17 Apr 2012, Comments (8)

This Week in Bolta’s Utter Disingenuousness

Author: Helen

(TW for racist dogwhistling and insulting and offensive language)

Here’s a wonderful cartoon from Crikey’s First Dog on the Moon describing Andrew Bolt’s shock (SHOCK!) that his readers, told to go and “review” Anita Heiss’s new book on Amazon, indulged in angry trolling and race-baiting in his defence (as they saw it).

…Obviously I am not suggesting my brave readers unleash an anonymous torrent of racist abuse and cruel one star reviews on Anita’s Amazon page, that would be all incitey and I’m not that sort of person.
…What?…No… Who are these MONSTERS? Is it I who have inadvertently released this dusky genie from its bottle? Surely not. I was simply mourning free speech in my little way…

Jeremy Sear at Pure Poison drives the point home: Andrew Bolt does not support “Amazon Bombing” critics’ books, and he wishes they would stop following the link he gave them!

Of course, no one except his loyal followers believed him for a minute. Bolt then switched to denying that the comments on Heiss’s Amazon page were racist in tone, at all:

(N)ot one comment I saw then was “openly racist”.

And, in response to a couple of AGE articles,

But how curious. You know my reputation for calling things by their blunt names. If I were a racist, wouldn’t I just say so?

Yes, because that’s totally how it works, isn’t it?

Hmm. I took some screencaps on Friday, and it’s technically true that no one gets up and yells “Hey, I’m a complete friggin’ racist!” As the First Dog would know, some dog whistles are so well known in Australia even a human can recognise them.

Racist limerick on Anita Heiss's Amazon page

Some people who claim to be blacks
Gorge on the teat of our tax.
Though lacking in melanin,
Don’t ever try tellin’ em;
You’ll be sued for stating the facts.

See? Completely not racist. Unless you’ve lived through the Hanson era of the internet (shudder), in which case the dogwhistling is loud and clear. I’ll give them doggy identities to distinguish them:

#1, the Dachshund: Indigenous Australians have lots of (too many) “perks”, which the white people can’t have!

Text: It's trendy to be aboriginal and then, of course, there are the bonus perks that flow your way

#2 – The Beagle: Not only do indigenous people have too many perks, but they’re a “protected species”. The getting of these “perks” constitutes an “Aboriginal Industry”. (That one was greatly loved by right wing commentators if I remember rightly.)

Comment: "This book is written by a protected species in Australia..."

#3 – The Labrador: Being Aboriginal is “fashionable”. Another oldie but goodie from the History Wars.

Alt text
#3: The Pit Bull: Being aboriginal is a “gravy train”. That’s why they’re just white people scamming the system.

Comment "make a good living riding on that gravy train of thought as well"
“Gravy train of thought”? That’s an interesting, brown, runny metaphor.

#4: The Maltese Shihtzu: Claim that “minorities” always “have it easy”.

Comment: "Simon, she's a female author who identifies herself as ethnic minority...this adds up to all the reasons in the world to give her all the stars one can get...

#5: The King Charles Cavalier Spaniel: You can only be Aboriginal if you live in the desert. Urban Aborigines are just not doing it right.

Comment: ...she has never lived in the bush, she has always lived a life of priviledge(sic) in Sydney..."

#6: The Labradoodle: This one has a bit of everything, plus the notion that the “do gooders” have ruined it with their special perks and their gravy trains.

Comment: "White do gooders perpetuating this state of victimhood...setup a culture of entitlement and expectation of special treatment... decades of positive discrimination."

Well, you’ll probably agree that’s about as much as anyone can stand of Bolta’s monkeys. We’ve just demonstrated that with plausible deniability one can get away with just about anything. “Calling things by their blunt names”? Quaint.

Comments (8) »

  • Mindy says:

    What sort of world do these people live in that they think being born Aboriginal is a ticket on a gravy train?* Have they ever actually been to a community they are so eager to hold up as ‘real’ or actually talked to an Aboriginal person living in urban Australia?

    *I am not Aboriginal.

  • hannah's dad says:

    How can I send you some material for your perusal and consideration?

  • Helen says:

    HD, check your email inbox. (That sounds a bit suss, like we’re exchanging State Secrets. Shhh!)

  • Kath Lockett says:

    That man is poison, true and simple. Even if he doesn’t necessarily believe everything he publicly espouses, he wallows in the cash that flows in from having not only dumb-and-faithful follows, but also the media watchers and outraged.

    The best thing we could do is never read a word of his again – he constantly brags about how many views his webpage gets and therefore this traffic equals more money and attention.

    Maybe someone more techno savvy and well known will be able to put together a facebook campaign to stop reading, viewing or listening to Andrew Bolt. No attention = no money = no power = nobody’s interested.

  • Kath Lockett says:


    and more well known than ‘me’

    Sorry. Still struggling with the flu but too eager to get a rant out!

  • Helen says:

    That’s why I *generally* avoid writing about him Kath. But he’s made this outrageous claim more than once in the media over the last week, so I thought I’d push back a bit.

    I put a “rel=nofollow” tag in the link when I link to someone like that, too. They get the link but not the Google ranking – not that it affects Bolta, but at least I’m not making it worse!

  • Kath Lockett says:

    Fair enough. I guess I’m writing from the personal standpoint that LC reads him every friggin’ day in order to keep tabs, stay outraged. Then – bless him – he tries to counter AB’s excreta, esp the guff on global warming denial. So much so that AB has banned him!

  • Helen says:

    ZOMG BUT LC’s FREEDOM OF SPEECH???!!!??? I guess some peoples’ FOS is more equal than others!

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