Alan Jones' 'sock down throat' comments about Jacinda Ardern breached decency standards – media watchdog

Top rating radio broadcaster Alan Jones has been ordered make an on-air correction over his "inaccurate" comments on climate change.

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The Australian broadcaster announced today he was retiring due to his health. Source: 1 NEWS

The outgoing 2GB Breakfast host has also been called out for breaching decency standards over comments he made about Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

The sanctions follow an investigation by the Australian Communications and Media Authority into the remarks made by Jones during his 5.30am to 9am radio slot in the latter half of 2019.

These included an incorrect claim that biomass, a renewable energy source, was a fossil fuel and the incorrect presentation of figures relating to Australia's and New Zealand's percentage of energy use from solar and wind.

The ACMA found that comparison was not based on like-for-like data.

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"The factual error and inconsistent information were used to incorrectly portray that Australia generates more of its energy from renewables than New Zealand," ACMA Chair Nerida O'Loughlin said in a statement today.

Ms O'Loughlin said broadcasters had a responsibility under the industry code to use reasonable efforts to ensure facts presented were accurate.

Jones also made several comments regarding Ms Ardern, after taking umbrage with her stance on global warming, that the ACMA determined "offended against generally accepted community standards of decency".

These statements included:

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- "I just wonder whether Scott Morrison's going to be fully briefed to shove a sock down her throat."

 "Now I hope Scott Morrison gets tough here with a few backhanders."

- "I hope he goes for the throat this morning."

Ms O'Loughlin said the comments were not appropriate.

"The repeated use of violent metaphors by Mr Jones and his apparent encouragement of aggressive silencing of Ms Ardern was highly offensive and did not meet contemporary community expectations," she said.

"This was evident in the public display of outrage from the community, actions by advertisers and actions by then chairman of Macquarie Media who publicly stated any recurrence of this type of comment would result in the termination of Mr Jones' contract."

2GB did not oppose ACMA's finding in relation these comments and told the regulator he had been counselled.

The ACMA recognised Jones did later apologise on-air and wrote an apology to Ms Ardern, saying it would take no further action.

But it has ordered Jones to make an on-air correction over the climate comments.

2GB has also advised it would use the ACMA investigation findings in future staff training.

Jones is retiring from 2GB at the end of this month after a more than 30-year radio career. He will retain his role as a News Corp Australia columnist and Sky News television host.

The ACMA said it had received more than 125 complaints.