The Murdoch ‘journalist’ [sic], Andrew Bolt, a columnist at Melbourne’s Herald-Sun newspaper, left a perplexing post at his column yesterday prior to taking leave. He wrote:
It’s customary to thank your readers at the end of each year. Never have I had more cause to do so than this year. Your support ... well, you can imagine how much and why. I’m extremely grateful.
I am off on holidays with my family. Some thinking will also need to be done about what I’ll do next year. In the meantime, have a wonderful Christmas and new year.
‘Some thinking will also need to be done about what I’ll do next year’?
At worst this simply means he’s going to be spending his holidays dreaming up new ways of peddling his extreme racist fearmongering views. At best, however, it may mean that Murdoch’s new chief lackey in Australia, Kim Williams, who recently took over from retiring News Ltd. Australia CEO John Hartigan, has had enough of forking out hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover Bolt’s legal fees after being found guilty of racial discrimination. This, coupled with Murdoch trying to pull back from the image of right-wing extremist journalism after the News of the World fiasco, which ended in Murdoch closing the newspaper down, may well be the reason why Bolt needs to think about what he’ll be doing next year.
Bolt undoubtedly would have had a contract with News Ltd. And it may well be that Bolt has decided to take an offer that’s too good to refuse, hence him going without a fuss – if, indeed, he is going.
Reading through the comments to his post, some of his adoring rednecked fans and supporters are also wondering if he’ll be back. After all, among the extreme right-wing in Australia, Bolt was a hero. But after the court case and what with Murdoch struggling to convince the government that controls on the press aren’t needed, it may well be that Murdoch and Williams have decided that Bolt is too much of a liability and that he should go gracefully without a fuss and with a handsome golden handshake and a well formulated explanation for his departure. Perhaps he could write books for the Murdoch-owned HarperCollins company to publish.
So, the question is: has Bolt gone from the Herald-Sun for good? Let’s hope so. Time will tell. We can but dream.