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'Complete hogwash'? When Bolt grilled Abbott, it sure was

Three months ago, Andrew Bolt interviewed then-PM Kevin Rudd. Today Bolt has interviewed Tony Abbott. Crikey intern Natalie Tencic compares the two interviews.

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Tony Abbott has given his first full-length interview since becoming prime minister, and it was with “Australia’s most read columnist’,” New Corp’s Andrew Bolt. The pair went “head-to-head” in today’s Herald Sun and Daily Telegraph, billed as ”Andrew Bolt tackles the PM on the big issues”.

The sympathetic interview allowed for a canvassing of Bolt’s conservative causes (climate change is not real, dismantle the ABC etc), to which Abbott displayed some support. We’ve compared Bolt’s “grilling” of Abbott with Bolt’s interview with then-PM Kevin Rudd on Ten’s The Bolt Report three months ago. Here are a selection of some of the questions and answers from each; you be the judge on his interviewing style and pet topics.

Snippets from Bolt’s interview with Abbott, October 2013

BOLT: How does it feel to be Prime Minister?

ABBOTT: It’s exhilarating. It’s exciting. It’s a little daunting, though, because, obviously, as the Prime Minister of Australia, there are some great strengths that we have as a nation, but there are also some serious challenges, and the Government has to come to terms with them very quickly.

**

BOLT: Well, give me an example. You’ve had the expenses scandal running for a couple of weeks. Very little has been said to rebut some stuff. It was left to run. What is the strategy there?

ABBOTT: Well, the Prime Minister should not give a running commentary on every issue under the sun.

**

BOLT: I’ve been struck by the insanity of the reaction in the media and outside, particularly linking the fires to global warming and blaming you for making them worse potentially by scrapping the carbon tax.

ABBOTT: I suppose, you might say, that they are desperate to find anything that they think might pass as ammunition for their cause, but this idea that every time we have a fire or a flood it proves that climate change is real is bizarre …

**

BOLT: The ABC, though, has run on almost every current affairs show an almost constant barrage of stuff linking climate change to these fires.

ABBOTT: That is complete hogwash.

BOLT: It is time to really question the bias of the ABC?

ABBOTT: But people are always questioning the “bias” of the ABC.

**

Snippets from Bolt’s interview with Rudd, July 2013

BOLT: I’m just after a performance mandate [on boat arrivals]. People will — you’re asking people, taking trust that you will do what you say. Your plan will work. I’m asking you — will we see it work before the election?

RUDD: And what I’m saying to you in response is the appropriate decision by the Government is to go to the heart of the business model of people smugglers …

**

BOLT: I just asked you a fairly simple question, which is — 

RUDD: And I have given you a very direct answer.

BOLT: No, you haven’t.

RUDD: An absolutely direct and a responsible answer.

BOLT: Will we see fewer boats before the election?

RUDD: I have given you a responsible answer. I don’t intend to — 

BOLT: You don’t know?

**

BOLT: About climate change — well, let’s go into it. What I want to know is — 

RUDD: I accept the science. It’s happening. Therefore we’re going to do something about it.

BOLT: I am going to quote the science, and see whether you accept the science. An IPCC author, Professor Roger Jones — we’re talking science — says your carbon policies will at best cut the world’s temperature by 4 thousandths of 1 degree, by the end of the century. 4 thousandths. Do you seriously think it’s worth us spending all this money, these taxes, these programs, to do essentially nothing about the temperature?

KEVIN RUDD: The International Panel of Climate Change scientists that you just referred to contains within it 4,000 scientists. You’ve just chosen to quote one. Number two is this — 

ANDREW BOLT: That is the best — that is the most generous figure — 

KEVIN RUDD: That is — 

ANDREW BOLT: Will you dispute?

KEVIN RUDD: That is — that is one.

35
  • 1
    Nigel Stanley
    Posted Friday, 25 October 2013 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Self-serving stupidity in people in responsible positions provokes despair. I am ashamed of my government.

  • 2
    Daemon
    Posted Friday, 25 October 2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    for the life of me I cannot understand why people continue to use the expression “Andrew Bolt” and the word “journalist” in the same sentence and expect to be taken seriously.

    Has anybody heard of an oxymoron?

  • 3
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Friday, 25 October 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Why are the media and pollies so obsessed with something they have no right to do?

    It is a legal right for anyone to sail on the sea, why on earth do we continue to whinge that we have a right to stop them?

  • 4
    leon knight
    Posted Friday, 25 October 2013 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Look - Andrew Bolt has 100% faith in his own infallibility, why the hell do people continue to doubt him? If Abbott was as infallible as Bolt, he would certainly be Pope by now, not just a grovelling small country PM.

