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100 responses to “Saturday Salon”

  1. Dave Bath

    Via “The Economist” … the relationship between average erect penile length and economic growth… (inverted U, not to big, not too small). A new meaning to economic stimulus? Questions to the Treasurer?

    Helsinki Center for Economic Research.
    “Male Organ and Economic Growth: Does Size Matter?”
    ISSN 1795-0562

    There’s a very tight correlation, better than to political system … but let’s just watch all the sociologists and economists try to argue WHY.

    And imagine the spam … “Grow your economy to satisfy the markets”?

  2. haiku

    Fisrt. Go Cadel.

  3. Fran Barlow

    The suspect in the Norway bombing/shooting is Anders Berhring Breivik. He or someone has recently created facebook and twitter accounts in this name. It’s said that he is on the right of politics and has academic qualifications in micro and macro finance.

    The one tweet in this nym runs as follows:

    One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100 000 who have only interests.

    He is associated with a business called “geofarm” which seems to be an internet referral portal (the last I saw they were pushing electronic cigarettes (an item doing the rounds of twitter as spam).

  4. MH

    Andrew Bolt is frantically searching for the right people to blame:


  5. Katz

    Heh, MH, Bolta shot himself in the foot with his premature speculation.

    Stop it, Bolta. You’ll go blind!

  6. drsusancalvin

    “Hokey Pokey” folk-ey noted for Senatorial karaoke not okey-dokie.

  7. patrickg

    I love that undaunted when proven 100% wrong, he then claims: “Even so, the history of Islamic violence in Scandinavia suggests Muslim immigration there has been a bad deal for the locals”. Nice work, you despicable, racist worm. You must be so disappointed.

    The standard of Bolt’s jabbering: “He runs a “Geofarm”, which suggests he’d have access to chemicals and lots of fertiliser. ”

    Of course, three seconds research would have shown that geofarm is a *link-farming* website, making money from click-refferals. Still, the bomber would have had access to servers, and lots of LAMP stacks… If I was this incompetent at my job I would be immediately fired and largely unemployable in the same field. And people wonder why papers are going broke? Who would pay for such drivel??

    He should be charged with vilification. Disgusting, repulsive man, using the innocent deaths of others for his petty, racist whimpers. A craven fool.

  8. patrickg

    Halp, stuck in mod-queue!

    Calvin, you deserve a prize for that headline.

  9. Tyro Rex

    With regards to the situation of Senator Fisher I don’t see a rush of condemnation from Labor (probably rightly). This fact ought to be strongly noted for future reference in case the LNP tries to make issues out of any similar issue with an ALP parliamentarian.

  10. Zorronsky

    A Labor Party hating RWDB who called young Labor members to him as he feigned being a policeman come to help them deal with the earlier bombing in Oslo, then began shooting.
    This from a victim who pretended to be dead and was close enough to the gunman at some stage to feel the heat from the machine gun.
    ABC News24.

  11. Tyro Rex

    I am in moderation? What is going on?

  12. tigtog

    Given the morass of stoush that was last week’s Salon, this week Kim has experimented with placing the open thread in full moderation. All comments on this post will be retained in the moderation queue until a moderator logs in to clear the backlog i.e. batches of comments will be approved as moderators drift on and offline. Other threads are, as of right now anyway, not in full moderation.

    Perhaps once the thread has reached a certain number of comments all displaying the netiquette that LP expects, we shall decide that it has enough civility momentum to manage without the full moderation.

  13. Mark Bahnisch

    Christopher Pearson suggests Labor will/should make Simon Crean PM and call an early election:



  14. Mindy

    @ Mark comment 13 – Why are they so keen to get rid of her? Perhaps because, despite their reporting, she is still getting the job done? Regardless of what the polls say, 150 pieces of legislation passed speaks for itself.

  15. Mercurius

    @13 Pearson must just be in it for the lulz. What else could explain such sophistry?

    Still, he’s over at the Murdoch papers, so perhaps he could make himself useful and check my voicemails for me. I’ve lost the PIN for my message box, and I’m expecting an important call…

  16. jumpnmcar

    “”””150 pieces of legislation passed speaks for itself.””””

