Alan Jones has defended the sincerity of his apology to Prime Minister Julia Gillard over comments he made about her late father, claiming the "unbridled hatred" directed at him from parts of the media is motivated by jealousy.
The broadcaster returned to air this morning for the first time since his remarks, made at a Sydney University Liberal Club function 10 days ago, were made public late on Saturday.
Jones opened his show on 2GB at 5.30am explaining how he came to know his comments had been published, and questioning critics who suggested his public apology on Sunday was qualified or insincere.
"I made no qualification then to my apology and I make none now," he said.
"Of course, when I opened the press conference to the media a range of questions were asked of me, which bore on public policy and the performance of the Gillard government and my attitude to all of that.
"Those answers should not be interpreted as representing a qualification of what I said then and what I say now."
Yesterday, a number of companies pulled their advertising from Jones's program, including investment management firm Challenger, which said it had purposefully delayed its decision in order to hear Jones's response."They were deeply hurtful comments and we're not sure the apology reflected the degree of offence they would have caused," a Challenger spokesman said.
Social media was also flooded with criticism of the apology.
Jones said this morning he wasn't sure why some people appeared to suggest "the press conference was not sincere and I'm somehow not really sorry for what I said nine days ago."
"I don't know why that is the case.
"All I can do is say it again: I am sorry for what I said.
"It is more than regret, I'm genuinely sorry for the remark.
"I didn't think the comment would be reported. It was made thoughtlessly and off the cuff, and I was repeating something someone said to me earlier in the day.
"None of those side facts I offer as an excuse; they're simply stated as a background to the comments."
All morning Jones took calls from supporters, including Liberal MP Bronwyn Bishop and media magnate Kerry Stokes.
When one caller said: "More power to your right arm, buddy", Jones responded: "People just don't like the fact that we actually do take some of these people on.
"If we didn't, I just wonder where some of the public out there would be. That's the difficulty, that's the issue here.
"Long before this issue occurred there was this unbridled hatred towards me from some sections of the media and beyond.
"And indeed ... a lot of it's based on jealousy, I guess. I've never taken any notice of that and I don't take any notice of it now.
"I'm not asking for any sympathy or support, I just get on with the job."
Early this morning an online petition calling for several companies to stop advertising on Jones's program had attracted over 70,000 signatures.
In his opening remarks Jones said "hatred" of him this time was designed to "intimidate, silence, even perhaps to destroy" him.
"The hatred towards me, I’ve long learned, stems from the views I express.
"It recently, of course, stems from my opposition to the federal government. I don't hate anyone in politics, I hate bad policy.
"The vile attacks on me, which no one has distanced themselves from - attacks which suggest 'we hope cancer comes back', 'we hope he dies', 'we hope someone kills him' - they go on and on."
But he said he did not "back off" or "frighten easily".
"Those people who have complained about what I said about the Prime Minister and the language I used are using vile language in their comments about me. That apparently is OK.
"I don’t mind; I can cop it; I can wear it and I’m not complaining.
"But if the criticism and the pressure and the headlines and the stories and the intimidation are designed to silence me in what I do on this program, then I’m sorry the bad news is you’ve picked the wrong bloke."