Controversial commentator Alan Jones as been dumped by Sydney’s Daily Telegraph after repeated sprays against COVID vaccination and lockdowns.
Telegraph editor Ben English reportedly told Jones his column would no longer be published – apparently because the former shock jock’s column is falling flat with readers.
Jones’ weekly Telegraph column is also published by other News Corp outlets, including The Gold Coast Bulletin and Courier Mail. He also writes a column for The Australian’s sports pages and has his own show on Sky News.
But there has been no Daily Telegraph article since last Thursday.
Jones confirmed to the Nine newspapers that his column was no longer being published, but denied it was because it was falling flat with readers.
“If the argument has been it’s not resonating, I don’t have to defend myself,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald on Thursday.
“Have a look at Sky News YouTube, Sky News Facebook and Alan Jones Facebook and you can see. The same column that I write for the Tele goes up on my Facebook page.
“The public can check it for themselves. 35 years at top of the radio – and I don’t resonate with the public? Honestly.”
With NSW’s virus emergency hitting a grim new peak on Thursday – with 239 new infections and two more deaths – state Health Minister Brad Hazzard was asked about the effect of commentators who publicly condemn authorities’ decisions.
Without mentioning Jones by name, he said decisions were made “on the basis of evidence and science to keep us safe”.
“All I will say is we are in a one in 100-year pandemic,” he said.
“What a ridiculous position is that when you are going to put health staff at risk and when you get sick, you are going to expect to come into hospital and get paid for by taxpayers?
“It is time for those who actually think that way to wake up, including commentators who actually don’t base their commentary on logic whatsoever.”
The end of Jones’ column follows another period of intense scrutiny for the veteran radio broadcaster, including fierce criticism from his former colleagues such as 2GB host Ray Hadley and the ABC’s Media Watch program.
Hadley, who worked with Jones for decades, has lined up against his former co-host in recent weeks. This week he described Jones’ conduct as “scurrilous, contemptible and undignified”.
Last week, Sky News was forced into a lengthy correction for a segment in which Jones and ex-Liberal MP Craig Kelly indulged in a tirade about the pandemic and vaccines.
The comments in a Sky News broadcast on July 12 about Sydney’s COVID lockdown and Australia’s handling of the pandemic were described as “grossly misleading” by Media Watch.
It came after the pair bungled their reading of a technical document comparing the different death rates of the virus’ Alpha and Delta strains.
They also ranted about the ongoing NSW lockdown and Australia’s handling of the pandemic.
“This bids to be the greatest public administration scandal this state has faced,” Jones said.
Sky has since removed the content from all of its platforms.