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Sep 5, 2011


We trust Laurie Oakes and George Negus to bring us the news. But not Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt.

And the news is worse for Bolt, the nation’s pre-eminent conservative crusader, with more than half of respondents to an Essential Research survey not knowing who he is.

Essential put a number of journalists and commentators to its weekly online panel to ask who they most trusted. The results perhaps aren’t surprising, and skewed with state-based stars, but show among the trustworthy and reviled that some of the nation’s hot-headed megaphones aren’t as famous as they might think.

Negus, the former 60 Minutes globetrotter turned host of Channel Ten’s struggling 6.30 bulletin, shared the most-trusted title with Nine’s veteran political reporter. Both scored 75% in the trust stakes, though Oakes polled slightly higher (33%) than Negus (27%) in the “a lot of trust” column.

Radio rabble-rouser and chief government critic Jones was the most disliked, with almost half saying they had little or no trust in the 2GB breakfast host. A third said they had no trust in him as a commentator whatsoever.

A trio of Victorian-based commentators had their figures dragged down by a lack of recognition. ABC Radio’s Jon Faine and 3AW morning rival Neil Mitchell both scored 40% in having “no trust” or “not much trust”, while The Age‘s political editor Michelle Grattan came in at 34%. Less than half of respondents to the survey could name the three, with Faine the least recognised at just 33%.

Bolt’s national TV profile — after quitting the ABC’s Insiders he now hosts a Sunday morning platform on Channel Ten — hasn’t done much to boost his fame: almost half (48%) said they didn’t know who he was.

Despite Tony Jones’ lower recognition factor, the ABC Q&A and Lateline host was third behind Oakes and Negus as the journalist or commentator most trusted. Grattan was fourth.


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28 thoughts on “Essential: we trust Negus and Oakes, but who’s Andrew Bolt?

  1. SimsonMc

    In breaking news, Alan Jones is going to get a tattoo on his back called “Where’s Bolty” which will help the 48% of Australian who just don’t know.

  2. matthew hocking

    in other news, australians dont follow politics.

  3. MLF

    “Negus, the former 60 Minutes globetrotter turned host of Channel Ten’s struggling 6.30 bulletin, shared the most-trusted title with Nine’s veteran political reporter. Both scored 75% in the trust stakes, though Oakes polled slightly higher (33%) than Negus (27%) in the “a lot of trust” column.”

    Is it just me? Or do Laurie’s 28, 36 & 10% add up to 74% and George’s 24,44 & 11% add up to 79%?

    So George and Laurie are not even Stephens, George is actually 5% ahead.

    Which is a shame as Laurie is by far the most trustworthy. George and Andrew Bolt go bowling, I reckon.

    And does Laurie’s total add up to 101%? Surely not.

  4. SusieQ

    I think this is all summed up in the headline – ‘….but whose Andrew Bolt?’

    Tucked away on a Sunday morning, never to be seen again.

  5. LisaCrago

    Nothing like a bit of Bolt Bashing to score cheep points and sell more subs to Crikey.

    Honestly though, come on you gotta do better than this.

    The guts of this story is that 48% of people don’t know who Bolt is…therefore his tv show is not working for him.
    If 58% of these people don’t know who Michelle Gratton
    + 48% don’t know who Tony Jones is
    why is it any surprise that these people don’t know who Andrew Bolt is?
    Where is the story here?
    It is a non story.

  6. SBH

    given all of that it’s a shame that Grattan is such a nong

    LisaCrago, the story might be that most people don’t watch news and current affairs shows.

  7. Andrew Pegler

    I would be interested to see Glen Milne’s figures.

  8. gtpfb13


    Bolt is syndicated in the Murdoch press around Australia, he has a TV show that’s on twice every Sunday, he appears on ch10 news and 7pm project and is on radio every morning. I would think he should be better known than the others.

    I reckon he’d be pretty annoyed that 48% don’t know who he is. What a fail.

  9. Billy Blogs

    It’s ‘weekly online panel’?? Who exactly was that, grade 3 students from Upper Shitters Ditch Primary school?

    Spare me.

