One of my favourite blogs is a Crikey blog called Pure Poison. With it’s name taken from a quote, “Intellectual dishonesty is pure poison…”, and with a stated purpose of exposing ‘the intellectual dishonesty, the flimsy arguments and the distorted data wherever they appear in the mainstream media….’ it is probably little wonder that I visit it quite a bit, what with me being such a fan of the quality of our media n all. 🙂 Anyway, I was reading a post today which showed another example of how Andrew Bolt chooses to either mis-represent, cherry pick, or just totally ignore, facts in making an argument and it go me to wondering how and why he does this. And, not only that, but how he manages to attract so many followers with arguments that anyone with a modicom of sense could see the holes in.
For a while I was working on a theory that he was doing it deliberately and cynically to build a media career. Glen Beck is a US example of this kind of right-wing media personality but he seemes a little unhinged, even to the point where I think he might have a mental illness. I can understand why his arguments are both irrational and poorly supported. But Andrew Bolt appears sane enough and, I would have thought, intelligent enough to know that he is peddling nonsense. This is why I was leaning toward the idea of him doing it as part of a long-term strategy.
But George Monbiot at the Guardian in the UK may have provided the answer on his blog. I don’t want to spoil it for you but it gets really interesting in the second and third paragraphs. It appears I have over-estimated both Andrew and his faithful followers. 🙂