The Bolt Report

Andrew Bolt’s first show on TEN offered up some of his favourite topics: refugees, climate change and politics.

If the intent of The Bolt Report was to do what Bolt does so eloquently in print and talkback radio -provoke a reaction- it is off to a good start.

But how does it fit with TEN’s news revamp as a serious news broadcaster? Its first outing succeeded more as a forum for its host than its subjects, with a distinct lack of impartiality and balance.

On a Coca-Cola red set, Bolt’s opening editorial let rip at the Gillard Government’s new deal with Malaysia, to send 800 Refugees back in exchange for accepting 4000 of theirs. It was as if the announcement had been timed perfectly for his premiere episode. Bolt made lots of comparisons with the Howard Government’s policy on “boat people” (a term that featured throughout the show) and Gillard’s “disastrous” policy. It was uncompromising, personal and stilted.

It was followed by Tony Abbott as Bolt’s first interview, in a free kick at the government. Bolt didn’t let Abbott finish his first 3 questions, but a friendly Abbott was still happy to congratulate him on his first outing -“May it flourish,” he said.

Bolt didn’t tackle Abbott hard enough on his own policies, laughing when an answer was avoided.

Next up were Liberal powerbroker Michael Kroger and former Labor Leader Mark Latham, continuing with the refugee issue. Kroger was the show’s best performer: articulate, concise, covering several points. Latham didn’t defend Labor policies, raising more questions about balance. Given his zeal for the spotlight of late its doubtful that he was looking to push a Labor line rather than a Latham line. As a result it felt like one opinion from three mouths rather than a black and white conversation with a moderator.

More refugee content followed via an edited interview with Riz Wakil, billed as an “Afghan Refugee” rather than “Former Afghan Refugee”, despite telling Bolt he arrived here at the age of 18 -11 years ago.

“I understand your family is still in Pakistan, why didn’t you stay in Pakistan? Why didn’t you stay in Indonesia?” asked Bolt.


A testy discussion followed with Bolt keen to footnote his own views on the back of Wakil’s answers. After more than 15 minutes of anti-Refugee discussion, this did little to show another side to the issue. With no credits (either on the show or on the TEN website) it’s hard to know which producer to blame for this imbalance.

The show rounded out with a Spin of the Week segment (I thought we had been watching it already?) and two more called Under the Radar and Free Speech Award.

Bolt’s hosting of the show was awkward when reading the autocue, but more effective when in a debate.

However, Insiders showed he is more effective as a commentator than host, a role which requires more moderating and less editorialising. Can Bolt possibly have it both ways?

Or is there room for a show where the guests are there to further the views of the host? Ask Glenn Beck of FOX News…

But the bottom line may be about “shock jock” television, to ignite the viewer to become as mad as hell and simply tune in to cheer or hiss the lead player -either may well win them more viewers than a replay of the latest Video Hits clip.

The more considered viewers will stick around for the balance of Meet the Press at 10:30am hosted by Paul Bongiorno. Yesterday it interviewed Greens leader Bob Brown. He wasn’t a fan of Gillard’s new agreement with Malaysia either, but not for the same reasons as Bolt. Questioned by two other journos everybody shared a range of views without raising their voice or being interrupted.

Meet The Press has been on TEN since 1996.

The Bolt Report airs 10am Sundays on TEN.


  1. Andrew – Please Please can you increase your programme to one hour as the present allocation of half an hour isn’t nearly long enough – No sooner has it our attention,then its finished – 1 hour would be better – Dave and Barbara

  2. Well watched this morning Mr Bolt, Mr Reith and Mr Crumlin.

    It was good to see Mr Crumlin sit and let the Bolt and Reith tie themselves in knots

    Mr Crumlin had a reasonable answer to each issue Bolt and Reith brought up they didn’t debate any further they just changed the subject. Made a wrong choice there Mr Bolt egg on face Mr Crumlin was smarter than you thought.

    The topic of productivity was brought up and mentioned in a report Mr Crumlin highlight the issue lack of investment problem I remember that exact same assesment being highlight Many years ago it is a business / managment that is short sighted that is our problem not the unions.

