Rumours are flying around at the Herald-Sun offices about Andrew Bolt’s intentions. It’s reckoned that he maybe hanging in at the Herald-Sun treading water while he waits for Gina Rinehart to get her foot in the door at Fairfax.
Ever since his publishers stopped him from doing his own blog moderating and then failed to find staff moderators to do the job due, so Bolt claims, to staff cut-backs, Bolt’s readership has dropped dramatically to the point where he’s no longer earning his keep.
Bolt’s quick staccato ‘cut and paste’ style of blogging journalism where he simply regurgitates stuff that others have written which he can then scoff at with just a sentence or two suited his column to attract interactive readers keen to comment about his posts, but it loses momentum when there’s no response. Readers have lost interest and gone elsewhere.
But Bolt has only himself to blame. He refused to publish dissenting views and even deleted dissenting views that snuck in under his radar. I emailed him and complained about most of my comments not being published and some being deleted after being published. I told him that, if I didn’t get a reasonable explanation for his action, I’d complain to the Australian Press Council (APC). He emailed me back saying that if I threatened him with ‘legal action’ (by which he meant me making a complaint to the APC) he would ban me. He was hoping to put me in a Catch 22 situation whereby, if I complained to the APC about being banned from writing dissenting comments and threats to ban me, he’d ban me anyway because it ‘wasn’t worth the legal risk to them’ – whatever that was supposed to mean. Anyway, it seems it has backfired on him and now no one is allowed to comment and his blog has all but dried up.
If, indeed, Bolt was hoping for Rinehart to get her foot in the Fairfax door and then offer him a blog at, say, The Age, then he might just have to think again.
Rinehart’s plans to get seats and influence on the Fairfax board, which may well have allowed her to get a spot for Bolt, seems to have stalled lately, especially since the rest of the Fairfax board are insisting that she has nothing to do with the editorial content of the company’s products.
Stay tuned for the next exciting episode.