In a snide way, including by claiming to be an Indigenous Australian himself, Andrew Bolt continues his anti-Aboriginal campaign on his new show. Senior correspondent Barry Everingham reports.
On Sunday morning across Australia, 136,000 people tuned to Channel 10 to watch Andrew Bolt give his unique views on a plethora of subjects. His pet topic was the Welcome to Country tradition which has grabbed the headlines since Ted Baillieu decided – with, of course, National party prodding – that his Ministers could please themselves if they took part in it or not.
Now Bolt’s views on Aboriginals and Aboriginality are well known — so much so that he recently found himself in Federal Court to explain his views away.
Bolt’s usual crash or crash through style has been somewhat neutered of late — the judge hearing that matter is yet to hand down his judgement, so Mr Bolt’s legal team have told him to cool it.
Seems our Andrew is not as macho as he would have us believe — Derryn Hinch had the balls to name a paedophile on radio after the man’s name has been specifically withheld from the public.
This could result in the broadcaster again going to jail for contempt — but it didn’t stop him before it hasn’t stopped him now and I guess it won’t stop in the future.
Bolt has decided to take the sly, snide approach rather than be up-front like Hinch.
And yesterday’s programme – it was my first time looking at it – was manna from heaven for Bolt.
His arrogance was in full flight.
Let me digress for a brief moment.
In my view — Bolt should stick to the written word; he writes beautifully (although the content in 99.9% of the time is pure unadulterated crap). He is a master of construction and his point is never missed.
His readership – and let’s face it, it runs into the millions – hang on his every word.
But on TV, he is dreadful.
His producers could, if they knew what they were doing, coach him in interviewing techniques.
His performances on ABC TV’s The Insiders and Q&A gave his rage full vent along with his pathetic head shaking in disbelief when other panellists had the temerity to disagree with him — all of this was pure viewing gold.
But as a presenter, Bolt it seems wants to be a mirror of the egregious Bill O’Reilly on Fox “News”; he just doesn’t cut it.
O’Reilly has absolutely no shame — he is an arrogant, ignorant, racist, pig.
Being a nice guy to interviewees isn’t in Bolt’s DNA.
Nor is it in his DNA to be an Indigenous Australian, as he was so clearly reminded by Dr Richard Walley on yesterday morning’s report.
Bolt was being his usual patronising self, but his self-control was admirable — on past performances he must have been seething inside and I bet when he got home the cat was kicked.
Dr Walley reminded viewers, it’s a wise man who knows his own father (laughter from Andrew) but every man knows who his mother is — in Walley’s case the female line can be traced back for hundreds, if not thousands, of generations and they – all of them – were Aboriginal.
Bolt, is a first generation Australian whose parents both were newly arrived from Holland – I am sixth – but I don’t deprive those who were here thousands of years before my white ancestor came the right to some sort of “ownership” rights.
We stole their land and murdered their people and tried to extinguish their ancient traditions.
One of my ancestral grandfather’s sons married the last full blood Aboriginal woman of the Hawkesbury River tribe and today our family is proud to count many Aboriginals on the family tree.
Andrew Bolt claimed in his show that he is an “Indigenous Australian” because he was born here. Digging into the comment, its plain that its really a snide little inside joke related to the court action by Larissa Behrendt and other Aborigines who Bolt mocked as being too white to claim to be true Aboriginals. He has form doing this.
Here’s what Bolt said in his piece “Too hip to be black”:
Meet the white face of a new black race — the political Aborigine.
Meet, say, acclaimed St Kilda artist Bindi Cole, who was raised by her English-Jewish mother yet calls herself “Aboriginal but white”.
She rarely saw her part-Aboriginal father, and could in truth join any one of several ethnic groups, but chose Aboriginal, insisting on a racial identity you could not guess from her features.
She also chose, incidentally, the one identity open to her that has political and career clout.
What Bolt is saying on his show, by claiming to be Indigenous, is that anyone can claim to be an Aboriginal, even a first generation Dutchman like him.
Yes, for people like Andrew Bolt, and the ultra-right-wing think tank that gives him most of his anti-Indigenous material, the Bennelong Society, you can tell if someone is Aboriginal by how black they are.
Didn’t that sort of discrimination go out of fashion 40 years ago?
The argument goes that Aborigines have no culture or society, or at least none worth keeping.
To get an idea of the crowd Bolt hangs with, last month he helped launch the head of the Bennelong Society Gary Johns’ book ‘Aboriginal Self-Determination: The Whiteman’s Dream’. The “respectable” broadsheet stable-mate of Andrew Bolt’s employer, The Australian, published an extract from this anti-Indigenous diatribe recently, where Johns’ spoke about the unworthiness of Aboriginal identity and the evil of Aboriginal culture. Here's a taste:
“Aboriginal culture, in any sense in which the original inhabitants practised it, is long gone. Elements of the original that remain…are illegal or…just plain evil. Aboriginal identity and culture …should not be force-fed to the rest of the nation…”
The Bennelong Society, Gary Johns and the snide Andrew Bolt are racists — they angrily claim not to be, but the proof is in the pudding.
Managing editor David Donovan will be talking more about these figures and some other anti-Aboriginal campaigners who are attempting to make racism respectable again in a soon-to-be-published column. Watch this space.