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Andrew Bolt and His Controversies ( 9 Career Defining Events and Opinions)

Andrew Bolt

Andrew Bolt is an Australian newspaper columnist, radio and TV presenter, and blogger who has served in various roles in many television networks, radio stations, and print media. He was born on September 26, 1959, in Adelaide. He worked for many years at the Murdoch-owned newspaper company The Herald and Weekly Times (HWT), both for The Herald and its successor, the Herald Sun. His current occupations include being a blogger and columnist for the Herald Sun and presenting the weekly TV show The Bolt Report. In this article, we take a look at some of the most infamous controversies surrounding Andrew Bolt!

Who Is Andrew Bolt? Why Is He So Controversial? 9 Reasons! 

9 Andrew Bolt Controversies That Have Made Him Famous: 

In Australia, Bolt is a controversial public figure who is often criticized for his abusive behavior and accused of making inappropriate statements on various political and social issues. Let’s take a look at Bolt’s controversies one by one. 

1. Racial discrimination case

In September 2010, nine people filed a lawsuit in federal court against Bolt and the Herald Sun over two posts on Bolt’s blog. The nine articles were sued for posts titled “It’s so hip to be black”, “White is the new black” and “White men in black”. The articles suggested that it was fashionable for “light-skinned people” of diverse ancestry to choose Indigenous racial identity for political and professional influence. 

The applicants claim that the messages breach the Racial Discrimination Act 1975. They asked for an apology, legal costs and a gag order over the republication of the articles and blogs, and “any other remedy the court deems appropriate.” They did not seek damages. On September 28, 2011, Justice Mordecai Bromberg found that Bolt had violated Section 18C of the Race Discrimination Act. 

The case was controversial. Bolt described the ruling as a “terrible day for free speech” in Australia and said it represented “a restriction on how people identify and the freedom of all Australians to discuss multiculturalism”. 

Bolt later said he believed Judge Bromberg’s failed attempt to run the Labor Party ten years before, played a role in the final decision.

2. Assault

On June 6, 2017, Bolt was attacked in Lygon Street, Melbourne by two masked men, while a third allegedly filmed the attack. Melbourne Antifa, an anti-fascism group, appeared to claim a connection to the incident on Facebook, posting that Bolt had attacked “part of our family in solidarity…as they protested today”.

3. Leaked intelligence document

In June 2003, Bolt published an article criticizing Andrew Wilkie in which he cited a classified intelligence document authored by Wilkie as an intelligence analyst for the Office of National Assessments. It has been claimed, but never proven, that a member of Foreign Secretary Alexander Downer ‘s office leaked the document to Bolt. A spokesman for the Australian Federal Police said they had no evidence to identify the culprit.

4. Immigration

Bolt spoke out against the racially shifting demographics of Australia. In August 2018, Bolt penned an article titled “Tidal wave of new tribes dividing us” in which he argues that a “tidal wave” of migrants is forming enclaves and “changing our culture in Australia”. He also said that “immigration is becoming colonization, turning this country from a home into a hotel.” This article prompted a complaint to the press council.

5. Defending George Pell

In 2019, Bolt defended Cardinal George Pell, who by that time had been convicted of child sexual abuse (he was later acquitted by the Supreme Court), saying that “I’m not a Catholic or even a Christian. He’s a scapegoat, not a child molester.” He also said: “In my view this is our own OJ Simpson case, but in reverse. A man was convicted not on the facts but on prejudice. (…) Cardinal George Pell was falsely convicted of sexually abusing two boys in their early teens. This is my opinion, based on the evidence.” 

On April 14, 2020, Bolt interviewed George Pell on Sky News Australia following his High Court acquittal. During the interview, Bolt asked Pell if he was ashamed of the Catholic Church’s handling of the current sexual abuse crisis. Pell replied that he had and described the crisis as a “cancer”, also saying that the church’s failures to act still haunted him. Pell said he did not commit the alleged sexual abuse in Melbourne and did not know why the accuser testified against him. He suggested the accuser may have been “used”.

6. Greta Thunberg

In July 2019, Bolt made comments in which he questioned the legitimacy of Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg’s views on climate breakdown due to Thunberg’s autism. “I have never seen a girl so young and mentally ill treated by so many adults as a guru,” Bolt wrote. He went on to wonder why such rulers “treat a strange young girl with such respect and even delight”. The comments were widely seen as ignorant. 