  10. GocomSys

    I know who and what “BOLT” is. Just knowing that scares me. I have no idea who the “ESSENTIAL” poll peddlers are and what they are trying to achieve. That scares me more.
    Why is “Crikey” obliged to print “all” this useless “OPINION POLL” stuff, I wonder?

  11. Campbell Moody

    That’s it. I’m calling the apostrophe police about the lot of you.

  12. Bruce Campbell


    Bolt runs the self-confessed ‘Australia’s most-read political blog’. He has an opinion in the Herald Sun. The Bolt Report is shown in Australia’s 3 largest cities. He is on, is on MTR 1377 mornings. His views are rather broadly aired.

    The fact that 48% of people surveyed don’t know of him does show that his near-national profile leaves a lot to be desired.

    As you sound a uncritical fan, think of the 48% of people not as those who have never heard of him. Think of the 48% of people who don’t yet know him as his fans. Think of the 48% as those who don’t yet think he is a far right lying, largely inaccurate monkey.

  13. Lord Barry Bonkton

    52% of people know who Michael Bolt is ? Andy’s brother ? He will blame the figures on some Lefties running the poll and rigging them , like Newspoll do.

  14. monkeywrench

    This polling is flawed because it was taken too close to Urban Heat Islands, therefore the data is skewed toward Lefty Elitist responses that may well have said they don’t know who Adrian Bolt is, but really did know. Does anyone want to see what I had for breakfast? Or what it looks like out of my dunny window?

  15. Schnappi

    Used to watch channel 10 sunday news at 5pm ,until they gave bolt a show at 4.30pm,no longer watch 10 news as bolt show ran late,and think the minute or two might count as having watched him.

  16. Jim Reiher

    I hate polls. I love Poles. but I hate Polls. I dont really trust them, to be honest. But this one made me smile. I really really hope that half the nation does not even know who Mr Bolt is, and then the other half seem to not like him all that much. Good! Likewise Mr Jones. If this poll can be trusted, then this is encouraging news.

    Personally I think the best way to get rid of voices like Bolt and Jones from the community is to IGNORE THEM. Not being noticed is worse than getting bad press. Any publicity is supposedly good publicity, they say. So the best thing to do with men like them … is treat their views as so pathetic and so stupid, that we just dont listen or respond any more.

    (And maybe send letters to advertisers in the media that they appear in, saying that if they advertise in those media or during their timeslots, we will NEVER buy their products again).

  17. cannedheat

    I must admit this poll seems a tad odd. Particularly the Tony Jones figure. Why would people know Laurie Oaks but not Tony Jones?

  18. Son of foro

    Radio rabble-rouser and chief government critic Jones was the most disliked, with almost half saying they had little or no trust in the 2GB breakfast host. A third said they had no trust in him as a commentator whatsoever.

    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott recently held a gala fundraising dinner at the Warringah Club in
    Sydney. For a modest $220 a plate, people could meet Abbott, hear radio personality Alan Jones
    entertain the crowds and participate in the usual fundraising raffle and auction at the event.

    Judgement. Questioned. Much.

  19. Andrew Pegler

    son of foro while I take your point let’s not forget Warringah is a conservative heartland and people would be lining up to hear Mrs Jones and the mad monk talk of illegitimate govt and convoys of the unrehearsed and angry being stopped at the borders of democracy.

  20. Neil Walker

    48% of those surveyed don’t know who Andrew Bolt is?

    Ignorance of ignorance must be bliss.

  21. bluepoppy

    I wish I didn’t know who Andrew Bolt is. His conservative crusade at all costs including little in the way of facts and evidence only makes him look ridiculous.

    Journalists get much more from balanced reporting even if they are pushing a barrow, Bolt’s problem is his barrow runneth over with malice and hysterical accusations with little in the way of substance. A bex and a good lie down might help.

  22. GocomSys

    @JIM REIHER posted Monday, 5 September 2011 at 7:53 pm
    “I hate polls. I love Poles. but I hate Polls. I dont really trust them, to be honest”

    Newspoll: the Malaysia Solution fallout
    latest CRIKEY BLOG
    “Newspoll has the Coalition’s lead out from 57-43 to 59-41, with the Coalition up three to 50% and Labor steady on 27%. Voters have LAMBASTED the government over its handling of asylum seekers, writes William Bowe”.

