAP
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

Malcolm Turnbull has unloaded on Alan Jones’ “appalling misogyny” as the broadcaster issued a grovelling apology after calling for New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to have “a sock shoved down her throat”.

The former prime minister ripped into the Sydney broadcaster on Friday night, insisting there was a pattern of “abusive and violent language”.

Mr Turnbull said the question of whether he should be removed from the airwaves was a matter for his employer.

“His pattern of using abusive and violent language against women, particularly women politicians, is disgraceful,” Mr Turnbull told Radio National.

“He is an appalling misogynist in the way he talks about women. This is the man who said that Julia Gillard should be put in a chaff bag and dropped off the Heads, then he goes on to urge Morrison to, what, shove a sock down Jacinda Ardern’s throat.

“I mean, this is appalling language – and at a time when we are doing everything we can as a national priority to stamp out violence against women and children, you have this broadcaster who uses the language of violence against women as part of his regular rhetoric.

“It is disgraceful.”

Mr Turnbull said despite all the “climate denialism” from Jones, on Sky News and the Murdoch newspapers, the move towards renewable energy was inevitable.

“I don’t think there is a place for new coal in Australia,” he said.

“The simple economics of a new coal-fired power station in Australia does not stack up. No one is going to finance it.”

Earlier, broadcaster Alan Jones issued a “sincere apology” to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern after suggesting Scott Morrison “shove a sock down her throat” to silence her on climate change.

Less than 12 hours after he described her as “gormless” on air this morning, the top-rating broadcaster made a surprise appearance on air shortly before 6pm to admit, “I was wrong, and I apologise”.

“When these things happen, you’ve just got to man up, pivot, face it and apologise for it,” he told 2GB radio.

“We don’t want that sort of offence to be given in 2019. I accept it’s careless. I accept it’s wrong.”

Mr Jones’ change of heart followed activists calling for advertisers to pull advertisements from Sydney’s radio 2GB over his attack on Ms Ardern.

“She’s both a politician and a mother,” he said.

“I am certainly wanting the very best for her family and I hope at some stage we are able to talk.

“In this game, you’ve got to choose your words carefully and I didn’t do that.”

On Friday morning, Mr Jones accused his critics of wilfully misrepresenting his remarks, stressing he never intended any harm.

‘‘But that’s not an excuse. People have taken offence,’’ he said.

‘‘I do regret it and I am very sincere in the sentiment.’’

Mr Jones said he had written to the New Zealand Prime Minister but he wished to attach “his voice”‘ to the apology.

‘‘I have erred and made a mistake. I was wrong. Now when you do that, you’ve got to be man enough to simply say I was wrong, I apologise.’’

On Friday afternoon, Jones lost at least one major advertiser as the 2GB shock jock continued on-air attacks against Ms Ardern.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the Pacific Islands Forum. Photo: AAP

Jones told his listeners on Thursday that if Prime Minister Scott Morrison bumped into Ms Ardern, he should “shove a sock down her throat”.

Mr Morrison condemned the comments but Jones doubled down, continuing his attack during his Friday morning show, describing the New Zealand leader as “gormless” and a “hypocrite”.

ME Bank later confirmed on Twitter it had pulled advertising from 2GB radio in response.

“It [the comments] absolutely does not align with our ME values on many levels,” a spokeswoman said.

Ms Ardern, meanwhile, was not buying into the controversy – telling reporters at a meeting of leaders in the Pacific that she didn’t want to give Mr Jones’ comments “the light of day”.