Andrew Bolt has been a little more testy than usual lately.
He has latched on to a narrative about The Drum publishing a blogger (who does/does not exist and is/is not a send up).
It’s not entirely clear whether his outrage is driven by the opinions expressed or because these opinions are “leftist”, or because they were aired on the Drum. Pick one....
Other things however are very obvious.
His behaviour towards anyone who disagrees with him frequently descends to a refined form of bullying.
I’ve been banned from his blog more often than I’ve had hot dinners, but a pattern has emerged. I get banned, and then get posted again, apparently when his moderators get absent-minded. Whether or not I’m banned in the first place seems to be related to how silly my posts make Bolt look.
Let me give you a few examples.
On 21st July 2009, Bolt posted a thread which claimed that turnout to the 2008 presidential election was less than at previous polls. This was quite wrong, of course, and it wasn’t difficult to access official data to confirm it.
I posted a correction and linked it to the source.
My post attracted no comment from the moderators, but the usual torrent of abuse from his loyal acolytes turned up right on cue.
Next day, I posted again, with a mild comment on an unrelated topic. I was banned in shouty text –
SNIP. YOU ARE SO BITTER IT’S CREEPY. AND SO DETERMINED TO OBJECT TO WHATEVER’S WRITTEN HERE THAT YOU’RE BORING. SO I THINK FROM NOW ON WE'LL BAN YOU AS A TROLL…..”
Click on the screen shot and read the comment from "Andrew of Pearce". He's nailed it.
This was at first confusing, but then I remembered being banned before when I pointed out that Bolt had posted a graph that showed exactly the opposite of what he was arguing. In this instance, that post got through, but it was the next one – again unrelated, and pretty mild, that was snipped.
The graph at the top of this post was the one that got me banned because I pointed out that the trend was upward, and that the downward bits were anomalies. Andrew obviously doesn't know the difference. Pointing this out was what did the damage.
The penny dropped. Bolt doesn’t like being made to look silly on his own blog, so anyone seen as a potential threat is blocked. Because he is slipshod, it usually happens after the event.
The banning was my comeuppance – if a bit late.
His moderators are half asleep, or he doesn’t pay them enough – possibly both.
Another pattern has emerged.
I have two other pseudonyms under which I post. The opinions expressed and the words used to express them are no different from posts under my 1735099 moniker, but I have never been banned or snipped using these other screen names. It's only 1735099 that gets censored.
He’s obviously a bit twitchy about a Vietnam Vet taking him on. It may not got down well with his basically conservative audience.
His work has a couple of basic characteristics.
He has a very thin skin. It's as well I don't - given the abuse I cop from Bolt's acolytes. A very clear double standard operates.
He is prone to bullying and shouting down his critics (other evidence of this is clear from his appearances on Insiders).
His analysis and research skills are of a very low order for someone who claims to be a journalist.
Getting back to his bullying of the alleged blogger referred to above. It occurred to me that he might be prepared to argue the toss with me on a few issues, so I posted this challenge on his blog.
It wasn’t published, so I sent him an email.
Still no response. So not only does this “journalist” have a thin skin, he also lacks the cojones to take on a blogger who might offer him a challenge.
He makes a living out of it, after all – I’m a rank amateur, a 63 year old codger who works for a living and blogs for fun.
I’ve obviously got him well and truly bluffed……