In his screed of self-justification yesterday (you can find it yourself if you want to), Andrew Bolt referred to two years of worry over his court case which was settled this week. Forgive me if I’m not convinced. In the end, Bolt and his employers couldn’t lose.
If the decision had gone the other way, the Hun would still have given him the front page, only it would have been to praise a victory for free speech rather than decrying a blow for it. Sales would have been exactly the same. People who read Bolt are going to read Bolt no matter what he’s writing about.
If Bolt or News Ltd had really been worried, they would have quietly settled out of court, added confidentiality clauses and found something else to write about. Instead, they played it out under the guise of taking a stand on principle. In reality, whether he’s a champion or a martyr for free speech, it keeps Bolt and the papers he’s published in visible, notable and talked about. As we all know, the one thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about.
This story will be dragged out for a few more weeks, and then Bolt will most likely try to get taken to court for something else. That will keep him as the centre of attention and save him, his colleagues and even his competitors from the drudgery of writing about anything that might resemble news.
Just like their banner says: