You called me an idiot!

John Laws must be deeply regretting having decided to take on Neil Mitchell today. Opining on the Sandilands teenage girl interrogation scandal, Mitchell had broadened his critique of Sydney radio hosts in general and referred to Laws and Alan Jones as “idiots” with “grubby ways”. Sadly the “Golden Tonsils” could not resist calling up and objecting. The exchange that resulted is both embarrassing and hilarious.


I shall tell him that I am not an “idiot”, and that cash for comment was not “grubby”, and I’m sure he’ll apologise. Particularly if I mention lawyers.

We were watching one of the earlier Frasiers last night, in which some newspaper critic publishes a nasty review of Frasier’s show, and he simply cannot restrain himself from blasting back on the air at the bloke with his own stream of insults. The scribe follows up in print with a more detailed and nastier critique, and Frasier responds with a diatribe which is only interrupted when the man (a giant physical specimen, it turns out) rings up and taunts him into agreeing to a fist-fight.

As one who has frequently failed to let things go in the past, and only succeeded in being drawn further into the quagmire, it hit more than a little close to home.

And Laws’ experience today really does demonstrate the folly of responding publicly to a critic while your blood is still hot. He had no plan. He was just angry. He wanted to hurt the man who insulted him. And all he achieved was sounding like a petulant child, while his critic got to repeat the criticism over and over and back it up in better detail. He was made to look a complete fool, and in the very medium in which he’d hope to be remembered as a leading light of his time.

If only he’d counted to ten first.

NOTE: Another lesson from this: if you’re a news media figure who has a prominent platform in the national debate, and you start threatening people with defamation, you look like a complete and utter hypocrite and buffoon. You become an object of mockery and derision. You lose professional credibility.

Look at how idiotic Laws sounded when he tried the stunt. A fearless crusader for truth, threatening to UNLEASH THE LAWYERS because someone called him a mean name?

Seriously, you don’t want to make that much of a fool of yourself.

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8 responses to “You called me an idiot!

  1. Not Allan Jones

    I took the “grubby ways” comment to be more about sexuality.
    I believe that Laws was objecting to Mitchell drawing a comparisson with Jones’ sexuality and Laws.
    Watch this space.

  2. That didn’t even occur to me. What did Mitchell say that in any way linked it with Jones’ sexuality?

  3. Considering the amount of times he explained exactly what he meant by “grubby ways”, I doubt that’s what Neil meant.

    As for Laws – there’s a perfect example of a man who is so used to escaping responsibility for his own actions by hiding behind his big-media employees that he’s completely lost sight of what is an appropriate response to a fairly tame insult.

  4. That was fun! Laws made a similar fool of himself on the Mediawatch retrospective earlier this year I believe when he insisted on an interview with him being aired unedited. It was a terrific example of someone being allowed enough rope to hang themselves with.

  5. Laws got away with being a fool for years by the simple trick of turning the caller’s volume down and talking over the top of them. And if that didn’t work, call them an idiot and “take the next caller”. It’s nice to see the table turned, but he should have remembered that he wasn’t in control of this one. Idiot.

  6. John Laws is nothing without his audience.
    As such, he is less than a normal person.
    His is a figment of an audience’s imagination.

    I imagine him to be the quintessential Australian Wannabe.
    An ill educated piece bogan shit that should never have been given the chance to spew his rubbish over the airways.

    Yet Sydney loved him!!


  7. Great listening, Jeremy. And just as I suspected, shock-jocks have feet of clay, especially when getting the treatment they spent years dishing out. It takes someone pretty bad to make Mitchell look okay, and even then, he came across as a prat anyway.

  8. Not Allan Jones

    I agree that it was not Mitchell’s intention, but Laws was objecting ot the inference (which I believe he alone drew).

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