Andrew Bolt

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Andrew Bolt
Born(1959-09-26) 26 September 1959 (age 53)
Adelaide, South Australia
ResidenceMelbourne
NationalityAustralian
EthnicityDutch Australian
OccupationJournalist, editor, columnist, TV host, radio host
Years active1990s –
EmployerHerald Sun, Network Ten, News Limited
Known forJournalism
TelevisionThe Bolt Report
Opponent(s)Various
Spouse(s)Sally Morrell
Children3
 
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Andrew Bolt
Born(1959-09-26) 26 September 1959 (age 53)
Adelaide, South Australia
ResidenceMelbourne
NationalityAustralian
EthnicityDutch Australian
OccupationJournalist, editor, columnist, TV host, radio host
Years active1990s –
EmployerHerald Sun, Network Ten, News Limited
Known forJournalism
TelevisionThe Bolt Report
Opponent(s)Various
Spouse(s)Sally Morrell
Children3

Andrew Bolt (born 26 September 1959 in Adelaide, South Australia)[1] is an Australian journalist,[2] newspaper columnist, radio commentator, blogger and television host. Bolt is a columnist and associate editor of the Melbourne-based Herald Sun. He has appeared on the Nine Network, Melbourne Talk Radio, ABC Television, Network Ten and local radio. In 2005, Bolt released a compilation of newspaper columns in a book titled The Best of Andrew Bolt—Still Not Sorry.[3] From 2011, he has hosted The Bolt Report on Network Ten.[4]

Bolt is a self-described "conservative"[5][6] but rejects the label "right-wing".[7]

Contents

Background

Born to newly-arrived Dutch migrants, Bolt spent his childhood in remote rural areas such as Tarcoola, South Australia, while his father worked as a schoolteacher and principal. After completing secondary school, Bolt travelled and worked overseas before returning to Australia and starting an Arts degree at the University of Adelaide. After "one of the worst years of [his] life" he left university to take up a cadetship at The Age, a Melbourne broadsheet newspaper. He worked for The Age in various roles, including as a sports writer, prior to joining The Herald, which in 1990 merged with The Sun News-Pictorial to form the Herald Sun. His time as a reporter included a stint as the newspaper's Asia correspondent, based first in Hong Kong and later in Bangkok.[1]

Bolt also worked for the Hawke Government on two election campaigns.[1]

Media appearances

Bolt has had various roles on numerous TV networks, radio stations and in the print media. From 2001–2011 he was a regular guest on Insiders. He hosted a daily radio show Breakfast with Steve Price and Andrew Bolt on the former MTR 1377. He was previously a regular guest on 3AW in Melbourne. Until 2011, he appeared every Monday on the Nine Network's breakfast television program Today to discuss the news of the day. He appears weekly on 2GB in Sydney for "The Clash" with Union leader Paul Howes.

He is a fill-in panelist on The Project on Network Ten and from May 2011 hosts his own TV show, The Bolt Report, also on Network Ten. He has appeared on Q&A, Late Night Live with Phillip Adams and more.

Bolt writes at least three times a week for the Herald Sun and his column is published in The Daily Telegraph, Adelaide Advertiser, Northern Territory News and The Courier-Mail.

Controversy and criticism

Leak of intelligence document

In June 2003, Bolt published an article criticising Andrew Wilkie in which he quoted from a classified intelligence document written by Wilkie as an intelligence analyst for the Office of National Assessments. It was claimed, but never proven, that someone in Foreign Minister Alexander Downer's office had leaked the document to Bolt.[8] A spokesperson for the Australian Federal Police said that they did not have any evidence to identify the culprit.[9]

Stolen Generations

Bolt has frequently clashed with Robert Manne, Professor of Politics at La Trobe University, about the Stolen Generation. Bolt claims that there were no large-scale removals of children "for purely racist reasons". After Bolt challenged Manne to "name just 10" children stolen for racial reasons,[10] Manne gave him a four-page list of names,[11] which, Bolt states, includes children rescued from sexual abuse and removed for other humanitarian reasons.[12] Manne argued that Bolt's failure to address the wealth of documentary and anecdotal evidence demonstrating the existence of the Stolen Generation amounts to a clear case of historical denialism.[13] Bolt noted multiple instances of contemporary Aboriginal children being left "in grave danger that we would not tolerate for children of any other race because we are so terrified of the 'stolen generations' myth."[14]

Defamation case

In 2002, Magistrate Jelena Popovic was awarded $246,000 damages for defamation after suing Bolt and the publishers of the Herald Sun over a 13 December 2000 column in which he claimed she had "hugged two drug traffickers she let walk free". Popovic asserted she had in fact shaken their hands to congratulate them on having completed a rehabilitation program. The jury found that the article was not true, that it was not a faithful and accurate record of judicial proceedings and that it was not fair comment on a matter of public interest. It found that the column had, however, been reasonable and not malicious.[15]

Bolt emerged from the Supreme Court after the jury verdict, stating his column had been accurate and that the mixed verdict was a victory for free speech. His statement outside the court was harshly criticised by Supreme Court judge Bernard Bongiorno, who later overturned the jury's decision, ruling that Bolt had not acted reasonably because he did not seek a response from Ms Popovic before writing the article and, in evidence given during the trial, showed he did not care whether or not the article was defamatory. Justice Bongiorno included $25,000 punitive damages in his award against Bolt and the newspaper for both the "misleading" and "disingenuous" comments he had made outside court and the newspaper's reporting of the jury's decision. The Court of Appeal later reversed the $25,000 punitive damages, though it upheld the defamation finding, describing Bolt's conduct as "at worst, dishonest and misleading and at best, grossly careless".[16]

Litigation

In September 2010, nine individuals commenced legal proceedings in the Federal Court against Bolt and the Herald Sun over two separate posts on Bolt's blog. The nine are suing over posts titled "It's so hip to be black"/"White is the New Black" and "White Fellas in the Black". The articles suggested it was fashionable for "fair-skinned people" of diverse ancestry to choose Aboriginal racial identity for the purposes of political and career clout.[17][18] The applicants claimed the posts breached the Racial Discrimination Act. They sought an apology, legal costs, and a gag on republishing the articles and blogs, and "other relief as the court deems fit". They did not seek damages.[19]

On 28 September 2011 Bolt was found to have contravened section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.[17][20]

Blog

In May 2005, Bolt established a web-only forum in which readers could offer comments, feedback and questions in response to his columns. He posted some of these comments, together with brief responses, in the late afternoon of every business day, on the Herald Sun website.

Bolt's forum changed to a more conventional blog format in July 2006. The blog covers a wide variety of topics, including climate change, Australian politics, the ABC and issues concerned with multiculturalism and Islam. Comments are open but are moderated to remove defamation, obscenities and so on. Bolt states that abusive commenters will be banned, but opposing voices will not.[21] In late 2009, Bolt temporarily restricted comments to one "readers' tips" post per day.

Bolt's blog registered one million hits for the month of July 2008[22] and "more than 2 million page impressions from more than 300,000 unique browsers" for November 2009.[23]

Personal life

Bolt is married to Sally Morrell, a fellow columnist at the Herald Sun. They have three children. Bolt is agnostic.[24]

References

  1. ^ a b c Barry, Tony. "The Outsider". Institute of Public Affairs. Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. http://www.ipa.org.au/sectors/ideas-liberty/publication/1854/the-outsider. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  2. ^ Bromberg, Justice. "Eatock v Bolt [2011 FCA 110"]. Federal Court of Australia. http://media.crikey.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Eatock-v-Bolt-2011-FCA-1103.pdf. Retrieved 9 December 2011. 
  3. ^ Andrew Bolt (2005). Still Not Sorry: The Best of Andrew Bolt. News Custom Publishing. ISBN 1-921116-02-1. 
  4. ^ Knox, David (9 May 2011). "The Bolt Report". TV Tonight. http://www.tvtonight.com.au/2011/05/the-bolt-report.html. Retrieved 21 May 2011. 
  5. ^ Bolt, Andrew (November 21, 2011). "Julia hops on the conservative train". Column (Herald Sun). http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/julia-hops-on-the-conservative-train/story-e6frfifx-1226200540953. 
  6. ^ "From Conservatism to Controversy". Rotary. http://www.rotarydistrict9800.org.au/conference_speaker_2011_andrew_bolt. 
  7. ^ Andrew, Bolt (April 9, 2010). "If I were of the Right, I’d say so". Column (Herald Sun). http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/column_if_i_were_of_the_right_id_say_so/. 
  8. ^ Alan Ramsey (24 March 2006). "Bolt from blue sets tongues wagging". The Sydney Morning Herald. http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/bolt-from-blue-sets-tongues-wagging/2006/03/24/1143083983213.html. 
  9. ^ "Democratic Sabotage". Media Watch. http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s1766227.htm. 
  10. ^ Andrew Bolt (28 June 2006). "Be a Manne and name just 10". Herald Sun (Melbourne). http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,19610693-25717,00.html. 
  11. ^ http://slackbastard.anarchobase.com/?p=279
  12. ^ Andrew Bolt (5 September 2006). "Stolen generations: My Melbourne Writers' Festival speech". Herald Sun blog. http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/stolen_generations_my_writers_festival_speech/. 
  13. ^ Robert Manne (9 September 2006). "The cruelty of denial". The Age (Melbourne). http://www.theage.com.au/news/robert-manne/the-cruelty-of-denial/2006/09/08/1157222325367.html. 
  14. ^ Andrew Bolt (19 September 2006). "Another stolen life". Herald Sun blog. http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/another_stolen_life/. 
  15. ^ "Popovic v Herald & Weekly Times Limited & Anor (No. 2) [2002] VSC 220". Australasian Legal Information Institute. 6 June 2002. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/vic/VSC/2002/220.html. 
  16. ^ "Herald & Weekly Times Ltd & Bolt v Popovic [2003] VSCA 161". Australasian Legal Information Institute. 21 November 2003. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/vic/VSCA/2003/161.html. 
  17. ^ a b http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/FCA/2011/1103.html
  18. ^ "Bolt defends articles in discrimination case". ABC News (Australia). 29 March 2011. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/03/29/3176728.htm?section=justin. 
  19. ^ Karen Kissane (30 September 2010). "Case against Bolt to test racial identity, free-speech limits". The Age (Melbourne). http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/case-against-bolt-to-test-racial-identity-freespeech-limits-20100929-15xg8.html/. 
  20. ^ "Andrew Bolt – Herald Sun columnist guilty of race discrimination". The Age (Melbourne). 28 September 2011. http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/bolt-guilty-of-race-discrimination-20110928-1kw8c.html. 
  21. ^ Andrew Bolt, commenting on moderation policy (at "30 October 2007 (09:01pm)"): "Dumb abuse gets you snipped, but dumb posts don't."
  22. ^ Andrew Bolt (1 August 2008). "One million blogging warnings to a lazy media". Herald Sun (Melbourne). http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24109727-25717,00.html. 
  23. ^ Andrew Bolt (7 December 2009). "Two million hits a month". Herald Sun blog. http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/two_million_hits_a_month/. 
  24. ^ Andrew Collett (11 August 2011). "'No religion' belongs to the unspoken for". The Drum. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-09/collett-no-religion-belongs-to-the-unspoken-for/2830850. 

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