31 August 2011

Credit where credit's due

Andrew Bolt (Hun/Tele/Advertiser) had a blog post pulled on Monday.  Mainly due to the fact that his post could have been interpreted as muckraking by making a big song and dance about a fraudulent Glenn Milne article in The Oz.  An interesting part is that some are suggesting that Bolt might have posted after Milne’s column was pulled.  Not only that, but News left the post online for a considerable amount of time after Milne's article was removed.

Milne, of course, is best known for attempting to blue Stephen Mayne one year on stage at the Walkley Awards.  I had absolutely no need to mention that, but I'm hedging my bets in case Bolt is correct about his post being 'fair, accurate and in the public interest'.

Today, in his column, he’s got me in stitches by squealing “censorship”.  The problem with Bolt’s brand of satire, is that it’s often lost on his audience, who see his character’s flagrant racism and bullying as being the real deal.  And this is where the problem starts.

I’m aware that Bolt’s blog is a bit of a testing ground for his wilder humour.  What goes out there gets tested amongst the comments from the fruitcakes that dominate his readership and the eventually worked on a little harder.  Eventually, Bolt creams off the stuff that’s silly enough to outrage and amuse, yet the stuff that’s too ‘out there’ gets forgotten about.  What’s left gets written up as ‘proper’ copy in his columns in News’ south eastern newspapers.

Yes folks, newspapers still persist with the notion that if it goes online and doesn’t make it into the printed copy, it doesn’t need to have the same rigour applied to it.

News are a bit naughty posting Bolt's brand of satire as serious comment.  Although I have no evidence to make any claims whatsoever and completely disagree with any sort of generalising, their audience is widely considered by some to be totally illiterate throwbacks who are gullible enough believe anything shovelled in the direction of their snouts.  If this is true, News probably ought to move Bolt's column to the humour section.

Bolt had a bit of a holiday yesterday.  Rather a lot of people pointed out that allowing Bolt’s post of yesterday to continue while Milne’s article was withdrawn was inconsistent and finally, News acted on Bolt’s article.  Bolt himself tried this gag in the post about not believing one crucial issue – that Gillard had never lived in the house in question, but it was clear that it was never going to top the howler of tarring the PM in the first place.

Bolt put on a spectacular show of “principles” by refusing to write anything which I found hilarious.  But eventually, he posted again.  I am going to go out on a limb to point out that this is the funniest article that he has ever written.  How much work went in to ensuring that the inconsistencies weren’t so obvious?  Granted, the ludicrous appeals to free speech is ground that he’s worked before, but nowhere else has his work been as complete as it is here.

Check some of these out.

He comes out firing, livid he is, with the opening sentence:

The Prime Minister overstepped the line when she called the chairman and CEO of News Limited, John Hartigan.

‘Overstepped the line’.  That’s gold, that is.

Almost immediately after, he’s peppering gag after gag, with:

  • ...attempt at censorship...
  • ...sinister overtones...
  • ...threats of inquiries and forced sales...

All of these are from the second sentence.   

You can almost hear the violins in the distance as he moans:

Yesterday morning I was considering resigning as a News Limited columnist.

Laugh?  I nearly threw up!

Throughout this column, Bolt feigns annoyance with his employer, the supposed company he loves, and he actually pulls the, 'fair, accurate and in the public interest’ line out, showing that he’s neither prepared to tolerate his employer’s own freedom of speech, nor that of the commenters on his blog, with the odd complaint making it through the net. 

The sentence that makes this the most complete column that Bolt’s aggrieved conservative has posted, though, is this:

As I made clear, the issue was not that Gillard had done anything improper.

As I clutched at my desk with one hand and my swollen abdominals with the other, I managed to pull myself back on to my chair after flipping backwards and falling to the floor, helpless in a kind of hysterical fug where I’m sure that I saw colours flying past me.  I wiped away tears from my sopping face, amazed that one could laugh so hard.

A serious columnist/blogger, after all, wouldn’t have posted anything at all, if that was truly the issue.  Bolt has surpassed himself and I don’t believe he’ll ever post anything quite so outrageous ever again.

1 comment:

-blessed holy socks, the non-perishable-zealot said...

Because you’re ignorant on how to rise above the whorizontal world and one-outta-one shall croak sometime, somewhere soon, God has set-up this magnificent feature on the Way either Upstairs or downtown: the Warning. Everyone (me, too) living on this planet will see and feel the Warning lasting about 20ish minutes, showing U.S. a gorgeous picture of Heaven, Purgatory (depending whether our sins demand a greater punishment before being allowed into the Great Beyond), and dagnasty Hell. Remember, God doesn’t condemn; we condemn ourselves by our sinful lifestyles of unbelief. The Warning’s just a wake-up call. Don’t believe me? Guhroovy. You will soon. God bless you with discernment: atheism is cool, isn't it, till you croak...