Shock jock idiot

Radio broadcasters often set out to become ‘shock jocks’: that peculiar form of verbal terrorist who dominates the airwaves by focusing on controversy and airing views that are deliberately provocative.

We have plenty of them in Australia (they make music stations sound good) and they command large audiences. But that does not mean they don’t utter stupid comments as often as not.

One of these commentators who should know better has just courted controversy by buying into the Boston Marathon bombing.

The background to his idiocy is that Australia is a global leader in the provision of university education to foreign students. It is our fourth largest export after minerals and larger even than tourism. It brings in something like $17 billion a year.

So, this idiot shock jock seizes on the fact that Boston, in his words, is a student city, home to Harvard and MIT. Well, yes, Boston does have some superlative educational institutions but there is a lot more than just education taking place there.

Undeterred, the shock jock then says: ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a conspiracy among students, left-wing radical students in Boston, and I think we have to think very seriously here about our own student numbers. We are very keen to have foreign students pay the way of universities in this country without a lot of discernment over who comes in.”

How’s that for blind prejudice? How’s that for sheer stupidity?

The man ought to be put out to pasture if that’s the level of intelligent comment he is able to generate.

To Americans, please accept our sympathy to your time of crisis. Almost all Australians – some shock jocks notwithstanding – share your grief and anguish.

Students are still welcome here and the sane ones among us promise not to look sideways at you or move away if you have a backpack.

Terrorism is regrettably a fact of contemporary life across the whole world now but it will not be overcome by mindless cretins who stir up fear and loathing with simplistic outlooks that seek to incriminate particular target groups.

Australia is enriched by those who come here to study and may many more follow in their footsteps. I actually teach some of them and my own life is enhanced by knowing them. Please just ignore those few bigots who are allowed freedom to peddle their nonsense on public airwaves. They demean the rest of us.