Radio Crackdown: Australian Radio Jock Forced Into 'Factual Accuracy Training' on Global Warming

For those who would claim liberals are the free-speech champions, see Philip Bump at the eco-leftist Grist magazine. Australian morning "shock jock" Alan Jones, "who apparently belongs to the Limbaugh/AEI school of factual accuracy" on "climate change," is being cited by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (like their FCC)  and has been ordered to undergo "factual accuracy" training.

Regulators ruled that Jones breached broadcast rules by claiming Australians contributed just ''1 per cent of .001 per cent of carbon dioxide in the air.” Climate activist scientists will apparently police the radio airwaves in Australia in a way Al Gore and the American Left can only envy:

Controversial shock jock Alan Jones has been ordered to undergo “factual accuracy” training, and to use fact-checkers, in another damaging blow to his credibility.

External trainers will conduct training sessions for Jones and other news and current affairs staff at [radio station] 2GB.…

University of Melbourne climate change scientist David Karoly said Australians were in fact responsible for .45 per cent of total carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. ''Obviously, we would much rather prefer that the comments of people like Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt were, in fact, correct, so it is pleasing to get this ruling from ACMA,'' Dr Karoly said.

The radio station told ACMA Jones' claims should have been taken as commentary, because his show was neither news nor current affairs, but, ''overwhelmingly … the personal opinion and comment of Jones''.

But the authority said any ''ordinary, reasonable listener'' would have taken his claims to be fact.

The media authority said 2GB had ''some'' fact-checking and verification measures in place, but these had shortcomings in the case of Jones' show. ''The editorial pieces, the subject of the ACMA investigations, did not involve the wider production team.''

The station volunteered to ''pre-broadcast fact-checking by the program's executive producer of any material provided by non-media sources or third parties''.

Bump concluded "Close your eyes for a second and imagine the FCC mandating factual accuracy training for Rush Limbaugh. Funny, right? Jones can find consolation in one thing: If he thinks the media landscape in Australia is too oppressive, there’s at least one country that would welcome him with open arms."

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis