Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt has been popping up all over the
place. See what’s been written about his latest exploits in
recent subscriber only emails, plus a reply from the man himself below:

Bullyboy Bolt meets his match in Senator Mackay

Subscriber email – 24 June (second edition)

As a writer by trade it’s likely Andrew Bolt sends dozens of emails a
day, however, he probably got more than he bargained for when he
emailed feisty Labor Senator Sue Mackay.

In the senate yesterday, Mackay revealed the Herald Sun columnist had
emailed her to complain about a reference she made, in an estimates
committee hearing in May, to Bolt being “far right”.

Bolt’s email asked her to justify the “offensive misrepresentation or publicly correct the record”.

He continued, “I’m presuming from your failure to respond that you are
unable to do the first, yet too unprincipled to do the second. Before I
write about you, I felt it only fair—given my own preference for
checking before criticising—to give you another opportunity to do the
right thing.”

The spirited Mackay, referred the matter straight to the Clerk of the
Senate and informed Bolt of her actions, who replied, “How
preposterous. First you blacken my name with a false assertion, and
then you complain when I ask you to correct the record. You are
misusing your privileges most shamefully.”

However, the Clerk found Bolt’s email did appear to be an attempt to
make her to change her parliamentary remarks by the threat of a
critical article, referring to the Parliamentary Privileges Act 1987,
which provides:

“A person shall not, by fraud, intimidation, force or threat of any
kind, by the offer or promise of any inducement or benefit of any kind,
or by other improper means, influence a Senator in the senator’s
conduct as a senator or induce a senator to be absent from the Senate
or a committee.”

Now all that remains to be seen is whether Bolt flies into print.
Mackay told the Senate she had done a quick search on the Internet
where she found most of what Bolt had written to be “nothing short of
offensive, ill informed and derogatory”.

Mackay concluded:

“He is out of line. He threatened me, I suspect he has threatened
others and he is potentially in contempt of the Senate under the
Parliament Privileges Act. I have no intention of apologising to Mr
Andrew Bolt at all but I will say one thing to Andrew Bolt: do not take
yourself so seriously and, for goodness sake, do us all a favour and
grow up.”

Read the full speech in Hansard on page 24,289 here as Mackay cites numerous examples where Bolt has himself slurred people and not apologised.

Bolt back in the Jewish News

Subscriber email – 24 June (first edition)

Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt is never far from controversy and now it seems he’s hiring himself out for public stoushes.

The event was the Limmud Oz Jewish learning forum in Melbourne on the
Queen’s Birthday long weekend and the stoush was a debate on Sydney
imam Sheikh Tajeddin al-Hilaly, Australia’s supreme Islamic religious
leader.

Bolt’s comments during the “at times heated” debate landed him the page
three lead in last Friday’s edition of the Australian Jewish News under
the headline, “Sack Hilaly, says journalist”.

AJN said Bolt launched a scathing attack on Australia’s Muslim
leadership over its continued support of Sheikh Hilaly, telling Yasser
Soliman, chairman of the Islamic Council of Victoria, that he should
“get rid of [Hilaly] or resign”.

Soliman rejected Bolt’s call to stand down, explaining that Sheikh
Hilaly was not a representative or a spokesperson for the Islamic
community saying, “the image of Sheik Tajeddin being an [Ayatollah]
Khomeini figure is rubbish”.

NSW Board of Deputies president Stephen Rothman and Kauranda Seyfi
Seyrit of the Forum on Australian Islamic relations also participated
in the Sheikh Hilaly debate.

When Seyrit denied that Sheikh Hilaly supported terrorism, saying he
was often misquoted because he didn’t speak fluent English, Bolt
replied, that “Sheikh Hilaly had a remarkable history of people making
excuses for him and legitimising him”.

It seems that while Bolt’s attitude toward some of his enemies may be thawing, others are still on the hit list.

Some of Bolt’s recent feral column’s include: Our suicide mission and Islam: enemy within

Andrew Bolt replies:

Once again false, Stephen. I don’t think you’ve written a single
article about me which doesn’t contain at least one nasty falsehood.

I did not “hire’ myself out to Limmud. I was asked to speak there, and
gladly did it for free over the weekend, because I think the issue so
important.

And for you to describe as “feral” articles which describe my concern
over radical hate-preaching Islamic clerics and terrorists who behead
“infidels”, is further evidence of the Left’s wilful blindness, shared
by HREOC, to one of the real sources of rising racism – an
anti-Semitism that had the audience at Limmud literally frightened, and
needing protection by guards in flak jackets.

I refer again to letters and articles you have run which indicate that
your site may attract a few more anti-Semites than a decent man would
judge desireable.

Andrew Bolt

Another Bolt from the blue

Subscriber email – 22 June

Say what you like about Andrew Bolt, but he pays attention to Crikey.

Last week, a subscriber, Nick, wrote: “After reading Andrew Bolt’s
latest spray at the ABC, I was tempted to peruse the archives of his
opinion articles. In several cases the ABC or its staff are singled out
for criticism. I tried valiantly, but couldn’t find any positive
mentions of the ABC. How about surprising us Andrew? Just to show you
aren’t biased.”

True enough, subscribers will be familiar with Bolt’s standard anti-ABC
rant about smug, biased Aunty types running anti-US beat-ups: Bias: easy as ABC

But a few days after Nick’s letter to Crikey, a magical thing happened.
This is what Bolt wrote in his Sunday Hun column: “Credit where it’s
due. The ABC is at last giving in to the wicked ideas of we
conservatives.”

“I first noticed this only a couple of weeks ago, when a morning ABC
radio news bulletin referred to ‘the so-called stolen generations’. I
nearly fell off my high horse.”

Faint praise, to be sure, but praise nonetheless from Aunty’s most
strident critic. This “astonishing concession to truth”, writes Bolt,
was followed by another concession to his wacky brand of neo-con
Vaudeville: “Then this week, I heard an ABC AM item start with these
wonderful words: ‘Some positive news out of Iraq.’

“Can you believe that?”

Well, Andrew, we not only believe it, we’re heartened by your new
spirit of détente. Consider your thawing attitude to some of your
oldest enemies, highlighted by your reverse-ferret to Victorian Police
Commissioner Christine Nixon a couple of weeks ago.

Previously, she’d been a suspiciously gay-friendly libertarian unable
to control Melbourne’s gang wars. Suddenly, presto! She’s an admirable
and successful crime fighter who deserves our support: March on, Christine

Andrew, keep reading Crikey and maybe some of our even more radical
suggestions of balance and fairness may even seep in to your strange
world. Read the good news on Aunty from Andrew Bolt here: Broader views positive news

Peter Fray

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