  3. This is for Andrew as I have been following his career for a while now and generally agree with him.
    My name is Wayne and I live in Hervey Bay Qld.
    Allowing for media hysterics, there is still no doubt the Labour party and the Greens are the worst government we have ever had. People up here spit at the mention of Gillard and would hang Brown if they had a chance.They are killing Australia by their policies and lies
    Indeed if I could draw cartoons I would draw one of Australia burning with Gillard and Brown in front holding a box of matches and a container of petrol saying “We didnt do it! (but we will blame Libs anyway)”
    Which brings me to the point of Parliament question time on tv.This is just a mark of disrespect to the public with their laughter and jokes
    Imagine a fisherman put out of work becuase the Greens made his fishing grounds a national park. He’s out of work and has to sell his house and in desperation he ask his local member to put the question to Gillard as to why she and the Greens took his livelihood away , which the member does.
    She replies “Mr Speaker, the Liberals had exactly the same policy some 10 yrs ago (laughter from from Labour bench) And indeed Mr Speaker, (more laughter) the opposition had more plans on National parks, ect… (more laughter).
    If you were the unemployed fisherman watching your prime minister laugh off your situation, what would you think?

  4. A.J. O'GRADY

    Must thank channel 10 management and board for their new low budget comedy show, The Bolt Revile whoops sorry report. If I had not read Blinded by the Right by David Brooks I would probably thought it was unbiased. No, I would have realised it was some media outlets laugh at the intelligents of the Australian public. I would suspect that after the Australian public bought the con that the Liberals are good economic managers e.g. mum and dad investors buying what they already owned, Telstra. To sell of our gold reserves at $400 per oz, it is now over $1600 per oz. No wonder channel 10 thought the general public was an easy mark. A suggestion to management would be to bring Alan Jones on board and we would really have a great comedy double. The Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis of the Australian media. Martin and Lewis were actually talented, the same cannot be said of the other two. Their campaign of ” fear and loathing” is typical right wing propaganda. Fear of the unknown is easy to create fictitious facts. Loathing of experts was one of John Howards ploys although he called them elites. Thanks to 10 I have found more to do with my Sunday mornings.

  5. Michael Burd

    The two Malcolm s Turnbull and Frazer two peas in a Pod I wonder if Turnbull lost his pants also before he to went feral ..

    Michael Burd

  6. Andrew makes me laugh!.., just another biased right-wing shock jock on the liberal
    party payroll, what a joke you are andrew!, and well done ch ten for giving andrew his own show, and the opportunity to make a complete d*ck of himself as usual.
    Can andrew tell me what position tony abbott would be in at this moment in time,
    had the 3 independants voted in the liberal party instead, and taking into account
    the power the greens now have in the senate?

  7. The general concensus of the Australian people is that a carbon tax is not wanted. Given we are a democratic country, can the government’s stance on introducing this money grab be attacked by your program.

    In order to maintain democracy, can the Govener General step in and sack this incompetent, ignorant and arrogant government.

    Why should a Government continue to exist when they clearly lie.
    There should an oathe that these prime ministers take, to ensure voters are not misrepresented in the term of the government.

    After all, a lie told in court is a crime. Is our society now condoning lies.

  8. How about obtaining Professor Ian Plimer to come on your segment or you make the community aware of his detailed and down to earth publication- heaven+earth : Global Warming : The Missing Science.

    A debate between and Garnaut would be great but at least let people know that his book exists.

    Congratulations on your presentations.


  9. The ‘Bolt’ is doing a proactive diservice to humanity. Its doing a wonderful job of servicing multinational industry and pro capitalist objectives who are lining their pockets at the expense of Australians and our children’s future. Look at the facts not at the propaganda fuelled by greed!

  10. JustThink4Once

    The Dolt Distort is nothing more than a Liberal party infomercial.
    Sure, it makes the right wingers of Australia happy. Validating their mantra that any electoral result that doesn’t go their way is the result of serious mental illness on the part of the population. However, to spew hatred at all things not Liberal and turn a blind eye to the obvious deficiencies of Abbott’s policy patch-ups displays an arrogance that is breathtaking.
    For the record I have in the past voted Liberal, but never Labour. Unfortunately for both major parties, I have a brain and very good bullshit detector. The Bolt’s of the world are not worthy of my serious attention as their views are not considered opinion. Merely rallying cries for the delusionally faithfull that blindly support their party on everything they offer. Even when it contradicts previously held policies.
    So, a suitable summary of the bolt report would be “$heep $hit”.