    The Murdoch pressure on the government is unrelenting. Every time an opinion poll is published the misinformed, insular, mostly pathetically apathetic Australian public get’s another hit.
    “All” media outlets, no exceptions, do not understand or don’t care how much damage is done to the national psyche!

    Why don’t we just get rid of the government and install Rupert Murdoch, President and Tony Abbott, Prime Minister.

  23. Johnfromplanetearth

    I see the far left nutjobs are at it again, when things are going bad for their heroes blame it on the Bolter. Is it Bolt’s fault that this country is now being run by the worst Government in it’s history? Do Negus and Oakes report that? Living life as you would like it to be as oppossed to how it really is confirms once again the ignorance of your average far left loon! The problem with the left is the truth hurts so much, they lose that warm and fuzzy feeling and get their nose all out of joint. Or they lose the matches to light one up.
    They got their wish and ousted Howard, lost the surplus, sacked their insane leader, replaced him with someone even crazier, I won’t mention the pink batts, created an almighty tax mess and inflamed the illegal boat people ten fold. Nice! Yeah, let’s blame the Bolter! So what do you want? George and Laurie telling the people “all is well, nothing to see here” or Bolt trying to inform people of exactly what skulduggery is going on in Canberra at our expense?
    “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying all the wrong remedies”~ Groucho Marx.
    The Labor party have made this an art form.

  24. Lord Barry Bonkton

    Jim , as someone who never clicks on Ltd news stories or watches the boring report, who does advertise around his show ?? AC Neilson has just picked me to install a spy machine to see what i watch on TV . Guess what program I won’t be watching ?

  25. Michael Rogers

    Are all these poll “results” independently audited. No.

    Why does News Corp put out a poll every week or so to show how on the nose the Labor Government is. Surely its not so the punters can think, “I better think that too”. Surely not?

    Read the history of how the at the start of WWII, the British secret service infiltrated the Gallup Poll to make the American public think they were less isolationist that they thought they were.

  26. Michael Rogers

    Unless you (or the group – who knows?) are just trolling for the fun of it, I can only assume that your post is an attempt at black propaganda to discredit the inherent viciousness of the Right elites and/or the inherent stupidity of those duped by them.

    If the worst is true and you are genuine, the first thing you need to understand is that those traditionally termed “Left”, those who believe in fairness, social justice and respect for the rights of others, have little or nothing in common with the policies of the current Federal Labor government and at best see it as a partial barrier to something worse.

  27. jonah Stiffhausen

    I think Bolt and Jones do a mighty fine job.
    Thank you.

  28. Johnfromplanetearth

    Michael Rogers: I firmly believe in fairness, social justice and respect for the rights of others, the far left have none of these beliefs, they have a do as we say mentality that is offensive to all hard working Australians trying to eek out a living and maintain a living standard they deserve. The left has a reputation of distorting history, politics and social issues, it’s their way or the highway, if you disagree with a lefty then you are cast out and ostracised, branded a right wing racist or holocaust denier! I am neither. The left will protest everything, they feel they deserve handouts and a right to a job, they emot their fantasy beliefs without consequences and it is their ideoligical commitment to destroy economies and restrict freedom. Why is that those on the left who usually side with the oppressed are the most violent? Hearing voices in your ahead again?The trouble with the left is it’s based on way to much raw immature emotion and very little fact. They get it wrong almost all of the the time, i doubt Bob Brown has ever got anything right in his life! Australia is in trouble and unless we see some real leadership, some real change then i fear for it’s future, for what it’s worth i don’t see that leadership coming from Tony Abbott, but it must come from someone soon or it will be too late. Julia has failed miserabely, Bob Brown is a nut and any thought of a comeback by KRudd has me aghast! Then again it must all be Andrew Bolt’s fault as he reports the folly of this inept Government on a daily basis. The country would be run better by Ensign Parker!


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