  • 5
    SusieQ
    Posted Friday, 25 October 2013 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Agree with Daemon - how can this be described as journalism? Of course, its perfectly fine to accuse the ABC of bias whilst ignoring your own biased views…..oh, sorry, The Blot is always right! No bias there then.

  • 6
    klewso
    Posted Friday, 25 October 2013 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    More like “head for head” and how “Blot thrilled Abbott”?

  • 7
    zut alors
    Posted Friday, 25 October 2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Can’t wait for him to turn on Abbott. B0lt harbours so much bile that it will eventually need an outlet.

    Commentators like B0lt annd Gloria depend on someone to punish - otherwise they have no material, they’ve got nothing.

  • 8
    The Hood
    Posted Friday, 25 October 2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Good heavens I would hope that the ABC is seen as biased to the left of the likes of Andrew Bolt and members of the News Limited Howard/Abbott cheer squad who write for the OZ. So called mainstream opinion is forever being pulled to the right by vested interests and rabid radio shockjocks, why should the National Broadcaster be expected to follow?

  • 9
    supermundane
    Posted Friday, 25 October 2013 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Bolt. Something for the nuts to hang on to.

  • 10
    AR
    Posted Friday, 25 October 2013 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Anyone else unfortunate enough to hear Blot & Jones verbally masturbating this morning?

  • 11
    Lady White Peace
    Posted Friday, 25 October 2013 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    It’s fantastic living in the West with our wonderful democratic system…but when it comes to Bolt and Jones I wish for something more restrictive they are so loathsome.

  • 12
    Bill Laswell
    Posted Friday, 25 October 2013 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    the best thing about it is abbott will be voted in for a second term,
    god ol’ middling australia, where come election time “did you deliver a surplus?” is the only thing that matters….

  • 13
    John Taylor
    Posted Saturday, 26 October 2013 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Daemon - “Andrew Bolt is not a journalist”. It can be done and still make sense and not be oxymoronic.

  • 14
    klewso
    Posted Saturday, 26 October 2013 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    More like “When Blot thrilled Abbott”?

  • 15
    ross.cornwill@gmail.com
    Posted Saturday, 26 October 2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Eric the bolt.

  • 16
    Collins Janey
    Posted Saturday, 26 October 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Bolt was particularly scathing toward Labor Party MPs for remaining silent during Rudd’s tenure (think pink batts and other policies). It is a great irony that we now hear little by way of criticism from Bolt (or Abbott’s fellow MPs) over Direct Action, the PPLS and hanging on to portions of Labor policy like the NDIS, the NBN,and education reforms - all of which are hated by the Right on idealogical grounds. A side-by-side comparison of what Bolt wrote then and now on these issues would make for interesting reading…

  • 17
    Anthony Riolo
    Posted Saturday, 26 October 2013 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Thank god for human beings such as Andrew Bolt calling it as it is, not being timid of idiotic remarks from his standpoint thank god for Bolt & hope for a 20 year rein for Abbott

  • 18
    sharman
    Posted Saturday, 26 October 2013 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    someone a bucket of cold water over them - it is so creepy
    “oh what do you think Tony, oh I so agree, any contrary position is jolly unacceptable!”

  • 19
    Hamis Hill
    Posted Saturday, 26 October 2013 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    If Enid Blyton’s Toy Town had a press, Bolt would be its leading journalist, with “Noddy” as Noddy and Murdoch as Big Ears.

  • 20
    K.D. Afford
    Posted Sunday, 27 October 2013 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Bolt is everything “Murdoch”! Watch for slashing of funding and a gag on political investigation of and by the ABC. Abbott can’t last, but he is carrying a wrecking ball in his back pocket, and that is arrogance, aided by the likes of Bolt “Animal Farm” is alive and well!

  • 21
    Edward James
    Posted Sunday, 27 October 2013 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Anyone following mainstream media, any media even public trust journalism for that matter. Must have their $hit filters on. When it suits the pundits on Crikey they will quote the Telegraph if it suits them. Even though that paper was often the butt of this question “Is that the truth or did you read it in the Tele?” Everyone with a Crikey.com subscription has the opportunity to write “news” and informative material, which must somehow get past the moderator. Most choose to just snipe, perhaps because that is what Crikey encourages. As I pay for access, I feel Crikey.com should be offering its subscribers much more than it dose. Perhaps Eric Beecher you should take note. Edward James

  • 22
    K.D. Afford
    Posted Sunday, 27 October 2013 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Abbott was big deal and nasty in opposition, he is still nasty, like Morrison, pack animals… Neither will allow nor can answer penetrative questions… They are followers, like hyenas and not leaders.

  • 23
    Mike Flanagan
    Posted Sunday, 27 October 2013 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    A classic example of Freud’s ‘anal retentive’ syndrome in adult life.

