The Australian’s opinion editor, Nick Cater, tries to explain away the grassroots reaction against Alan Jones with the jarring assertion that “social media…are the domain of insiders” (“They shop, they vote and they listen to Alan Jones”, 8/10). Social media are freely available to everyone, unlike the tightly controlled messages of traditional media. For example, callers to Jones’ show, whom Cater disingenuously cites as evidence of Jones’ support among “outsiders”, are carefully vetted before being allowed on air to ensure they will toe the Jones line. If any others slip through, Jones’ finger is ready on the red button. Talkback radio has always been phoney and will not survive the more democratic new media.