And it wasn’t just racial hatred at stake — Bolt was also a sloppy journalist, Bromberg said, that had cynically penned the pieces in a bald-faced attempt to be “destructive of racial tolerance”. The provocative “manner” in which Bolt bent his keyboard was crucial.
“The reasons for that conclusion have to do with the manner in which the articles were written, including that they contained errors of fact, distortions of the truth and inflammatory and provocative language,” he said.
The wheelchair-bound Pat Eatock slammed Bolt’s journalistic credentials: “The research Mr Bolt claimed to have done all by himself and read thoroughly was absolute nonsense. He would have been kicked out of university in first year …”
Eatock also called on journalists to clean up their act: “We expect truth and honesty from newspapers, whether it’s opinion or not it has to be based on fact, not on fiction.”
Apparently Bolt googled and Wikipediaed most of his ‘information’ and didn’t fact-check anything with any of the people he was attacking.
The Judge ruled that a public apology in the offending newspaper should ensue and if it doesn’t he will force one.
Bolt, outside the court, was asked if he wanted to apologize but couldn’t bring himself to give one.
I have observed him for a long time and: He’s got a small brain, a big mouth and a glass jaw. He’ll be squealing like a stuck pig for ages now.
Bolt’s columns should never have been published and I do not think Bolt or the Herald Sun can justify their publication, essentially because they were riddled with inaccuracies. Commentary doesn’t have to be "balanced" or even "fair" but it has to be factually accurate. Commentary, even for a polemicist like Bolt, can’t be a piece of fiction. What’s more, I believe the editors of the Herald Sun should have pulled the columns because they were nasty and badly argued. . .
Bolt committed the offence of producing bad and shoddy journalism. His editors should have saved him from himself. They should apologise for having failed to do so.
Samples of Andrew Bolt’s lies…
Andrew Bolt conceded he made errors in two columns found to be unlawful under the Racial Discrimination Act last week but claimed that ”none seemed to me to be of consequence”. Justice Mordecai Bromberg disagreed, finding Bolt’s writings were ”grossly incorrect”, and contained ”significant distortion of the facts”. This was critical to why his defence failed. Here is a sample:
BOLT: ”For many of these fair Aborigines, the choice to be Aboriginal can be considered almost arbitrary and intensely political, given how many of their ancestors are in fact Caucasian.”
BROMBERG: ”In relation to most of the individuals concerned, the assertion in the newspaper articles that the people dealt with chose to identify as Aboriginal have been substantially proven to be untrue. Nine of the 18 named … gave evidence. Each of them had been raised to identify as Aboriginal and had identified as such since childhood. None of them made a conscious or deliberate choice to identify as Aboriginal.”
BOLT: ”[Associate Professor Anita] Heiss … won plum jobs reserved for Aborigines at Koori Radio, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board and Macquarie University’s Warawara Department of Indigenous Studies.”
BROMBERG: ”Each of those assertions was erroneous. Mr Bolt accepted that they were wrong because they were exaggerated. One of the positions that Mr Bolt claimed Ms Heiss had won as a ‘plum job’ was a voluntary unpaid position. The other two positions were not reserved for Aboriginal people but were positions for which Aboriginal people were encouraged to apply.”
BOLT: ”[Pat Eatock] thrived as an Aboriginal bureaucrat, activist and academic.”
BROMBERG: ”The comment is unsupported by any factual basis and is erroneous. Ms Eatock has had only six to six-and-a-half years of employment since 1977.”
BOLT: ”[Ms] Eatock only started to identify as Aboriginal when she was 19, after attending a political rally.”
BROMBERG: ”This statement is untrue. Ms Eatock recognised herself to be an Aboriginal person from when she was eight years old whilst still at school and did not do so for political reasons.”
BOLT: ”Acclaimed St Kilda artist Bindi Cole… was raised by her English-Jewish mother yet calls herself ‘Aboriginal but white’.”
BROMBERG: ”That statement is factually inaccurate because Ms Cole’s Aboriginal grandmother also raised Ms Cole and was highly influential in Ms Cole’s identification as an Aboriginal.”
BOLT: ”[Ms Cole] rarely saw her part-Aboriginal father.”
BROMBERG : ”That statement is factually incorrect. Ms Cole’s father was Aboriginal and had been a part of her life until she was six years old. Ms Cole later lived with her father for a year whilst growing up.”
BOLT: ”The very pale Professor Larissa Behrendt, who may have been raised by her white mother but today, as a professional Aborigine, is chairman of our biggest taxpayer-funded Aboriginal television service.”
BROMBERG: ”The factual assertions made were erroneous. Professor Behrendt’s Aboriginal father did not separate from her mother until Professor Behrendt was about 15 years old. Her father was always part of the family during her upbringing, even after that separation.”
BOLT: ”Larissa Behrendt has also worked as a professional Aborigine ever since leaving Harvard Law School, despite looking almost as German as her father … But which people are ‘yours’, exactly, mein liebchen? And isn’t it bizarre to demand laws to give you more rights as a white Aborigine than your own white dad?”
BROMBERG: ”To her knowledge, there is no German descent on either her father or mother’s side of the family although she assumes that because of her father’s Germanic surname, there may have been some German descent.
Her paternal grandfather came to Australia from England. Mr Bolt also referred to her father as being white. Her father had dark skin.”
BOLT: ”Take the most prominent Yorta Yorta leaders – Melbourne University academic Wayne Atkinson and Victorian Traditional Owners Land Justice Group co-chair Graham Atkinson. Both are Aboriginal because their Indian great-grandfather married a part-Aboriginal woman.
”How can Graham Atkinson be co-chair of the Victorian Traditional Owners Land Justice Group when his right to call himself Aboriginal rests on little more than the fact that his Indian great-grandfather married a part-Aboriginal woman?”
BROMBERG: ”The facts given by Mr Bolt and the comment made upon them are grossly incorrect. The Atkinsons’ parents are both Aboriginal as are all four of their grandparents and all of their great grandparents other than one who is the Indian great-grandfather that Mr Bolt referred to in the article.”
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