  11. A.J. O'GRADY

    A very boring and lackluster programme presented by a very boring lackluster man. Surely the new board members can do better to protect shareholders investments

  12. Barry Chapman

    An drew, Please,Please stand for membership of the Liberal Party and then Leadership you are the first intelligent Member since Peter Coastello and boy does this country need someone who actually knows what is needed. Thanks for your programme it really makes us believe this country has a future. Regards Barry Chapman.

  13. iris of perth

    Good on Andrew I think he is doing well, at last we have a different slant on poititics because every other politcal show is all about Labour and how great they are and i am sick of these lefties, commies who can’t see the wood for the trees as far as the Labour parties concerned with their policies and stuff ups, I hope channel ten keep Andrew on.

  14. Sorry got to laugh at the people defending bolt and critising 7pm project for bias. Do you even realise he show got rise from his appearences as a panalist on the 7pm project and is still noted as a fill in panalist as well as his radio show buddy Steve Price who seems to share pretty similar views!

  15. I await the time where this show or any other on Australian commercial television show actual debate where all sides are canvased. This country is full of opinion but little to no debate so how will we ever learn true tolerance and understanding?

  16. I like the way the show is presented by andrew, and I would like him to keep up on the carbon tax in particular the cost and not the science as this angle is worn thin by experts in disagreement without solutions.
    In going to Costs I would like Andrew to look at the huge cost of going to the gillard/greens plan of “Solar & wind” this is estimated to be $370 Billion over 10 years taken from the Melbourne Institute Zero Carbon Plan fully documented.
    Based on the compared cost of a “Direct Action plan”of converting power stations to Natural Gas over time at $1.2 Billion each (General Electric price) starting with the brown coal plantsa big difference in costs appear.
    The difference in the applied carbon tax for each plan is huge and is derived from the comment from Greg Combey that it would take $40.00 per ton to get generators to switch to gas in total for $1.2b x 30 power stations, so it follows that “solar & wind” would cost at least $350 .00 per ton carbon tax to get them to switch to these unreliable sources.
    With the public already mindfull of the cost suggestion of $26.00 per ton it would seem that only a switch to say half of our power stations to gas could be arranged on this tax, or if it were stretched over more time it could be gas without a tax at all we did this with steam trains didn’t we?
    A switch to gas from brown coal reduces carbon by 70% from black coal by 50% with bonus of 33% increase in efficiency at least 25% of our carbon footprint is derived from coal fired power stations so it would be easy to arrive at total 5% by 2020 with a substancial increase if we do more gas conversions by this time and without a tax.
    It seems that if we are to clean up pollution and not just carbon we can afford the direct action plan with no tax, if we go to “Solar& Wind” as a mainstay we should prepare for dark days economics & power included.

  17. I want to express my heartfelt congratulations on an excellently crafted presentation. Your program ranks very highly in my view, and makes television viewing well worthwhile.

  18. Excellent program!!!! I wonder for how long it will be possible to maintain
    this “bold” program….finally we are able to know what s happening Outside this country….!

  19. If these views are the views of the majority, then it proves that the majority do not think very deeply or objectively at all anymore.

    This was a shoddy tabloid rag on TV. Unciritical, unbalanced and very, very Religious-Right American in format. I do not like left wing propaganda, nor right wing propaganda. I crave an intrelligent debate on serious issues, and this guy just carries on like a rambling housewife who doesn’t want to hear anyone else’s opinion. His smug and supercilious attitude is repulsive.

    The show’s Right vs Left mantra is boring, it’s a childish ploy and simply a strawman and an excuse for dressing stupidity up as being vaguely credible. “Lets bash lefties. They’re to blame for everything. They’re all dumb coz they hug trees and use big words”. If this is where the level of thinking is at, then Australia is heading down the same road of Idiocracy that the United States has already sold its soul and future to. This show is just plain stooopid!

  20. Well, it is obvious that Bolty is much needed. Going by the influx of lefty comment here it clearly shows we need bolt to express the views of the socially sain. It will put these lefty jorno’s to bed finally and get points across that are actually factual instead of the lefty world of make believe.

  21. Somebody posted this elsewhere and it’s almost my sentiments exactly:

    “As a liberal voter, Andrew Bolt is the worst face of right wing politics in Australia. He twists facts to the point of deception, which is not what the rightfully cynical public need nor want to hear.
    His climate sceptic perspective is profoundly ridiculous; leaving conservatives holding hands with conspiracy theorist nut-cases. Stick to logic and facts to push your political preferences and then you have a message worth listening to.
    Verdict: unenlightening to the point of stupidity.”