  • 24
    Edward James
    Posted Sunday, 27 October 2013 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Totting up Gillard’s income — author, speaker, ex-PM…. and earnings as an alleged wrongdoer. Edward James

  • 25
    Edward James
    Posted Sunday, 27 October 2013 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    There are any number of Labor and also Liberal Coalition supporters. Who will not venture to publish an opinion about the political sins which the two parties not much preferred accommodate year in year out. In power and in opposition. Edward James

  • 26
    Christopher Purton
    Posted Sunday, 27 October 2013 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Andrew Bolt “head to head” with Tony Abbott is how this little charade was headed in the News rags.Tends to suggest some serious questioning or conflict, doesn’t it?
    Perhaps more aptly described as “head to rear-end” no?

  • 27
    Josi V
    Posted Sunday, 27 October 2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    What a puerile response from Abbott, “It’s exhilarating… .” Like a little boy with a new toy - who then unashamedly goes on to say, “Well, the Prime Minister should not give a running commentary on every issue under the sun.” What the…? The public don’t want a commentary! They want an answer, a decision, an outcome to the political rotting that they, the public, will find acceptable.
    The reason Abbott has done nothing is simply because he doesn’t know what to do!
    Tony Abbott = NOT my PM.

  • 28
    prembrowne
    Posted Monday, 28 October 2013 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Edward James I’m not exactly sure of any of the points you’re trying to make here… maybe I’m missing something??
    What types of services do you think Crikey should be offering, exactly?
    (btw your name appears at the top of each post - no need to sign off at the bottom too mate :) )

  • 29
    Sally Nugent
    Posted Monday, 28 October 2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    It is beyond me why people read Andrew Bolt’s material.

  • 30
    Edward James
    Posted Monday, 28 October 2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    I like to sign off at the bottom have done it for some years now. Most of the points I try to make have been pushed by me for over a decade. In our local Central coast news papers papers and on other electronic soapboxes. At 21 above I remind Crikey subscribers they have an opportunity to promulgate “news” But the crikey moderation is prone to being perceived as straight up censorship. At 24 I was forced to moderate myself while drawing attention to the fact Gillard is being investigated. At 25 I remind readers the two parties not much preferred can be deaf dumb and blind when is suites members and supporters. I have taken to identifying abuse of power and corrupt conduct as “political sins against the peoples” when I run pages in our local papers because calling the local council corrupt and elected reps liars and shonks makes the owner of the paper nervous. I will be surprised if this gets a run. But everything I am submitting to Crikey is in the public domain as I have been fighting my local council and State and Federal politicians in print for years, in the court of public opinion. Edward James

  • 31
    Edward James
    Posted Monday, 28 October 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Sally I wander through most of the bile and spin, on TV Radio and in print never forgetting to put my $hit filters on. I do not get to spend days and weeks outside the oldest parliament in this country anymore. my days of sleeping in a ute in the lane are over. I am still surprised no activist arched up when the gates were chained shut and the entry and exit points were split. In the name of security. The days when our elected reps came and went right past the peoples at the traditional entrance are over. I find it offensive our NSW Parliament forecourt now serves as an outdoor TV studio. Edward James

  • 32
    Edward James
    Posted Monday, 28 October 2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Ducks Crossing Publications 43257369 has run almost a hundred of my political announcements on the Central Coast in NSW for years. I am reading how Labors Deborah O’Neill is being promoted to fill the vacancy of Bob Carr. Perhaps Crikey would find it interesting to look at my published photographs of the failed campaign of the member for Robertson. See the Brisbane Water Area Command police wagon photographed driving past her illegal political graffiti on a local icon at the end of West Street Umina or the illegal sandwich board right outside the Woy Woy Police station. Some of your Crikey subscribers are exposing political shonks year in year out. and offering Crikey the info. Edward James

  • 33
    Edward James
    Posted Monday, 28 October 2013 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    prembrowne As you asked; What types of services do you think Crikey should be offering, exactly? As a paid subscriber it would be nice to be accorded some respect for identify myself. Enduring trolls using nom de plumes who try and pick arguments, while at the same time trying to work around the Crikey moderation.. Other electronic soap boxes provide much better access and at no charge. That is something Eric Beecher should be considering. I found it poor form Crikey would block another site which has mentioned Crikey. But perhaps it is about Crikey pushing a political brand as opposed to providing honest open public access journalism to Crikey subscribers? Edward James

  • 34
    Harry Rogers
    Posted Monday, 28 October 2013 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    So Crikey is now following the MSM by “throwing a dog a bone” and watching the left and right fight over it.

    Similar to The Guardians Australian edition.

    Where to next for intelligent discussion???

  • 35
    Edward James
    Posted Tuesday, 29 October 2013 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    We do not have to fight over bones. Or defend the indefensible. Edward James

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