I hate to start a short week with the Southbank Jester, but this effort yesterday is a pretty spectacular example of outright misrepresentation.

Here’s Bolt’s opening:

Labor runs out of cash

Suddenly Labor everywhere confesses it’s done your dough.

And he links to three stories – one federal, one from Tasmania, and one from South Australia.

But in none of his quotes does Labor “confess” anything of the sort!

In the first, Labor notes that “patchy business conditions and Australia’s run of natural disasters” have cut revenue and Swan “admits” that “the Government faces a tough task” to return the budget to surplus. In no way is that “Labor confessing it’s done your dough”.

In the second, the Tasmanian Opposition Leader makes some claims, and the Tasmanian Premier simply notes a shortfall in GST revenue and state taxes – hardly “doing your dough”, if anything “not collecting enough of your dough”. Sure, the Liberals blame it on overspending, but that’s like saying “Andrew Bolt admits to publishing total garbage” by quoting something a critic had written.

And in the third, South Australia is apparently threatening to cut leave entitlements – ie, cutting spending, kind of the opposite of squandering public money.

As far as I can see, “doing your dough” implies having collected “your” money and then completely wasting it. Throwing it away. And in those quotes Labor has “confessed” no such thing – and nor should it, since it hasn’t happened.

But that’s not the impression you’d get if you were silly enough to trust the words of Mr Andrew Bolt.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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