Q&A: Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Jones in testy exchange

Q&A: Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Jones in testy exchange, by David Crowe.

Malcolm Turnbull has chided ABC host Tony Jones for doing Labor’s “work” in a sharp exchange on the network’s Q&A program last night after a series of interruptions to his answers on health, company tax cuts and the budget. …

When Mr Turnbull noted that Labor planned to run higher deficits over the next four years, Jones interrupted.

“They would say — I have to jump in here — ” Jones said.

“Of course you do. You have got to defend the Labor Party, Tony,” Mr Turnbull responded.

“By raising tax revenue,” Jones continued. “By raising tax revenue. That’s how they say they’re going to do it.”

Mr Turnbull offered another pointed response, albeit with a smile: “I’ve never heard them explain it quite as well as you. You should do more work for them. You’re a very good spokesman for the ALP. Anyway, there you go.”

Tony Jones is a national disgrace. He is the chief propagandist at the ABC, who ensures the national broadcaster lets everyone know what the politically correct line is. His main tactics are the loaded questions (“But don’t you think that …”, “Surely you don’t mean…”), his choice of guests to extol or put down, the questions with inbuilt assumptions that the non-PC guest does not get time to challenge, and of course the big one, the interruption.

Jones’ main job is interrupting. As soon as any guest starts getting on a roll saying something non-PC, Jones interrupts. No one can be allowed to advance a non-PC idea into the national conversation when Jones is around, without many interruptions and challenges. Contrast this with the worshipful silence Jones exhibits when a PC crew member, such as  Tim Flannery, explains — uninterrupted and unchallenged. That is Jones’ way of signalling to the audience what is politically correct (no interruptions, smiles from Jones) and what is not PC (interrupted and challenged by Jones).

The ABC is the home of political correctness in Australia, and Tony Jones is its chief enforcer and signaler. For arbitrating the national discussion in Australia, Jones gets paid over $350k, five times the average wage in Australia but befitting a chief propagandist on the government payroll.

The stunted policy discussion on so many issues in Australia’s politics owe more to this man than to any other. On global warming for instance, at any time Jones could have chosen to publicly examine something other than the carbon dioxide theory, to be even a tiny bit questioning or let the public know about any of the many datasets that show the theory in a poor light. But instead he has always chosen to squash and denigrate critics of the theory, to train the ABC audience to consider skeptics to be deluded nuts. Because he chose the wrong side of a science debate, and campaigned for it, Jones has cost Australia billions and billions of dollars, and been partly responsible for transferring a great deal of money from taxpayers to green groups and renewable companies. Even if he did happen to choose the correct side, the ABC charter should still prevent him from campaigning. How much better off would Australia be without Jones?

Of course, Malcolm Turnbull is pretty politically correct, so usually Jones has not had to give Malcolm the treatment.