    Any idea how many of them were passed with opposition support ?
    I’d be surprised if it was zero, then again i get surprised often.

  17. adrian

    Only idiots take advice from their opponents.

  18. jumpnmcar

    Just as a BTW thing, the recent comments box still doesn’t update well, it seams all over the place.
    It could be an Apple thing.

  19. jumpnmcar

    Adrian @17

    I didn’t say ……
    hhhhh never mind

  20. adrian

    Believe it or not jumpnmcar my comment was made without the ‘benefit’ of viewing yours, so had nothing whatever to with you…

  21. Robert Merkel

    [email protected], he’s picked the wrong replacement leader.

    If the Labor Party is to abandon the carbon tax, it needs somebody with credibility on the issue.

    Mar’n Ferguson, your time has come…

  22. Blair

    I’m in Oslo this week. I don’t have any particular insights to add (and it’s hard to grasp the mood on the streets when you don’t speak the language) – in fact, bizarrely, the first I knew anything had happened was when I read about it in a comments thread on Pollbludger (at the time I was near the university, about 4km out of the city centre). In fact the one thing which struck me going home afterwards, through a station at the other end of the CBD (on a transport system which functioned more or less as normal throughout), was that it wasn’t obvious that something had happened unless you knew something had happened – no obvious signs of panic, no screaming, no obvious police/military presence, and the only person running was me (in pursuit of an early-running bus).

    It could have been a lot worse; mid-July in Norway is like the post-Christmas week in Australia (minus the cricket and the sales) and the percentage occupancy in your average Oslo office building at 3.30 on a Friday afternoon at this time of year would be well short of double figures.

    Also seems to me that the police knew very early in the piece that it wasn’t jihadist; I find it hard to believe that buses would still have been running past the American Embassy had it been otherwise.

  23. Sir Henry Casingbroke

    Another Bryant? asks Andrew Bolt in his column sign-off about the Norwegian tragedies. But Bryant seemed not to have had a coherent political grievance against the government. I wonder why Bolt hadn’t asked “another McVeigh?” which would have also been congruent with commentators at the time of the Oklahoma City bombing speculating that the outrage was perpetrated by Islamicists and that this meant that the authorities should forthwith take a stick to all Muslims as collective punishment. Which Bolt indeed did do at the start of his column over Oslo.

    I note that Bolt, Shanahan and M. Devine are the frontline storm troopers in working towards the chairman. I hope they go out with the tide, when the time comes.

  24. Jacques de Molay

    Poor Bolta:

    Anders Behring Breivik, the 32-year-old suspect in Friday’s attacks in Norway, held right-wing views, say police.

    Police chief Sveinung Sponheim said his internet postings “suggest that he has some political traits directed toward the right, and anti-Muslim views”.

    “But whether that was a motivation for the actual act remains to be seen,” he told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

  25. Jacques de Molay
  26. darin

    “Mar’n Ferguson, your time has come…”

    Has it really come to that?

  27. Sir Henry Casingbroke

    Mark @13 Bolt has written a column on July 20 promoting Crean, then three subsequent blogs “Big money is suddenly being laid on Simon Crean to become the new Labor leader” etc. Laurie Oakes mentions Crean as Julia’s successor in his column in the Tele. Is there an orchestrated campaign emanating from News Ltd to promote Crean? BTW Abbott went into the Holt St bunker and knocked out a piece on the terminal at the Telegraph. Abbott is a constant visitor to News at Holt St, at least twice a week. Week in week out. WTF?

  28. Mark Bahnisch

    I’ve made a comment about the Crean speculation on my climate change plan communications thread:


  29. Sir Henry Casingbroke

    News Limited’s news is a put up job. Here is how. A focus group hired by the Liberal Party comes up with some ‘conclusions’ which are then worked up by Textor & Co into talking points WHICH are then distributed to, among others, Jonesy, Hendo, Akers (aka FBS), Bolter, Sheehan, Shanahan, Ray Hadley, Mitchell (Chris, not Neil), Paul Whittaker, Pearson, etc. and of course Tony Abbott himself for his apron and goggles doorstops.

    The reason I say that is that the same phrases, words and expressions keep turning up in all of shills’ op pieces at virtually the same time.

