Jones eats pie - but without much humility

AS Alan Jones's own dear old dad used to say, ''If you are going to eat crow you should eat it while it's hot.''

The prominent radio broadcaster was having to ''eat crow'' and plenty of it after the publication of his offensive and insensitive remarks about someone else's dad, John Gillard, father of the Prime Minister.

''Every person in the caucus of the Labor Party knows that Julia Gillard is a liar, everybody. I will 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,'' Jones said.

His off-the-cuff comments were made at what he described as a ''hell of a rollicking night'' at a Sydney University Liberal Club dinner nine days ago.

One of those in the audience on the night said: ''People were quite shocked, wide-eyed looking at each other.''

He also said it appeared that Jones ''actually meant it as some kind of joke … but it was something that went down really badly''. Whatever laughter was heard on the tape was ''awkward laughter'', he said.

Jones's remarks were secretly recorded by a News Ltd reporter, Jonathan Marshall, who bought a $100 student ticket to the event.

Yesterday Jones held a news conference to apologise for his remarks. ''There are days when you just have to concede and man up and say 'you got it wrong','' he told reporters at 2GB headquarters.

The broadcaster said he had tried to apologise to the Prime Minister personally and had phoned The Lodge in Canberra as well as Kirribilli House but had not been able to speak to her.

He attributed his remarks to what someone had said to him earlier that day at a function for one of his godchildren. But he acknowledged he should not have repeated them.

Jones's apology was undermined when he used the opportunity to continue his attacks on Labor policies, including the carbon tax. He likened the anger about Labor's policies to the anxiety suffered by troops at Gallipoli.

''In the trenches of Gallipoli people made black-humoured comments about facing death,'' he said. ''A lot of people today feel they have got their backs to the door.''

He denied he had previously made offensive remarks about Ms Gillard, including calling her ''a lying bitch'' or saying she should be guillotined.

But last year Jones read out an email he had received from a listener, which said: ''Please, please don't have that lying bitch on your program again''.

Jones has previously said he would like to put the lord mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, ''in the same chaff bag as Julia Gillard and throw them both out to sea''. Yesterday he said this did not mean he wanted them drowned - more that he would like to see how they swam back.

He denied using the word ''guillotine'' in connection with Ms Gillard. But he has drawn listeners' attention to the French Revolution and drawn a correlation between the unpopularity of the carbon tax and the revolt of the people against the monarchy.

''Hmmm. Julia? Little did the king realise that he was their next target. King Louis XVI, found guilty of high treason. That is behaviour which is contrary to the interest of the nation, like carbon taxes, and executed by guillotine on January 21, 1793.''

In response to another listener's criticism of Ms Gillard, Jones replied: ''Yeah, that's it. Bring back the guillotine!''

At his news conference yesterday, Jones said he did not complain about what people said about him. Last week, he said, there were hurtful comments from people hoping his prostate cancer would return. They were ''fairly over the top but I didn't see any media people jumping up and down and putting it in the headlines'', he said.

Without identifying her, Jones said one of those responsible was ''a cabinet minister's wife''.

Rebecca Mifsud, the wife of the Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen, last week retweeted: ''Alan Jones age 71. Avergae [sic] lifespan for an Australian male age 79. Patience my pretties. #auspol bahahaha.''

It was not until the news conference was over and Jones was leaving the room that he was alerted to the presence of Marshall, the author of the article. Words such as ''plant'' and ''trust'' were exchanged between the pair before Jones was whisked out of the room. He was heading off to the country to attend yet another function for one of his more than 30 godchildren. No doubt he will not repeat any hurtful comments he hears there.

The story Jones eats pie - but without much humility first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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