SMH says Jones’ Interview Carefully Scripted

The Sydney Morning Herald claims that Alan Jones’ response to John Laws’ allegations was carefully scripted, but Jones has denied this on air this morning.

Rather than holding a media conference, Jones chose to reply to Laws’ allegations in an interview on 2GB’s Chris Smith afternoon show, ultimately surrounded by a throng of journalists.

Sue Javes in The Sydney Morning Herald’s Guide says it wasn’t really an interview at all.

She says, about 45 minutes earlier, Jones had walked into an office and told someone to start taking notes. He dictated the opening statement and a series of questions, taking no chances that Smith might ask the wrong ones.

The script was reportedly written up by staff ‘almost like a play’ and then split up so that Smith, who was already on air, could be given his part. Those involved took care to destroy any paper trail, though there was a minor panic when Smith’s producer asked for a copy to be emailed.

On his program this morning, Jones said the interview content was not scripted and criticised the Herald for its story.

In an SMH opinion poll on the current controversy, the Hearld asked readers:

John Laws v Alan Jones – Who do you believe most?

The answers were:

John Laws – 63%

Alan Jones – 2%

John Howard – 8%

None of them – 23%

Unsure – 1%

Total Votes: 4346

(To hear the Alan Jones interview, go back to “Jones fires back at Laws – with Audio”, 28/4/04)