    This Crean-trolling is the latest (see Mark’s remarks in the climate thread).

    It seems it got started by Steve Lewis in the Hun on July 19 and repeated by Bolt on his blog the same day, or rather the next day as Lewis’s copy would have been filed the day before.

    For another instance of this consider last week’s new trend: “we are not to going to call the prime minister names – it is unedifying; it is not about Jul-liar, it is about the Labor Party and its policies.” The line was given a run by Abbott, Bolt, and others. Prodders please come forward with other concrete examples…

    In this case focus group would have said, “Yes, we agree that we have been misled by the PM but all this name-calling is bad; it is not nice to call the prime minister of this country a “witch”, “bitch” and “liar”. The message was going off-message. And in any case, the Liberals’ war room may have got paranoid that Gillard may walk and the whole strategy would go pfft if it relied solely on targeting her, personally. Hence Abbott shifting the cross-hairs on “policy” and “Labor”.

    So there you have it. News Limited.

  30. Mercurius

    …since my comment on the Crean speculation isn’t on-topic for the MT thread, I’ll make it here:

    The Pearson/Bolt/Oakes speculation on the ALP leadership puts me in mind of a primary-school age child deciding which of their doll collection will next “fight” the other…

    Spiderman’s gonna fight My Lil’ Pony next! **bamm**
    Then My Lil’ Pony’s gonna fight Big Bird! **POW**
    Then Big Bird’s gonna fight Pikachu! **Whop**

    …and so on…

  31. Katz

    I wonder why Bolt hadn’t asked “another McVeigh?” which would have also been congruent with commentators at the time of the Oklahoma City bombing speculating that the outrage was perpetrated by Islamicists and that this meant that the authorities should forthwith take a stick to all Muslims as collective punishment. Which Bolt indeed did do at the start of his column over Oslo.

    Wonder no more, Sir Hank. Politicized rightist terrorism is anathema to the narrative of right-wing, populist rabble-rousing. Bigotry masquerading as ethno-religious sanctimoniousness is both a substitute for reasoned argument and an excuse to refrain from critical thought.

    Don’t expect Bolta’s fanboys to be embarrassed by Bolta’s cynicism. Their ends justify his means.

  32. Sir Henry Casingbroke

    I often wonder who Bolt’s fanpersons are, Katz. Likewise, Alan Jones’s. It’s bizarre, nobody admits to being one but the ratings say they are out there in their fervid thousands. Even more weird, I caught a taxi not that long ago, and the driver was of (self-declared) Islamic persuasion. He was listening to Alan Jones. WTF?

  33. Katz

    For many, the Parrot et al. simply serve as audial wallpaper. Whose opinions are changed as opposed to hardened by a shock jock habit? Rather few, I suggest.

  34. Jacques de Molay

    This is disgraceful:

    A HEAVILY armed racist gang is terrorising communities across the northwest suburbs of Melbourne.

    The brutal thugs – who call themselves Bros Over Hoes or BOH – have been involved in drive-by shootings, home invasions and bloody clashes with African refugees.

    Chilling photos of masked young men brandishing an arsenal of weapons including guns, machetes and a chainsaw have also been uncovered in a special investigation by the Sunday Herald Sun.

    Ten frightened African families have fled the area and others, without the finances to move, remain in fear of their lives.

    The Sunday Herald Sun has handed 25 photos of the Melton-based gang to Victoria Police.

    It shows them brazenly posing with guns, knives, spears, a bow and arrow and a chainsaw.

    There are also videos online of them taking drugs and bashing women, including stamping on one girl’s head.


  35. adeleadlslv

    Rest in Peace, Amy Winehouse. I don’t know whether to be sad or angry…

  36. adeleadlslv

    The death of Amy Winehouse is a terrible waste, not just of talent, but of a young woman’s life. There are some who will be thinking tonight that she deserved all she got, that this is somehow her own fault for leading the lifestyle she did. Those people would be wrong. Addiction is an illness that consumes your life and will never let you go, no matter how hard you try to get free. I take the point about those who could be asking themselves if they could have done more to help her. But sometimes, some people simply cannot be helped. No matter what care you give them, no matter what you do, some people are only one bad day away from dragged back into the dark.

