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. 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. 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”.

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