Big problem with Alan Jones claim
Representatives of shock jock Alan Jones have claimed a clip of him urging Scott Morrison to give New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern "a few backhanders" was taken out of context.
However, the full audio of the episode of the Alan Jones Breakfast Show in which the comments were made on August 15 appears to have disappeared from the 2GB website.
The initial controversy began last week when the veteran broadcaster attacked Ms Ardern after she criticised Australia's climate change policies.
"She's a clown, Jacinda Ardern; a complete clown,'' Jones said on air last Thursday.
"I just wonder whether Scott Morrison is going to be fully briefed to shove a sock down her throat.''
But this week, Media Watch aired more of Jones' troubling comments that were made about 30 minutes earlier during the same episode, which had not been widely publicised.
In the new audio, the audibly angry host can be heard saying: "This lightweight New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern is challenging Scott Morrison over climate change. Now I hope Scott Morrison gets tough here with a few backhanders … hasn't got a clue this woman."
Since then, there has been a mass exodus of advertisers from 2GB and Jones' program, with Anytime Fitness, Snooze, Koala and ME Bank just some of the big names to pull their advertising.
Chemist Warehouse has become the latest company to withdraw its support following several days of intense criticism from the public on social media.
However, this morning a number of businesses including Subway, Merivale, Harvey Norman and Renault were still advertising on the show.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, after the Media Watch episode aired, a representative of Jones contacted the show and claimed the 78-year-old had been taken out of context.
"2GB sources admitted the call was an 'angry approach' because a six-minute editorial had been cut down to highlight 15 seconds of Jones' most offensive comments and, they believed, it did not accurately represent what he had initially said," the publication reported.
However, when news.com.au visited the 2GB website to find the entire August 15 episode, it was missing from the site - although the August 14 and 16 episodes were available.
It is also unavailable from other podcast apps like Podcast Addict.
Part of Jones' original commentary included: "This lightweight New Zealand prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, is challenging Scott Morrison over climate change. Jacinda Ardern gets a headline because she's promised to have a carbon neutral economy, carbon dioxide we're talking about.
"Oh, she's excluded agriculture and methane … Now I hope Scott Morrison gets tough here with a few backhanders. He's got a stack of staff. Someone should have him this morning with a full briefing. The fact is since 1990 New Zealand has grown carbon dioxide per capita by 10.8 per cent."
But the Media Watch episode only aired 15 seconds of his dialogue, which had been significantly cut.
It has been widely reported 2GB is considering making a formal complaint.
Jones has apologised to Ms Ardern and has been put on notice by Macquarie Media chairman Russell Tate, who warned Jones would be sacked if he made similar comments in future.
Soon after Jones' comments were made, the hashtag #sackAlanJones began trending on Twitter.
However, Jones has remained defiant, telling Nine News advertisers were free to leave if they wished.
"I've got no comment about the advertisers, they can make their own judgment - but they go, there will be others to take their place," he said.
He also spoke about the social media backlash against him, which he claimed included death threats.
"It seems to be OK that you can in social media, about Alan Jones, say that we should kill him," he said.
"The language used about me is just extraordinary."
He also said his comments about Ms Ardern were "metaphorical comments" but added, "If I give offence I always apologise for that."
2GB is owned by Macquarie Media, which recently re-signed Jones on a multimillion-dollar contract for a further two years.
2GB has been contacted for comment.