    I saw her live a few years back in Manchester. ‘Back to Black’ had just been released, and paparazzi photos of her around that time showed that she looked worryingly thin and frail, having lost the warm healthy glow she showed when her first album was released. She already had a reputation for bailing out of shows, her life was already falling apart in view of the world. But on stage that night in Manchester, she was mesmerising – her voice strong and unafraid. She looked thin but healthy, like she was putting weight back on, and she could engage in healthy banter with people in the crowd – “You’re only picking on me ‘coz I’m drunk” she said at one point dealing with a heckler, before grinning broadly and launching into the next song.

    I’ll remember her like that.

  37. CMMC

    Murdoch Alert is a Firefox extension that will flash a warning banner when you visit any website controlled by the cultural tapeworm that is News International.


  38. Sam

    The Norwegian extreme Right fundamentalist Christian terrorist, whose tally of victims is now pushing up to 100 (and that’s just the ones he murdered) is looking at 21 years maximum. This works out at around 10 weeks per victim.

    He’ll be 53 when he gets out -if he serves the maximum – and will be able to do it all over again. In fact he could do it all over again, serve another maximum, and do it a third time.

  39. Robert Bollard

    Jacques #34 This is what disturbs me, though it doesn’t surprise. Two quotes from the article:
    The first, from a Sudanese community leader in Melton:

    “Racist gangs have fired guns at our houses, nearly killing a family.
    “A boy they wanted dead was hit by a four-wheel-drive car, which had mounted the nature strip to get him.
    “The gangs chase us with baseball bats and iron bars, physically beat us, throw rocks and eggs, smash our cars and windows of our houses and shout racist abuse, telling us to ‘go home’ and threatening to kill us if we stay.
    “We used to go to the police all the time but nothing ever happens. Our cases are never solved and we do not get updated with what is happening.”

    Then from a cop:
    Supt Graham Kent said he was aware of the pictures and that many of the men were “well known” to police.
    “I don’t like it (the pictures) but there is not much we can do about it,” Supt Kent said.

  40. Lefty E

    Norway did not see far-right as ‘serious threat’


    ‘The same report said there were indications of contacts between Norwegian far-right extremists and criminal groups, which could give far-right activists easier access to weapons and “thereby increase the potential for violence.”‘

  41. Katz

    I notice the proliferation of the following rightist meme:

    “To the extent A is a violent fanatic, he can’t be Christian. To the extent that B is a violent fanatic, he must be Muslim.”

  42. Sam

    Events in Norway provide the Prime Minister with the ideal cover to warn against the dangers of right wing extremists being whipped up by the talk back radio demagogues and Murdoch press editors and columnists. She could wedge Abbott tighter on this than his speedos wedge himself. This is an opportunity that seldom arises and she’d be mad not to take it.

    Will Gillard have the smarts to do it? Bob Brown almost certainly will.

  43. Incurious and Unread


    That is very sad news. Janis Joplin all over again.

  44. Sam

    Never mind, Amy Winehouse fans. She has already spawned successful imitators, in particular Adele, who sings passably well and does not do drugs in the industrial strength quantities that Winehouse did, or even at all, AFAIK.

  45. sg

    I hope that this leads North European governments to take their far right groups a little more seriously.

    I&U … Janis Joplin? ???

  46. Helen

    @Sam, are you being funny, or do you really think a “sings passably well” is an acceptable replacement for Winehouse’s talent?

  47. Helen

    Robert Bollard has already gone there, but it bears repeating: There is video footage identifying these crimes and their perpetrators. The police say the people are “well known” to them. Yet no one is getting prosecuted. What POSSIBLE excuse can the Victoria police have for this?

  48. Tiny Dancer

    Sam. She should use a tragedy for her political advantage? You think there is a link between these events and our media? Pretty pathetic all round.

  49. Mercurius

    @41 I also notice the proliferation of the following rightest meme:

    To the extent that A is a home-grown terrorist who is “like us”, he is a lone wolf/isolated incident/random nutcase and we accept no responsibility; To the extent that B is a foreign terrorist who is “not like us”, he is of a type with anybody else deemed to be of the same out-group, who must now accept full responsibility and LOUDLY DENOUNCE his actions or else they too are suspect.

