By Stephen Mayne, who confesses to attending Andrew Bolt’s 40th

Students of Crikey’s Las Vegas division (“We’ll host ya fight”) will fondly remember the slug-fest a couple of years back between feisty right wing Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt and then Media Watch host David Marr.

Marr gave Bolt this thumping on Media Watch in July 2003 for attacking Alison Broinowski as a “grant-fed artist”. Bolt responded with this from-the-heart spray . The two protaganists then went toe to toe on Crikey, as you can see here.

Thankfully, the lads live 1,000km apart, but things got ugly on Sunday, courtesy of the taxpayer, when these two “grant-fed Insiders couch commentators” graced our screens with Barrie Cassidy on ABC Television.

With moderate News Ltd commentator Matt Price seated diplomatically between Bolt on the right and Marr on the Left, the duelling duo managed to keep things quite civil, given their history. The worst flare up was Bolt declaring Marr’s comments about some Asian leaders not embracing John Howard as “so untrue”.

We emailed the pair of them to ask how they got on off-screen, and Marr’s two emails can be summarised thus:

Perfectly cordial. Don’t underestimate my depthless civility. I just sat there remembering the last time we met face to face on television – a couple of years ago with him screaming at me that it was proof of my ignorance and bias that I couldn’t see the clear connection between Saddam and al-Qaeda. The memory kept me warm.

Before Bolter fires one back saying that Marr has misrepresented his “screaming”, check out the Latelinetranscript in question here.

Peter Fray

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