[csaa-forum] bolt is a nut

Catharine Lumby catharine.lumby at arts.usyd.edu.au
Fri Dec 3 12:18:45 CST 2004

I dont think indulging in some gentle mocking implies that Andrew Bolt 
or other neo-cons should be dismissed. Making fun of him is not the same 
as saying he is, himself, a joke. He's a commentator with a substantial 
platform and he is entitled to use it.  The question is what responses 
work best when dealing with conservative polemics. I think it's really 
important to avoid displays of outrage -  however justified - and to 
think really strategically about how to reach a broader public on key 
issues. Based on my own experience speaking and writing in the 
mainstream media, lots of people are turned off by what they perceive as 
academics and other commentators taking themselves too seriously. The 
Bolts of the world run on moral outrage and the politics of resentment. 
But there are plenty of people on the left who do authoritarian 
sanctimony pretty well themselves. Humour, satire, irony - I think they 
are useful tools for exposing hypocrisy and getting others to question 
received ideas.

Michael Richards wrote:

>I'm a little surprised to read comments by so many who take Andrew Bolt
>lightly, as though he was merely a sensationalist hack journalistic. My
>take is that he is a stooge of the extreme right, and quite an effective
>polemicist. He casts a very wide net and is a clever writer. He is
>readily able, and very willing, to address even the most innocuous and
>bland topics to produce highly partisan political diatribes that
>resonate strongly through a large part of the community. I do not
>believe he should be lightly dismissed, (except of course that if we
>convince ourselves he is a no account nutter, we may sleep better at
>Michael Richards.
>discussion list of the cultural studies association of australasia

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