Australia’s peak television authority may have just given Andrew Bolt the biggest back-handed tick of approval he’ll ever receive.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) have deemed some of Bolt’s statements on climate change so deliriously overblown and subjective, that complaints made against The Bolt Report’s inaccuracy in 2015 have been dismissed.
We shit you not, ACMA have stated that Bolt’s audience really should have recognised his cherrypicking of data from a graph as nothing more than a subjective take – rather than a legitimate presentation of scientific facts.
Read: Y’all should have known the bloke was just saying whatever the hell he wanted, so quit complaining if he’s wrong.
The complaints focused on a segment that aired last November, where Bolt referenced a data set suggesting there had been no significant warming in the Earth’s atmosphere for nearly two decades.
Omitted from the broadcast was the portion of the graph showing rising temperatures between 1979 to 1997. That lil’ caveat caught the attention of one Waleed Aly, who proceeded to wail on Bolt’s knowing befuddlement of the facts by asking the dude who actually created the graph to give his take:
Despite that, ACMA found Bolt didn’t breach TV’s Code of Practice, ’cause – wait for it – “the use of hyperbole indicated that Mr Bolt was giving his subjective personal opinion about the matters being discussed and was not presenting a concluded scientific position about global warming in the segment.”
Channel 10 – the show’s broadcaster at the time – also backed up that stance, despite its credibility-smashing implication. The network told ACMA their presenter was merely giving “his opinion based on material presented during the segment, rather than presenting the material as a statement of fact”.
It is essential for commercial television to broadcast whichever side of an argument they choose – to say otherwise would be an actual infringement on free speech, and we all know how Bolt feels about that.
But good Lord, if your argument for viewers to choose “facts above fear” is so demonstrably opinionated it’s deemed nonfactual itself… Perhaps you need a different argument. Especially about something as critically important as climate change.