    Oh, and I hereby call upon ‘Christian leaders’ to LOUDLY DENOUNCE the Norwiegian gunman in every public statement they make from now until the end of time. Any failure to do so will be taken as evidence of their tacit approval for his actions… /sarc

  50. Sam

    TD 48

    She should use a tragedy for her political advantage?

    No more or less than John Howard used 9/11 to his.

    You think there is a link between these events and our media?

    I’m not aware of Mr Breivik listening to Alan Jones on podcast or reading Piers Ackerman on the web, so I will assume not. However a perceived link should be created and exploited. Why should your side have a monopoly on lies, distortion and shameless opportunism? I’m rather tired of my side playing by the rules when yours never does, and never has.

  51. Lefty E

    One unavoidable implcaiton of this attack is the need to take far right extremism more seriously. Ideological blnkeredness, a la Bolt and Jones, is not going to make anyone safer – in fact quite the opposite. It merely blinds us to certain threats, and is anathema to good security and intel work.

  52. Sam

    Helen 46

    in view of other events, I am having trouble getting excited by the, at least partially self-inflicted, premature passing of a drug-addled pop star.

  53. iorarua

    Unlike the Oklahoma bombing, which targeted the general community, those kids were singled out and murdered BECAUSE they were LEFT-wing.

    This was a national Young Labour camp attended by youths from all over Norway – representing the nation’s most committed young people on the left of politics. Had they lived, many would have gone on to political careers further down the track.

    Effectively, an entire future generation of Norway’s left-leaning politicians has been wiped out.

  54. GregM

    Mercurius @49 Somewhere over 90 people have been killed, wantonly, in Norway.

    I think it would be sensible, and with that respectful, to hold off on polemic comment for, say, forty eight hours to allow an appreciation of grief among people who are shocked by this act.

    What has happened is a terrible thing. Let us absorb that. Then let us discuss it.

  55. Tiny Dancer

    Howard did what? Whipped up indignation about the left because of what? You are sick of playing by the rules? FFS give us a break.

  56. Tiny Dancer

    By the way, she had a go at doing what you suggest and she fell flat on her face. “Hard questions” and then silence. Where is Bob? Carefully crafting his questions for the enquiry that won’t happen. FFS give us a break.

  57. sg

    iorarua not just that. The PM was due to speak at that island later in the day, and the foreign minister was there before it happened.

    GregM, the Boltas of the world were all aflame with the certainty that it was islamic terrorism yesterday. When they heard he worked for “geofarm” they assumed eco-terrorism. Now they’re quietly avoiding mentioning his politics. Why should the people who disagree with them be the only ones to be silent?

  58. tigtog

    re the maximum sentence in Norway, this from a friend of mine who lives there:

    The maximum sentence for anything in Norway is 21 years.

    However, a person who in the opinion of the court is an active danger to the public can be held in custody for longer than this. Usually this is due to particular mental illnesses, but the illness does not have to be proven – only the danger to society does.

    I can’t see the court, let alone the public, being persuaded that this man will ever NOT be a danger to their society. He’s never getting out once his conviction is finalised.

  59. Mark Bahnisch

    I must confess I’m with GregM here.

  60. Mark Bahnisch

    To be more precise, I think the sort of comments I’m seeing around the traps which are almost gloating – “Oh look! It wasn’t a Muslim, but a right wing Christian” – are quite distasteful, and only serve to reinforce the discourse which created the awful Bolt style commentary in the first place.

    If we’re to heed Jens Stoltenberg’s call for “more democracy and more humanity” then we need to heed both parts of that.

    I think there is a duty to analyse why these things happen, and why they are talked about in the way they are, but I’m not at all certain that a pause for reflection isn’t in order first.

  61. tigtog

    Good points, Mark. It’s very much worth noting that the urge to disassociate oneself from an extremist claiming to belong to the same group (‘No True Scotsman’), or to point to an extremist as embodying the “real agenda” of a group with which they are tangentially aligned (‘Tarred With The Same Brush’), is actually universal, and not unique to any particular group on the political compass at all.

  62. Mark Bahnisch

    I think that’s right, tigtog.

