Victorians are suffering Andrew Bolt cold turkey at the moment as he
hasn’t been in print since his “the cause still seems as just as ever” column from Iraq on 30 December.

This is partly because thefeisty scribbler has spent some of his summer buffing and
polishing a best-ofs book called Still not sorry. The cover carries
the kicker: “The best of Andrew Bolt: Australia’s most controversial
columnist.”

A house ad in today’s paper invites readers to a $60 lunch at Crown on
22 February and declares “Andrew Bolt is Australia’s most talked about
columnist for not only asking, but for telling you the controversial
truth.”

Perhaps some enterprising feminist should ask Andrew about his column in October 2002 which began:

Study after study shows that women tend to be more irrational than men. Why,
then, does the ALP insist on a dangerous stacking of parliamentary benches with
the sillier sex?

And maybe some refugee campaigner should ask if he is sorry about this one from 11 October 2001:

The strange thing about the ‘debate’ over our treatment
of asylum seekers is that so many ‘good’ people are so keen to think we’re
monsters. Earlier this week, Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock said
Iraqi boatpeople had thrown their children overboard when HMAS Adelaide tried to
turn their boat back to Indonesia.

He said our sailors had to jump into
the sea to rescue some 14 children and adults. Only a fool could think Ruddock
would make this up, given the incident was witnessed by dozens of sailors and
officers.

Yet by this morning the Greens and the Australian Democrats
were muttering doubts about the truth of story. Refugee advocate Marion Le told
Jon Faine on ABC radio 774 she’d had ‘doubts from the beginning’ and called
for a ‘full inquiry into what exactly did go on and whether or not these claims
were true.’

Then Faine demanded Ruddock provide ‘independent
corroboration’ for his claim, stating: ‘We can’t any longer simply say, well,
someone told me that might be what happened.’ Elsewhere in this paper
you can see the photographs of the incident which I got from the Defence
Department simply by asking for them. Proof positive.

Then there was the line about the Nazis being Greens which Senator George Brandis took up, before eventually apologising. There was no apology from Bolt, of course, because it’s all the controversial truth!

Peter Fray

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