“Mr Bolt’s conduct in the circumstances was, at worst, dishonest and misleading and, at best, grossly careless. It reflects upon him as a journalist.”The Herald Sun should have sacked Bolt then and there but instead they spent even more money unsuccessfully seeking leave to appeal in the High Court. The Murdoch managers were less enthusiastic about wasting shareholder funds on appeals after Bolt was found to have breached the Racial Discrimination Act in 2011, another exercise that would have cost shareholders close to $1 million in legal bills. So why would anyone continue to employ someone with such a track record of imposing financial hardship on the sponsoring organisation? Then-Victorian premier Jeff Kennett certainly made a smart decision when he rejected Bolt’s application to join his centralised media unit after the 1992 Victorian election. The advice at the time was that Bolt wouldn’t necessarily work as a constructive team player for the good of the Kennett government. Bolt’s then-boss at the Herald Sun, Piers Akerman, made a direct approach to Kennett about the rejection, but the socially moderate Kennett held firm. If only Tony Abbott had adopted the same approach of keeping a sensible distance from the man News Corp editor David Penberthy famously described in 2011 as having “a decade-long commitment to writing inflammatory copy”. Almost 23 years after the Kennett rejection, Bolt and Akerman are still stuck at News pumping out aggressive abuse, courtesy of ongoing patronage from a shameless Rupert Murdoch. Their joint effort attacking Syrian refugees on The Bolt Report on September 13 (starts 35 minutes into the video, if you can suffer through all those ads) was one of the nastiest pieces of free-to-air television the industry has stooped to in recent years. It would be disappointing if Akerman were invited back, and if the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission blocks Foxtel’s proposed investment in Ten, it would be surprising if The Bolt Report made it past Christmas. We’re yet to see how Malcolm Turnbull will play Bolt in terms of direct engagement. He was happy to catch a tram with the Herald Sun’s political editor Ellen Whinnett yesterday, but there’s no sign of any contact with the man who claimed in yesterday’s paper that he and Alan Jones "house-trained" Turnbull. The Australian has gone quiet on Bolt since Monday’s 2GB attack, which could be either due to an order from on high from one of the Murdochs or an approach of “why bother, the firecracker is fizzling out”. It will be interesting to see how both Media Watch and The Australian’s Media section handle the untidy out-workings of a News Corp civil war on Monday, or whether Bolt muscles up against Mitchell again on Sunday.
Mayne: News Corp loses its shirt on Bolt’s heavily subsidised career
Andrew Bolt has a history of losing money for News Corp.