A few week’s back when Andrew Bolt was on “Insiders” I let fly a few tweets about him. He didn’t like that, so he had a pretty laughable go at me on his blog.
He was back today. Thankfully for the sake of my day, I didn’t bother to watch most of it – I only tuned in just in time for Mike Bowers and Talking Pictures. The Twitter commentary was actually more antagonistic towards Bolt than even usual, and so it was with great trepidation I watched the replay on iView.
I think Bolt’s opinions are pretty much based on purposeful ignorance and bias. But that’s fine, he’d probably say the same about mine. However, today’s show highlighted what has become more prevalent in his recent appearances – his contempt for the other panellists and even of Barrie Cassidy the host – and the belief that the panellists are there to answer his questions.
I know it is a shock to think that a guy who has a blog on the Herald Sun website, a column in every news.ltd paper, and who appears regularly on the Today Show, and also on the 7pm Project, as well has a daily gig on MTR that he plugs each day on his blog is not self-effacing, but there you go.
As a long time “Insiders” watcher, I have seen Bolt change how he treats his appearances. For example, in 2007 as the Howard Govt headed for defeat, he would give his view, do his usual thing of repeating things he had already written in his blog that week (his statements are always pretty predictable) but basically engage in good robust discussion.
I disagreed back then with 99% of what he said and thought him a fool, but at least the discussion was mostly interesting, and it wasn’t all about Andrew.
Now he just sees “Insiders” as yet another opportunity for him to run his agenda.
It is boring, it is pointless, and it is killing a show which oddly Bolt decided to make reference to its 10 year run at the end of today’s show – oddly because it seemed again to be more about his appearing on the show for 10 years than the actual show’s length.
It is all very sad because I used to absolutely love the show – even when Bolt was on. Back then I would never miss an episode. Now as a rule I record the show, sleep in and watch it later – if at all. Last week’s I totally skipped. Rather than affection, now I mostly view it with sad pity.
Barrie Cassidy does not like Twitter, and probably never reads the feeds, but someone need to tell him that Bolt is now laughing at him. And worse, that Bolt is now killing his show. Today, Mark Kenny and Lenore Taylor were treated with sanctimonious contempt by Bolt whenever the topic got on to the Greens or climate change, and if that is now the point of Insiders, then it really is time for it to be put out to pasture.
Last year Annabel Crabb on Twitter replied to people complaining about Bolt being on Insiders again that “there’s no show without Punch”. And it was true - in the past his different view was borderline entertaining, because at least he would keep to arguing the policy or the politics (mostly that – policy, ain’t a big thing on Insiders). And such a show should have differing opinions.
But now it is just him challenging the others to answer his questions, and sneer at them if they don’t give him a yes or no answer in 10 seconds.
The lack of respect he showed Taylor, Kenny and Cassidy today was enough for me to stop watching. I knew there was nothing new I would learn, and I have better things than watch a guy be rude to other people and then laugh while doing it.
Lenore’s Taylor’s exasperated look to Cassidy after yet another of Bolt’s interruptions and contemptuous remarks, spoke for many of us.
The Australian recently has been running a rather funny little campaign to make it seem like its Sunday morning show on Sky, “Australian Agenda” is shaping the week’s agenda. It isn’t yet, but “Insiders” used to be the show. It was not watched by many, but those who mattered did watch it because not only would the interviews battle with Laurie Oakes’s Sunday interviews for importance, but the discussion by journalists on the show would give insight into how the media was viewing the political battle – and thus what the political parties were doing right or wrong in getting their message across (there’s more to be said about this point, but I’ll leave that for another day) .
Now it is hardly worth watching – rarely is anything new revealed; never is anything learned.
And when Bolt is on, it is not at all worth watching, because Bolt thinks it is all about him. Someone needs to tell Barrie that Insiders is not all about Bolt, but he is a big part of its decline (there’s more to the decline, but I’ll leave that for another day).
I know this won’t make a lick of difference, and I’m guessing the ABC don’t care about the impact Bolt has on the show. In reality having Bolt on is a nice cover for Mark Scott when he fronts up at Senate estimates and needs to counter claims by Eric Abetz that the ABC is biased to the left.
I am obviously from the left, but with regards to “Insiders”, I’ve left as well. To be honest, I’m not even that sad about it – sleeping in on Sunday is pretty good really!
Over in America things are getting fun with the Presidential election. A plethora of Republican Party non-candidates are circling around trying to decide whether or not they will officially enter the race. Most of them seem to be more interested in appealing to the right wing of the Republican Party than the centre. That may be great for winning the nomination, but it’s pretty terrible in term so winning the election.
The most bizarre of these non-candidates is Donald Trump. Trump, who it is pretty obvious will not run for election at all – as if this guy is ever going to do anything that won’t make him money – has decided to boost his credentials by bringing up the “birther” argument – namely that Obama was not born in the US and thus cannot be President. It would be funny if it were not so sad. But even in the sadness there is the laughs – and there are plenty in this interview with right wing talk show host Laura Ingraham.
Apparently Trump thinks it is odd that someone puts a birth notice in the paper announcing the birth of their son!
By the way – here’s Obama’s birth certificate:
Trump may have ok polling in media polls, but Real Clear Politics isn’t even including him yet in its summary of polling of potential candidates. My guess – he’s a joke candidate who is just trying to beef up his profile in order to make some more money, because well, that’s what he’s done for the last 30 years.
Jon Stewart of course has been having lots of fun with it all – referring to the place the right wing republicans are trying to appeal to as “Baseistan”. At least here’s one show that’s certainly not in decline