  22. David Dixon

    I usually disagree with everything Andrew says, but all view deserve equal expossure in a free society like Australia. I have no time for people who believe those of opinions different to their own should be muzzled. Long may Andrew be heard and long may he sprook on his beliefs in a free Australia.

  23. Many here label Bolt an extremist without ever giving an example. At best topic matter is thrown up as if that must imply some extreme. Are you guys seriously suggesting that these things cannot be discussed?
    The real problem here is that Bolt throws out a viewpoint different to your own. Rather than think through anything said it is easier and lazier to give him a badge such an right wing, extremist, shock jock etc then dismiss his opinion without having to take any responsibility for why you disagree.

  24. Kerry Douglas

    Excellent show! Well done Andrew. About time we got some balance in news affairs. Sick of the socialist government promoting their agenda through the media.

  25. only watched the bolt report today,but never again.its all about his own agenda.labor bashing, and climate change propoganda.i watched meet the press directly after.what a refreshing change to hear mature panelists with fair and honest opinions. channel 10 should do us all a favour and axe it. its pathetic and mindless ranting about everthing that bolt believes. i noticed he only chooses guests that agree with him. he has his own agenda. anyone that biased should not have their own programme. he has no integrity.

  26. Richard Bond

    thank you for the opportunity.

    Andrews’ presentation denies the product. He looks as though he might be sensible, but in fact disappoints when he opens his mouth and reveals his thinking is fixed at median viewer level, where gibberish suffices. Highly opinionated in a direction only to appease the masses and generally missing the point, he was sounding more like an Abbott apprentice, than the free thinking Bolt we would have preferred to see. Too much public appeasing media gibberish for me, I’m afraid. I would not have been surprised if he had touched upon, what Kate and Bill were doing on honeymoon…aheh,aheh,aheh….just like the channel 9 perverts. I still prefer to think he is capable of better things.

  27. I don’t think any political party should have its own talk show…there should be a moderator with some degree of impartiality…I can’t help thinking of Hugo Chavez when I hear Bolt talking.
    The Bolt Report is nothing short of a party political broadcast! Could the political preferences of the new board members have something to do with this? Hmmm.

  28. the second show was an improvement on the first. Andrew has some good guests and this week he gave them a little more time. keep that up.

  29. @lita – they are great ratings – supposedly the network was only expecting 40k for the initial show, Bolt’s ratings were comparable to other political/news shows, like Insiders

  30. As a regular guest on the Insiders (ABC 1) Bolt came across as a supercilious person who lapsed into sulkiness when he had to listen to others. On the Bolt Report he was all smiles as all he had to do was ask tendentious questions and get the answers he wanted. Very shallow but conservatives will love it (just like his blog).
    I doubt if it will sway too many in the centre ( like myself) but when the ratings start to drop away (which they will) what will happen to the format? Keep preaching to the converted or try a little more balance. We will see.

  31. Andrew Bolt is a self centred person who is only interested in his opinion and that of those who agree with him. I have met him at Bendigo Street and he was more rude to me than anyone I had ever met there, and believe me, you meet some very rude people in the industry.

  32. How distressing it must be for the Boltie supporters to learn of the abysmal ratings of the first episode of the show:

    The Bolt Report Ten 163,000 19,000 53,000 52,000 24,000 15,000
    The Bolt Report Encore Rpt Ten 123,000 25,000 47,000 28,000 9,000 14,000
    (ratings figures taken from here: )

    Not as much of a roaring success as they hoped, surely? And I bet, even with all of the money spent on advertising this show to death, that the ratings figures for the second episode will decrease.

    Seeing as channel 1) is really only interested in the bottom dollar, it will be hard to keep funding such a sinking ship, especially with lots of advertisers pulling their ads away:

  33. Mike Retter:

    You wrote: “The accusations of the ABC being biased is rubbish. How can the most regulated and accurate news source in the country be the most biased?”

    Simple, really. The ABC board is stacked with right-wing nutters, agro kindergarten teachers and, I suspect, rabid ute drivers. A good dose of tripe and onions would work wonders.

  34. Where does one startt?

    Apparently some people in this country do not like free speech. David Knox here deserves the right to say what he likes, so he should for that is part and parcel to what free speech means. However it seems to me The Bolt Report hit a chord he doesn’t like. Perhaps the truth hurts those who cannot admit it. Next Mr Knox will be throwing up the ABC’s Q & A as a glowing example of unbiased television.

