Bolt v Mitchell. News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt, who was pinged for racial vilification for claiming a group of high-profile Aboriginal people had sought advantage from the colour of their skin, has continued his war with The Australian this morning. He’s furious that for the second day in a row, The Australian’s Cut and Paste column has criticised his statements on the Adam Goodes saga. Bolt, a close reader of the Oz, said yesterday that the paper risked alienating its readership, which was at “serious odds” with the masthead over whether it was racist to boo Adam Goodes. “This is not the first time that I’ve wondered whether The Australian has lost its head and its direction,” Bolt wrote yesterday on his blog.
Today’s subsequent brush-up in the Oz has prompted Bolt to wax furiously on The Australian‘s direction. His post began by criticising the paper once again for its John Lyons exclusive alleging Tony Abbott had unilaterally considered sending troops to Iraq.
“As I said yesterday, The Australian’s behaviour is weak and contemptible, and I wonder once again whether its leadership has run off course,” Bolt wrote. “That story, never corrected or apologised for, was pushed by editor in chief Chris Mitchell. I know how it started and the terrible toll it took on the story’s alleged ‘source’.”
“Then came the paper’s repeated blustering and bullying — even a suggestion my editors silence me for my ‘poison’ – when I pointed out the dangers and plainly confused logic in its misguided support for race- based changes to the constitution. That cause is promoted fervently by editor in chief Chris Mitchell. Yesterday more of the same — The Australian doctored quotes from Miranda Devine and me to make it falsely appear we had contradicted ourselves over Adam Goodes. Weak and contemptible, and an apparent attempt to settle scores by joining in a media pack attack against its News Corp colleagues.
“Today The Australian responds to my exposure of its tactics in a way many people (not least Robert Manne) will say is typical of the paper under Mitchell — not by confessing error but by going in even harder.”
We hope The Australian continues to bait Bolt, if only to see whether the columnist comes out and properly calls for Mitchell to be sacked. He’s so close to suggesting that already. — Myriam Robin