Monday, June 28, 2004

Nuts and Bolts

Part of my starting this blog was a growing dissatisfaction with the Sunday newpaper's repeated inclusion of Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt.

This guy is a self proclaimed Right Wing crusader who manages to maintain the rage each week against various targets of white-middle-aged(class) australian dissatisfaction.

He first came to my attention with a ridiculous piece about what a big hypocrite John Lennon was. I forget the exact details but remember he took various swipes at the way John Lennon lived his life compared to his idealistic lyrics. I couldn't believe his article had made it to print. Never mind whatever personal distaste anyone has for his way of life, if one discounts the message in his music, that is so universally accepted and applauded, it seems to run contrary to societies previously established common beliefs and ideals. But it was just the start of things to come.

Week after week the Sunday paper printed his sloppy reasoning and clearly predjudiced view of the world. Some of the notable ones included an exhortation for us all to be angry that WE pay for a certain writer on a government grant.. what was her crime? oh yeah to dare to suggest that America may have played a part in it's own destiny on 9-11. Then there was his likening of the Green party to the Nazi party because they both, he says, put the trees and animals before the concerns of people. Nice one Bolt. Or how he said that Bob Brown, leader of the greens, was in fact supporting Saddam and Al-Qeada by protesting against Bush's address to Parliament. Or the one recently about what a liar Michael Moore is.

And what bothers me more than their inclusion of his article ... and that does bother me quite a bit ... but what bothers me more is that each following week there are at least two letters to the editor about his article. One clearly derides him. And the other one is always in support of him. His supporters applaud his "well researched" articles and his "informed" view point. It's clear that this author divides the readership.

I've never done a journalism course but I think I have a pretty good idea what the word balanced means. It means giving both sides of any given issue. Obviously Op-Ed peices do not fall strictly within this category. But I would suggest that Bolt's stand on many issues places a cloud over the Herald Sun, which gives him his own menu item on their website. And it also places a cloud over any publication that touches his work.

I predict that Andrew Bolt will run for Parliament on a Liberal ticket when he has established himself as the next Pauline Hanson of the Liberal party. Let me just remind readers that Pauline Hanson used to be a Liberal candidate until public outcry about her racist comments forced the liberal party to dis-endorse her.

It's fair to say that Queensland is the heartland of the former One Nation success story. Even though he is based out of Victoria, I'm sure that's to give him more of a Cosmopolitan flavour. With that in mind I'm not suprised that the Liberal machine has put someone like Bolt into public circulation in Qld. And more's the pity. The liberal strong hold on this country has ruined our progression towards and open and fair society.