    We have to be on guard against buying into the flipside of the crazy narratives about terrorism and political violence which precisely require a more dispassionate analysis.

    It’s also been quite the weekend for awful news, and I do think that the human scale of the tragedy affects how people respond, but that response has to be calibrated and sorted out from the emotional impact. Not easy to do, and so probably wise to pause.

  63. Geoff Honnor

    Well said Mark. I suspect that the motivation for a lone gunman murdering over 90 people going about their business on a summer’s day in Norway, is ultimately going to lie beyond a ‘neat’ ideological attachment explanation.

  64. Mark Bahnisch

    Yes, I think so too, Geoff.

    Anyway, I’ve put up a separate post to address this question:


    All comments are also going to be auto-moderated, because I don’t want to provide a space for polemics.

  65. Fran Barlow

    GregM said:

    I think it would be sensible, and with that respectful, to hold off on polemic comment for, say, forty eight hours to allow an appreciation of grief among people who are shocked by this act.

    Just FTR, I’ve never accepted the idea that there should be a period of silence after an atrocity, just because it was an atrocity. Sometimes, often, commenting substantively in a hurry is unwise because the first news is not accurate in important respects, and the desire to map one’s own cultural compass onto it can lead to horrible results — there went the Blot of course.

    One can grieve and feel solidarity without switching off one’s rational mind.

  66. Mercurius

    Gee, did everyone miss the /sarc tag?

    How often there are pauses for ‘reflection’ each time 90+ people are murdered by bombings and shootings in Afghanistan, Iraq, Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, etc….Which events happen several times per year, in each country? In fact, how much are consciences troubled by those events at all?

    And, no, I’m not trying to run a Hey! Look over there! distraction, or an argument that says you can’t walk and chew gum at the same time…but atrocities of a similar scale and level of horror occur routinely around the world, without eliciting calls for ‘restraint’ or ‘reflection’ among the commentariat. I’m not pushing any kind of new line here — this is a pretty stock-standard Chomskyian media analysis that’s a good 30+ years old.

    Seems like when the victims are in one region, it’s a case of ‘well, you expect that sort of thing over there, no need to pause and reflect on the whys, and wherefores’…in fact, barely any comment is to be found anywhere at all, whether in the media or blogosphere…but when it happens in another region, we all need to tread on tippy-toes and show how reflective and respectful we can be.

    I don’t know which is more disrespectful — but I’d take a bit of polemic that greets these events when they occur in one region; over the nonchalant shrug and the non-comment, ‘ignore’ reaction that greets these events when they occur in another region.

    So, since you’re all in such a reflective mood, how about adding that to the reflecting pool for a couple of days and get back to us?

  67. Sam

    Geoff 63
    in the sense that ordinary, garden-variety, right wing fundamentalist Christian ideologues don’t normally go around murdering scores of people (notwithstanding their fantasies), more than an ideological explanation is needed, such as: the guy is a psychopath. Plus – who knows? – he might have mother issues and a small dick, into the bargain. Happily, he was taken alive, and all might be revealed.

    Other than that, it seems odd to deny the obvious, given his own writings. He is a ‘blood and soil’ extreme right winger who thinks his country’s pure culture is being taken out by Marxists and Muslims. (Substitute ‘Jews’ for ‘Muslims’ and it’s a perfect facsimile Europe between the wars. Have you heard this song before? It’s an oldy but a goody.) You’ll note that he didn’t go beserko in a shopping mall or a school but targeted the youth camp of his political enemies.

  68. tigtog

    @Merc, I remember the last time we let “the reaction” get unrestrainedly polemic after the Gifford shooting. It was unpleasant, to say the least.

    Are we not allowed to learn something from what went down last time, and say “this time we should do better”?

  69. Lefty E

    FWIW, I thought Merc was reflecting on Bolta’s appalling commentary yesterday – which (…having failed completely to pause for reflection, note) once again exposed what wind-up automated wingnut he is, and how wrong he gets just about everything as a result.

    Calling him a tool for doing so was not only fair, but IMO necessary. The scale of this has left me somewhat mute with horror – but that doesnt mean we shouldn’t tell loudmouthed idiots on the other side of the globe to STFU.