Later in the article, Bolt went on to describe Thunberg’s younger sister as exhibiting “a dramatic range of mental issues.” Thunberg responded to the article on Twitter, saying, “I am indeed ‘deeply disturbed’ that these hateful and conspiratorial campaigns are allowed to continue indefinitely just because we children are communicating and taking action, based on science. Where are the adults??”

7. Bruce Pascoe 

Aboriginal author Bruce Pascoe grew up knowing only his British ancestry. In his thirties, he came to recognize that he also had Australian Aboriginal heritage and identified himself as Koori. 

Bolt argued against this apparent shift in Pascoe’s heritage following the success of Dark Emu, a book written by Pascoe in 2014 which re-examines the colonial accounts of Australian Aborigines, and cites evidence from agriculture, engineering, and Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander building construction people. On his blog, Bolt suggested Pascoe had succumbed to “the romance of the Noble Savage…the thrill of the superstitious”.

In early 2020, the feud escalated when Bolt published a letter provided to him by Josephine Cashman, resulting in Cashman being fired from the federal Indigenous Voices to Government Senior Advisory Group. In the blog post, Bolt said the letter was written by an elder Yolngu, denouncing Pascoe and Dark Emu. However, the elder claimed he did not write the letter, and paragraphs were also found to have been removed from other sources.

9. Comments on child sexual grooming

Bolt was widely condemned by child protection advocates who said he downplayed the seriousness of child sexual grooming during a segment of his Sky News show on February 18, 2020. 

Bolt used to repeatedly say the phrase “hit on” to describe the sexual grooming of a Year 9 schoolboy by his athletics coach at St Kevin’s College, Melbourne. Child protection advocate Dr. Katrina Lines said: “There is no consensual social situation in which it would be acceptable for an adult to ‘hit’ a child. The adult was preparing as a child and made an emotional connection so he could do whatever he wanted to do with him”.

10. Putin

In April 2022, he spoke about Putin’s regime: Putin’s regime is a clown show from top to bottom, he once said. 

Other Facts About Andrew Bolt’s Childhood, Career, Wife, and More! 

Education: 

Bolt was born in Adelaide, his parents were newly arrived Dutch immigrants. He spent his childhood in remote rural areas, including Tarkula, South Australia, while his father worked as a teacher and school principal. After graduating from high school at Murray Bridge High School, Bolt traveled and worked overseas before returning to Australia and completing an art degree at the University of Adelaide.

He left before finishing university to become an intern at Melbourne’s The Age newspaper. His roles at The Age included sports writer before he joined The Herald.

Early Career:

He was in Melbourne for The Age newspapers and later The Herald. He worked for News Ltd Asia in Hong Kong and Bangkok. 

Later Career:

After Bolt twice served on Prime Minister Bob Hawke’s campaign team, he began to work as a freelance journalist in 2005. 

As a columnist, Bolt writes three times a week for the Herald Sun newspaper in Melbourne for the Herald Sun, Australia’s largest daily newspaper based in Melbourne, and The Daily Telegraph in Sydney. 

His column is also published in other News Corp Australia publications. Bolt also hosts The Bolt Report talk show on Sky News Australia on weekdays, as a TV presenter. 

He is also present as a radio presenter, including on Melbourne talk radio. Prior to that, from 2001 to 2011, he was a regular guest on the Insiders show. 

Bolt left Insiders in May 2011 to host his own weekly program The Bolt Report on Network Ten. The Bolt Report ended in 2015, and in 2016 Bolt became a contributor to Sky News Live. The Bolt Report subsequently resumed on Sky News Live in May 2016.

Author:

His book Still Not Sorry: The Best of Andrew Bolt was published in 2005.

In 2005, Bolt released a collection of newspaper columns in a book titled Still No Regrets: The Best of Andrew Bolt.

Wife:

Bolt has been married to journalist Sally Morrell since 1989 and has three children with her. Sally Morrell is a columnist for the Herald Sun. 

Religion and political views: 

Bolt is agnostic and an Australian conservative socio-political columnist.

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