|The Herald Sun is now trying to recast extremist Andrew Bolt as a happy-go-lucky kind of guy. Good luck|
By Darryl Mason
Finally, Malcolm Turnbull has said out loud what I've been writing here on this blog for almost eight years.
Murdoch's Andrew Bolt is "unhinged" and "demented."
Tell us something we don't know.
“...it borders on the demented to string together a dinner with Clive Palmer and my attending as the Communications Minister the launch by a cross-party group of friends of the ABC and say that that amounts to some kind of threat or challenge to the Prime Minister.
“It is quite unhinged. Now, Mr Bolt is fond of attacking what he regards as the government’s enemies in the media, principal amongst whom of course he numbers the ABC. I don’t think you would see anything as crazy as that on the ABC.
“Mr Bolt, he proclaims loudly that he is a friend of the government. Well with friends like Bolt, we don’t need any enemies.’
A split within the Liberal Party has been rumbling for months, as PM Abbott continues to plummet in the polls, and he and Treasurer Joe Hockey's extremist Budget 2014-2015 is rejected by an ever growing number of Australians.
Abbott has taken the right wing extremism of Andrew Bolt, The Australian and turd basket lobby group The IPA to the Australian public, has acted on their demands, has echoed their rhetoric, and the Australian public has been repulsed. Not all Australians, but certainly enough to cause the non-right wing nutters of the Liberal Party and their Nationals coalition partners to get nervous indeed. Many Liberal Party backbenchers, for example, are now wondering if Toxic Tony is going to lose them their seats at the next federal election in 2016, or even sooner.
Turnbull well knows that he doesn't need Murdoch media, or Bolt's support, to become prime minister, or to become a popular prime minister. Murdoch's media blew their wad going all out to get Tony Abbott elected PM, and Bolt is seriously tainted by his declared friendship with Abbott. How can anyone trust anything he has to say about Abbott, or Abbott's agenda, when he is known as a serial defender of his pal?
Turnbull's outburst against Andrew Bolt was sparked by a Bolt column today linking Turnbull to Clive Palmer, after their 'secret meeting' dinner in Canberra, and Bolt painted the pair as united against Bolt's buddy Tony Abbott:
Bolt smells the stench of Abbott's impending political death in the air and is trying to head Turnbull off at the pass, questioning his loyalty and trying to rally Abbott supporters in the Coalition against Turnbull and Palmer.
Turnbull responded to Bolt's conspiracy theory in the stunning doorstop, quoted at the top, with the media a few hours ago. And everything exploded.
Fairfax media, rivals to Murdoch's NewsCorp, home of Bolt, unleashed with obvious glee.
The Australian Financial Review:
Philip Coorey in AFR:
Malcolm Turnbull has labelled columnist Andrew Bolt demented and unhinged after the leading conservative cheerleader suggested the Communications Minister was undermining Prime Minister Tony Abbott.The Sydney Morning Herald:
Mr Turnbull told journalists in Parliament on Monday that Mr Bolt’s theories were damaging the government.
Mr Turnbull was incensed on Sunday when Mr Bolt, while interviewing Mr Abbott on his weekly TV show, asked the Prime Minister: “Now, why is Malcolm Turnbull wooing Clive Palmer on his own? It looks like he’s got his eye on your job.”
This was a reference to a casual dinner in Canberra last week with Mr Turnbull, Mr Palmer, Treasurer Secretary Martin Parkinson and businessmen John Fast and Tom Harley.
The participants all claimed it was a spontaneous and harmless gathering but it spiked paranoia inside the Coalition because Mr Palmer has been refusing to even talk to anyone else in the Coalition until he is given what he considers ample resources.
In his newspaper column on Monday, Mr Bolt continued the attack on Mr Turnbull, saying the dinner sent “an unmistakeable message to Liberal MPs:
“Replace Abbott with Turnbull as prime minister and Maybe Palmer will play ball’’.
Mr Bolt further accused Mr Turnbull of giving comfort to the enemy by launching a new parliamentary group of friends of the ABC.
News Corp commentator Andrew Bolt's leadership speculation "borders on the demented" and is ''quite unhinged", says Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Mr Turnbull's dinner with Mr Palmer sparked fears among some in the Coalition that he was attempting to destabilise Mr Abbott's leadership, according to reports.
"It borders on the demented to string together a dinner with Clive Palmer and my attending, as the Communications Minister, the launch by a cross-party group of friends of the ABC and say that that amounts to some kind of threat or challenge to the Prime Minister," Mr Turnbull told reporters on Monday.
"It is quite unhinged. Now, Mr Bolt is fond of attacking what he regards as the government's enemies in the media, principal amongst whom of course he numbers the ABC. I don't think you would see anything as crazy as that on the ABC.
"I just have to say to Mr Bolt, he proclaims loudly that he is a friend of the government. Well with friends like Bolt, we don't need any enemies."
On Monday, Mr Bolt told Fairfax Media: ''It's a great shame and quite telling that Malcolm Turnbull attacks someone he calls the government's media friend with far more vitriol than I can recall him ever attacking one of the government's media enemies.
''This fits a pattern. No doubt he [Turnbull] will expand on this in his next Q & A appearance with Tony Jones.''
What a prissy, sooky reply from Bolt. But then, what else could you expect?
Bolt's readership is dropping away, his blog comment count is a shadow of his glory days and his TV show just can't seem to find any new viewers.
What Abbott is realising, and Bolt probably already knew, is that there is an extremely limited audience and pool of voters in Australia for IPA-style extremism. Bolt can't find more viewers and readers because he's fully tapped the market available.
What Turnbull understands is that there are far more 'soft conservatives' than extremist conservatives, like Bolt, like the IPA, like The Australian's editor Chris Mitchell.
Turnbull knows he can win back a huge slab of Liberal Party voters who feel done over by Abbott since the 2013 election and are now rejecting Budget 2014-2015.
And Turnbull is right.
The action over Abbott's tenuous leadership will grow only more heated from here on in.
UPDATE: The Abboot-Turnbull-Bolt fiasco makes it to Parliament:
From The Orstrahyun Archive...
2009: The Last Time Andrew Bolt Went To War On Turnbull To Save Abbott
Andrew Bolt: I Don't Know How Twitter Works, But Its Freedom Scares Me
Seriously, What A Fuckwit - Bolt's Biggest Shriek For Attention Yet
Bolt's Reality Meltdown Over Fukushima