  70. tigtog

    Lefty E, criticising Bolt is one thing, and I don’t think any of us could stop ourselves anyway, honestly. The thread seemed to be moving on beyond that to murkier places though.

    What I’m keeping an eye on is how many people, in the mainstream media especially, walk back from the word “terrorism” now simply because it was a home-grown middle-class ethnic-majority person who perpetrated the attacks.

  71. PeterTB

    You do know that Bolt only followed the reporting of the emerging picture (including the claim of reponsibility by the Jihadist group) by others including the BBC and The Guardian?

    Are they right wing wingnuts now?

  72. Lefty E

    AgreeTigtog. Bolt concluded last night with “just another Bryant” when clearly, it was “another McVeigh”: a homegrown terriorist from the extreme-right.

  73. GregM

    Lefty E, calling Andrew Bolt a tool about what he has said about what has happened in Norway adds nothing to our understanding or appreciation of what has happened there.

    He is generally a tool in whatever he says and I never pay any regard to anything he writes.

    However just because a dog is in the gutter barking at you doesn’t mean that you have to get into it and bark back.

    For us, I think, the opportunity arises for deeper consideration and analysis of what has happened in this tragedy which goes beyond what he and others are promoting as their speaking points.

  74. Steve at the Pub

    The New York Times online was one of the first reputable journals to report on the event.

    Many in this thread above, who have been most scathing of various journalists/commentators, may wish to consider that instead of being guilty of jumping to muslim conclusions, perhaps those journalists/commentators were guilty of nothing more than believing the New York Times.

  75. Lefty E

    He didnt do that at all PeterTB. He simply speculated on raw facts about the attacks, and leapt to his usual braindead wingnut conclusions. Conclusions that were swiftly proved wrong.

    The best he had was some “unconfirmed report” (his own words) from a dodgy website for English speakers in Norway called “The Foreigner” – not any quality established media source at all, let alone the BBC or Guardian, so dont just make stuff up.

    He made an complete ass of himself in the process.

  76. tigtog

    @PeterTB and @SATP, there’s a huge difference between reporting the facts (such as the Jihadist group grabbing their fifteen minutes by claiming credit for something they didn’t do (eta: which happens all the time in cases of atrocities, BTW, a fact of which the BBC, Guardian and NYT are all too aware, thus their circumspection)) and making sweeping speculations about major shifts in Norway’s immigration policy complete with a strong suggestions of previous policies having had their chickens coming home to roost. The former is what the BBC and the Guardian did, the latter is what Bolt did.

    Your continued defensiveness displayed against any criticism of Bolt here perplexes me. The man is a shameless shill, reckless demagogue, featherweight intellect, pompous toady amd worse besides – can’t you find someone more worthy to admire and defend?

  77. Sir Henry Casingbroke
  78. Sir Henry Casingbroke

    [email protected] New York Times has written a definitive account of the perpetrator soon afterwards but Bolt has done nothing really to account for his premature ejaculation.

    May I also recommenda read, apropos this problem of pseudo journalism as practised by Bolt, Akers, Devine, and their ilk. It’s on Mr Denmore’s site the link is here:

  79. Steve at the Pub

    Tigtog: My “continued” defensiveness of what?
    Please copy & paste, or provide links to just one example of such.

    I made an observation.

  80. Lefty E

    Again, SATP, NYT *may* have reported the story, but Im sorry to tell you that Bolt wasnt looking at it, or the BBC, or Guardian, and certainly not citing any of them before sharing his “initial suspicions” and general thoughts on immigration.

    See for yourself: http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/terrorists_attack_oslo/

  81. tigtog

    @SATP, that last comment was aimed more at PeterTB, but if we remove the word “continued” from it, it still applies to you.

    Why do you care whether we criticise the oleaginous Bolt for his unsavoury habits of conclusion-leaping and generally rancid rhetoric? He’s an appallingly unethical “journalist” whose rare excursions into factual correctness are probably accidental.

  82. PeterTB

    I’ll leave the making stuff up to you Lefty E.

    The Jihadist claim was on BBC and Guardian sites before 3am Saturday, Bolt didn’t post until 7:28 Saturday. Therefore, what I said was precisely correct.