    Excuse me while I reach for my emesis bag.

    Don’t Cop It Australia

    The Bolt Report was a success, it scared David here.

  35. Hilarious claims of the left wing bias of the ABC from people who have obviously not watched the ABC in a long time.

    Reporters like Melissa Clarke should just wear ‘I love the Liberal party’ t-shirts they are so biased.

  36. ABC, especially its ABC News Radio is blatantly one-sided, no different to the blatant one-sidedness of the talkback radio jockeys. But listening to both sides gives a good indication of the middle ground, or what is the correct point of view. It’s good to have another point of view, but it’s bias is no different to that brought upon by the left-wing oriented media.

  37. Wonderful at last someone with a conservative slant, at long last .
    Sick to death of the leftwing bias ABC
    Well done to Andrew Bolt and channel 10!
    Watch the ratings!

  38. Great article Mr Knox. There is no hate spreading leftie equivalent to this rubbish on TV. This guy is an extremist and it is right to scrutinise the decision to give him such a national journalistic platform. It is a shame people will listen to this guy on serious issues like climate change over actual climate scientists.

    The accusations of the ABC being biased is rubbish. How can the most regulated and accurate news source in the country be the most biased? If the ABC shows bias or is inaccurate they get in trouble, unlike the rest of the media in this country.

    I am sure the boycott Ten facebook page is doing a roaring trade right now.

  39. All I can say is that it’s been an eye opening experience checking out links to some of the contributors’ usernames on this topic …

  40. That’s rich talking about lack of impartiality and balance. Don’t like it when the boot’s on the other foot? Bolt does what the mainstream media finds itself incapable or unwilling to do, investigate hysterical governmental claims re climate change and the carbon tax fiasco, and it’s inept policy on asylum seekers. Good on him, and may his program be extended to a one hour broadcast in future.

  41. ABC which includes Insiders, TV tonight, etc, is banned from my family’s list of viewing and If i can find a way to delete ABC from my internal list of tv stations, I will be attempting to find a way, while I’ll be watching every episode of the Bolt Report. and anything that supports him. ABC is totally useless with regards to telling us the truth and facts. I get my facts from FB, 2Gb and Andrew Bolt’s blogs. I know this email won’t have an affect on you, but the more people i talk into not watching you, the less ratings you’ll get

  42. Every other program to which you have referred in this article is blatantly biased towards Labor. So why don’t you call for balance from them Mr Knox? Showing your true collies, methinks.

  43. I get annoyed when Andrew Bolt chooses to label the ABC as an arm of the ALP, then openly hosts a show that is clearly aims to push a right winged agenda.
    Hypocrite! I’m almost “incandescent with rage”.

  44. Geez David, you’ve forgotten Rule No. 1 – never talk about politics or religion!
    I fear that this site has now been discovered by those cretinous rednecks who foul up other websites claiming to represent ‘the majority’ when they are actually only about 5 people with multiple accounts paid to push an agenda. They’re like the sheep on Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’.
    This is a really sad day for TV Tonight, it will never be the same again.

  45. I didn’t see the Bolt Report (yet), but still, they should put in credits, or is the current policy of this network and Seven/Nine to have 3 ads per half hour? BTW, here’s another example of why in some of their own productions, the commercial networks aren’t honoring their staff.

    Look at Nine’s RBT. Decent locally made show where drink drivers and druggies get busted on camera, but the bad news…the only credits we got are “Produced In Association With The NSW and Victoria Police Forces” and the Screentime logo (with underneath). Would it kill Nine to put some decent credits in, or they can’t afford it? Ohhh…they can, but they’ll have to drop one ad break to fit it in. (come on Nine, Border Security has end credits!) Another couple of shows with no credits are Customs and Send In The Dogs Australia. And…how about Ten’s locally made factual shows like Bondi Rescue and Bondi Vet?

  46. I wonder if next weeks panel will be more rounded. Say, Alan Jones, Piers Akerman and anyone from The Australian or 2GB? Oh hang on, Bolt will need a token woman to agree with him. Better call Miranda Devine to join in and through any of the following:

    1. Terrible policies from labor
    2. Dole bludgers (and labour’s support of course)
    3. Boat people!
    4. Crime (and how labour is doing lite about it)
    5. Boat people?
    6. Time for a wrap up on all of the above.

    Seriously Ten (pun intended)? What a predictable joke.

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