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Julia Gillard -- in this accounting, she is "Australia's Sandra Fluke"

You may have seen this fascinating video, which went viral last week:

Julia Gillard's Speech Over Opposition's Sexism, Misogyny

Prime Minister Julia Gillard is the leader of the Labor Party in Australia. There has been recent tension between the Labor Party and the center-right Liberal Party over the issue of alleged sexism. This tension sets the backdrop for a news story about talk radio host Alan Belford Jones, Australia's "Rush Limbaugh".

Similarities between Alan Jones and Rush Limbaugh are quite remarkable. Limbaugh and Jones have each dominated talk radio in their respective countries. Both have been described as "shock jocks", and both have been active in conservative national politics. Both have been accused of defamation, with Jones having lost legal battles, and having settled numerous lawsuits out of court.


Rush Limbaugh

Alan Jones

"When women got the right to vote is when it all went downhill, because that's when votes started being cast with emotion and maternal instincts." Women in politics are "destroying the joint."
Both Limbaugh and Jones have been repeatedly accused of misogyny, bigotry, racism, anti-unionism, and grotesque attacks on political opponents. (Much more after the skip.)

Limbaugh and Jones have also been accused of over the top attacks on government leaders.


Rush Limbaugh

Alan Jones

"Barack Obama is a serial liar, and I think it's time to call him out on this." "Do you understand, Julia, that you are the issue today, because there are people now saying your name is not Julia but Ju-liar and they are saying that we've got a liar running the country."
Rush Limbaugh has been accused of implicitly inciting racism and violence. Alan Jones has also been accused of implicitly inciting racism and violence.

Both have sought involvement in sports, with Limbaugh having failed to become the owner of an American Football team, and Jones having been a Rugby coach.


Rush Limbaugh

Alan Jones

Rush Limbaugh routinely rails against homosexuality. A "Dominican Stag Party" by Limbaugh and other male companions raised eyebrows when Limbaugh's Viagra was seized at customs. Alan Jones has been accused of closeted homosexuality.
Jones has been accused, and had charges brought against him for airing the name of a juvenile in a court proceeding. Limbaugh has been faulted for naming and abusing an eight year old girl on air for her climate concern.

Alan Jones has been accused, and faced sanctions, for making unwarranted statements about climate change. Rush Limbaugh is the foremost climate change denier in the United States.


Rush Limbaugh

Alan Jones

Rush with Punkin
Alan with Specs
Rush Limbaugh and Alan Jones have both attacked U.S. President Barack Obama. The Australian shock jock used a familiar meme, that political opponents ought to be stuffed into a "chaff bag" (what Americans might call a "trash" bag) and dumped at sea:
He’s mad this President Obama, I mean ... He’s gotta go in the same chaff bag as Julia Gillard, Barack Obama.

  --Alan Jones: MediaWatch

Limbaugh is frequently over the top, but achieved infamy over his attacks against Sandra Fluke. Alan Jones is likewise perpetually controversial, but his talk radio ship is on the rocks over comments he made about the current prime minister's father:
There were eight staff [under Malcolm Fraser]. This woman [Prime Minister Julia Gillard] currently has 55 staff. This alone, it disturbs me that the Liberal party, the opposition let these people get away with this. There’s people out there who can’t get a job, there’s debt coming out of their ears and there were at last count 55 people [on staff]. No wonder the woman’s confused, she doesn’t know who to listen to.

To the business of tonight, let me just say that I feel a very strong obligation to make comments in a room of people who are conspicuously intelligent and who are dedicated to the wellbeing of the party.

They [Labor] are indeterminate and compulsive liars. They’ll lie and lie and lie. Every person in the caucus of the Labor party knows that Julia Gillard is a liar. Everybody, I’ll come to that in a moment. The old man recently died a few weeks ago of shame. To think that he had a daughter who told lies every time she stood for parliament. [Sounds of surprise from audience] No, no look, hang on, this is where we’re weak. This is where we’re weak. [emphasis added]

  The Telegraph: Alan Jones speech

The reference to "weakness" has been interpreted as the unwillingness of other Liberal Party members to embrace the harsh language attacking the prime minister.

Limbaugh and Jones, both "small government" advocates and champions of free markets and the private sector, have both been punished by their own advertisers and some radio stations for their outrageous flaming of the political opposition. Limbaugh has lost several radio stations, two early on and more since, although the circumstances are frequently unclear. Two radio stations also promptly dropped Alan Jones, and there are reports of a third station following their lead.

We estimate that Limbaugh has lost more than a thousand advertisers over a period of eight months. Many of these have been large national or international brand names.

In the early days of the Limbaugh firestorm, Limbaugh's syndicator Premiere Networks suspended all national advertising for two weeks. Jones' 2GB radio network has just suspended all ads "in the hope of calming the situation".

In the first week of controversy, Rush Limbaugh lashed out on the air at long time advertiser Sleep Train after the company publicly criticized Limbaugh's three day tirade against Sandra Fluke. Alan Jones similarly slammed Mercedes-Benz, calling an executive for the former sponsor a "gutless wonder" when they asked him to return a sponsored car.

Limbaugh apologized to Sandra Fluke in a press bulletin and on the air, although his on air apology was couched in language that continued his political attack. Alan Jones likewise found it necessary to apologize:

Alan Jones apologies to Julia Gillard over "died of shame" comments

In both cases, the apologies were considered inadequate or insincere. Consumer and activist groups in both the United States and Australia are using social media to organize opposition. In both examples, opposition appears to be growing, rather than diminishing. Some have linked anti-Jones activism in Australia to the union movement. Limbaugh's anti-union credentials are well established.

Facebook pages seeking the sack of Alan Jones are here and here. A petition advocating an advertiser boycott of Jones is here, and another demanding that Jones make "a contribution to gender equality" is here.

Rush Limbaugh's talk radio career is in a slow downward spiral in part because of the activism of consumers, volunteers, and activists who seek to hold Rush accountable for his hate speech. One very active group in this cause is Flush Rush on Facebook. Flush Rush and other, similar groups use the StopRush Database to inform advertisers about where their ads are appearing.

Please consider joining. Small donations are also accepted to fund data storage; visit StopRush for more information.

Originally posted to Richard Myers on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 02:55 PM PDT.

Also republished by Sluts.

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