My reply to Gordon Weiss’s lousy article on Bolt et al
I was outraged – and I am not the only one – by Gordon Weiss’s lousy and lazy reporting in his article, “So, Did Andrew Bolt have a point?”. Everything about the article showed how grossly under and un-informed he is about the topic he chose to write about. Writing “The Court also found [Bolt’s] articles contained factual inaccuracies” is akin to saying that flaws were found with The Hand that Signed the Paper. One can only conclude that Mr Weiss has not read the judgment in question, which is a shame, as he would undoubtedly have produced a better informed article, and have a better sense of the issues he purported to canvass in his article, if he had.
The perspectives Mr Weiss discusses in his article range from Andrew Bolt, to Anthony Dillon, who basically agrees with Bolt, sans personal abuse of fairer skinned Indigenous Australians. And, of course, The Australian, which plainly heavily influences Mr Weiss’s perspective. I presume this is how he got the impression that Bess Price is “rural based” – she lives in Alice Springs.
Considering the high hopes that many of us had for The Global Mail, and that Mr Weiss has produced serious reporting in the past, this article was a serious disappointment. We hope for better from both in future.
Update: to give you a sense of the style
Since the lousy report by Weiss, the Global Mail has featured a response to him, and also a new article about how Bolt’s articles were full of factual errors. An excerpt
Thirdly, there were not “a few factual errors”. There were many. Some “grossly incorrect”.
So how many errors were there? In all the volumes of commentary it seems no-one has counted them.
The Herald Sun‘s hometown rival newspaper, The Age, began a list in the early aftermath of the judgment, in an article gleefully titled “Andrew Bolt: Australia’s least accurate columnist?”
The Age was content to stop at 13. Bromberg in fact identified at least 19 errors
— in two articles. (Paragraphs 351 to 413)
The only irony of the article is that it complains about how commentators in the Murdoch press dismissed or trivialised Bolt’s many, many factual errors – when this blog posts shows that’s exactly what Gordon Weiss did too. Now, I think a case might be made nevertheless that the decision was problematic, and even that if Bolt’s errors were careless rather than reckless perhaps they should be covered by freedom of speech. But as Austin notes, it’s hard to have a discussion of the case and its issues when they have been so uniformly misrepresented by the media debate.