With the debut of the Bolt report, even I thought it would be better than it was! All the music and excitement at the start of the show! Wow – I was expecting fireworks with our very own Glen Beck equivalent rising up out of the smoke and hype! Unfortunately, all the bang and whiz was not matched by pizazz or content. It was if he was reading straight from his pitiful column in the Sun Herald. If I were Gina Rinehart, I would be asking for my money back! It seems that almost everybody was disappointed with the content. I guess Channel 10 will continue on its downward slide.
What was Andrew thinking? Here is an amusing review of the ‘Bolt Report’ by Tim Dick, Sydney Morning Herald’s media editor. His review is insightful and entertaining. Surely Boltie’s show should be called ‘Nuts and Bolts’ (as a good friend suggested the other day). Actually, that title would be misleading given that practical mechanics is a lot more exciting than the drivel we saw on Sunday!
The Bolt Report: all Bolt, no report
Tim Dick, Sydney Morning Herald media editor, May 9 2011
Read the original article here
Not having seen every attempt at television current affairs in Australia, it is impossible to judge The Bolt Report the worst. But surely it comes close.
Andrew Bolt’s Sunday morning shift from panellist on ABCInsiders to his own show on Network Ten has brought talk-back to TV, but it didn’t bring a pulse. It is named for Bolt, hosted by Bolt, and dominated by the Boltian worldview. It featured white middle-aged men talking about Boltian fundamentals – namely, the great climate change con and those refugees taking over the country – with a surfing Afghan refugee beamed in to be scolded for high unemployment among his compatriots.
The most interesting aspect of the first instalment is whether there will be a second. In its favour is that there are so few people who watch TV on Sunday mornings, it doesn’t really matter what is on the screen. Perhaps Ten could try the test signal next week for a livelier program.
Neither the energetic jingle, a red-on-red set, nor a logo recalling James Bond could lift Bolt’s program into the compelling car-crash television it presumably is meant to be. It ended up being Bolt’s tabloid newspaper column on the small screen, with the same topics but without its impact. It is also harder to skim to the predictable point and get your life back.
Bolt’s skill is to write the outrageous and craft an agenda, often based on “facts” which are little more than fantasy. He allowed his first guest, Tony Abbott, for instance, to bag the government’s climate change ambassador, Tim Flannery, for his recent comment that global climate action would have no effect for 1000 years.
Bolt, among the most ideological of interviewers, was never going to point out that Flannery didn’t say that. His point was that while climate action would not reduce average global temperatures for as many as 1000 years, such action is aimed at mitigating further temperature increases. But that does not fit Boltian fundamentals.
He must have been delighted to hear of Julia Gillard’s announcement on Saturday of a plan to swap some 800 asylum seekers for 4000 refugees with Malaysia. It duly dominated the program, with Abbott parroting Bolt’s lines, and Liberal powerbroker Michael Kroger joining the show alongside Mark Latham to furiously agree about how shockingly bad the government was.
It is hardly basking in glory right now, but general agreement is generally dull, which is The Bolt Report in two words. Bolt is not dull. But if his show continues in this fashion, it will prove only that he was better off where he was on Sunday morning, playing the contrarian on the ABC. And if Network Ten gave Bolt a show to give us a reason to tune in on Sunday mornings, we still don’t have one.
Tim Dick is Sydney Morning Herald media editor.