    I don’t expect an apology

  83. PeterTB

    Lefty E: “but Im sorry to tell you that Bolt wasnt looking at it, or the BBC, or Guardian”

    Speculation counts as facts in your world LE?

  84. Lefty E

    Well I can’t imagine why you’d expect one PeterTB – I’ve linked you to Bolt’s own post, which clearly disproved your earlier assertion in his defence. As I noted, he linked to a dodgy website called ‘the foreigner’. He even notes the dodgy source is ‘unconfirmed’ but that didn’t stop his bizarre anti- immigration tirade.

    Why do you imagine you’ve somehow disputed this conclusion?

  85. Lefty E

    @GregM, other thread:

    I dont accept that either Merc, or I, were ‘stooping’ by responding to his evil tripe, GregM. I think its a civic responsibility of a good citizen. You may disagree, but that’s certainly how I feel.

    OTOH, you’re quite correct to note that we’re much better than him :)

  86. Fran Barlow

    LeftyE said:

    OTOH, you’re quite correct to note that we’re much better than him

    Regrettably, that’s a very low bar …

  87. Uncle Buck

    Ben Doherty traces the origins of the report that an Islamic terrorist organisation, Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami, was responsible for the attacks.

  88. GregM

    I dont accept that either Merc, or I, were ‘stooping’ by responding to his evil tripe, GregM. I think its a civic responsibility of a good citizen. You may disagree, but that’s certainly how I feel.

    No probs Lefty.

    We agree that you are responding to a dog in a gutter, and that’s what matters. Personally though I’d give it a kick in the balls and save myself the argument.

    But you are a kinder person than I am.

  89. Lefty E

    Fair enough GregM – and I for one certainly wouldnt have bothered if Bolt was just some wingnut tightener on Catallaxy.

  90. PeterTB

    which clearly disproved your earlier assertion in his defence

    Only in your fevered imagination LE. My original observation was correct, Bolt only followed the reporting of the emerging picture (including the claim of reponsibility by the Jihadist group) by others including the BBC and The Guardian.

    Your speculation that Bolt “wasnt looking at …… the BBC, or Guardian” is just that. Speculation

  91. tigtog

    If he was relying on the BBC or the Guardian, then why didn’t he say so? (eta: he’s not usually shy of linking to other sites in his arguments from authority)

  92. sg
  93. Katz


    My original observation was correct, Bolt only followed the reporting of the emerging picture (including the claim of reponsibility by the Jihadist group) by others including the BBC and The Guardian.

    “Following” without acknowledgement is plagiarism. Blot is either a plagiarist or a fabricator.

  94. dj

    Somewhere in Norway and no doubt on St_rmfr_nt and other such lovely places there are probably one or more Odinists decrying Breivik’s actions as being those of a traitor to the true Norse tradition and asking why he didn’t kill more and let the Norse gods sort them out. My first thoughts when I heard Oslo and shooting on the radio was that it was one of these types who might have been the gunman.

  95. Helen

    It’s bizarre, nobody admits to being one but the ratings say they are out there in their fervid thousands.

    They’re all at my in-laws’ barbeques. :-(

  96. Lefty E

    The political economy of the war in Afghanistan. A pig’s trough for private contractors, which apparently includes the Taliban – itself one of the larger beneficiaries of US taxpayer money.


  97. akn

    Apropos not much at all but I’ve applied for a new job as an Attitude Adjuster at the Dept of Integration.

  98. CMMC

    The Westpac meltdown has been a major pain all day (Teusday).

    My payment wasn’t in this morning, and by the afternoon the Westpac helpdesk is trying to interest me in an overdraft.

    Finally have to venture into a bank branch where they can only give me half of the payment.

  99. Steve at the Pub

    The standard of Bolt’s jabbering: “He runs a “Geofarm”, which suggests he’d have access to chemicals and lots of fertiliser. ”

    Of course, three seconds research would have shown that geofarm is a *link-farming* website, making money from click-refferals.

    Being as “Geofarm” is in fact a farming company (albeit one without any actual, uh, farming business) and was in fact used to gain access to chemicals & fertiliser, it would seem that an apology to this Bolt is required not only from the quoted commenter, but possibly from two others in the thread above.

    Glass houses, stones etc. tsk tsk tsk.