New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has dismissed another attempt to be drawn into a slanging match with right-wing Australian shock jock Alan Jones.
Jones, 78, has regularly targeted the Kiwi leader on his breakfast radio program, labelling her, among other things, an “utter lightweight” and a “clown”.
He crossed a line in August when he invoked violence against Ms Ardern, saying Prime Minister Scott Morrison should “shove a sock down her throat” over her views on climate change.
HEAR ALAN JONES’ CONTROVERSIAL REMARKS ABOUT JACINDA ARDERN:
After criticism, including a sponsor backlash, Jones apologised to Ms Ardern, who refused to get drawn into the debate.
“I don’t have an opinion about every single person that says something about me,” she said at the time.
However, a tweet from 2012 – unearthed by Sky News on Tuesday – shows Ms Ardern did once have a view on the controversial Sydney radio host.
“I know an Alan Jones. Unlike the Aussie version, he isn’t a git or intensely disliked by the population,” she wrote.
I know an Alan Jones. Unlike the Aussie version, he isn't a git or intensely disliked by the general population.
— Jacinda Ardern (@jacindaardern) September 30, 2012
Reminded of the remarks on Tuesday, Ms Ardern chose again not to buy in.
“This is a reference to a tweet from seven years ago,” she said.
“Of late you’ve seen I’ve not been offering up thoughts or opinions on the issue of Alan Jones. I don’t intend to now.”
However, social media users were quick to offer their views, pouring scorn on Sky News’ story.
breaking sky news exclusive: someone called the broadcaster that incited the cronulla riots a "git" around the time the Dark Knight Rises came out
— thomas violence (@thomas_violence) October 22, 2019
I'd like to point out in 2019 that he is still a git and nobody likes him still. https://t.co/akzTRV10bT
— Uniqlo Dad (@GordyPls) October 22, 2019
Others pointed out that Ms Ardern’s assessment – made when she was an opposition spokesperson and five years before she became prime minister – came the day after Jones’ most infamous gaffe became public.
Jones, speaking to a Liberal party fundraiser, labelled then-Australian PM Julia Gillard a “liar” and said her father John had “died of shame” because of that.
The 2GB broadcaster was flooded with complaints, losing further advertisers, before publicly apologising.
Jones’ track record of harmful language against female leaders has prompted condemnation from at least the past five Australian prime ministers.
In August, after his latest Ardern outburst, Jones was labelled an “appalling misogynist” by Malcolm Turnbull, who said “his pattern of using abusive and violent language against women, particularly women politicians, is disgraceful”.