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Tim Blair

Feb 21, 2009

How to fail a smear in three easy steps

Announce that regular commenters at your blog have had t

  1. Announce that regular commenters at your blog have had their names stolen by trolls, with racist comments posted in those names. 

    ALERT: We have detected in past two days a number of new readers – or old readers using new fake names – posing as racists and claiming to be my keenest supporters. This is clearly an attempt to produce trumped-up evidence for someone then to claim that this blog encourages racism, when – as you know – the reality is that I am militantly against it, whether racism of the old kind or the New Racism of the Left.

  2. Get your mate to re-post the announcement on his blog and make not-so-subtle suggestions about the involvement of a new blog that you both dislike.

    Andrew Bolt is hit by racist fakery… Interesting that this has happened over the past two days; possibly someone is encouraging this kind of thing.

  3. Leave a comment at the new blog from an anonymous Brazilian IP address highlighting these racist comments.

Problem is, we’re not publishing that comment because it’s clearly an attempt to smear us with a conspiratorial sting that exists only in the minds of two rattled News Ltd. bloggers. FAIL.

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84 comments

84 thoughts on “How to fail a smear in three easy steps

  1. SOCKPUPPET WORN - Pure Poison

    […] unlike Blair and Bolt — who recently attempted to smear us without any proof whatsoever — I have the evidence in my hot little hands. But I’m not keen to publish it, since […]

  2. insider007

    Bertus and silkworm,if U want 2 no more about gordon also known as spot the dog, guess what? he is also a close personal friend of The Dolt and one of his Moderaters. ask richard ryan if U want 2 no more,he no’s all about it.

  3. The Blog Wars | Newsphobia

    […] in an attempt to vilify him, it went a bit downhill from there. It has become a bit of a “he said she said” game over the […]

  4. Compare and contrast - Pure Poison

    […] Crikey, Jonathan Green, has tried to weasel out of denying his publication’s involvement in supposed planting of racist comments at Bolt’s blog by Pure Poison, calling Green’s denial a “non-reply”. Here […]

  5. caf

    Guys, I admire the idea behind this blog, of standing up for those without much of a voice when they’ve been verballed, misrepresented, or unfairly attacked.

    But as hard as it is, I reckon you might want to consider just ignoring the attacks against yourselves / this blog, and let them go through to the keeper. Otherwise the risk is that it’ll just end up looking self-indulgent.

    You don’t need to defend yourselves to your readers here.

  6. bertus

    Heh. Peter K sure is a beauty. Try spelling Hartlod backwards.

  7. monkeywrench

    Bertus @12.28:
    My experience is that, in general, Bolt fans have a tendency to outright weirdness rather than actual spelling/punctuation/grammar issues. One of my all-time favourites is a certain poor bod called Peter K Anderson aka Hartlod (yes, that is how he signs himself). Here is the result of the very first result I got in a Boltsearch using his name:
    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/prius_snowed/
    Read every entry of his on the page. I have never seen English mauled so badly with regard to sense in my life; but nary a spelling error. He must be a real earful with a few beers on board. And that is just the first result!You can search for more if you feel inclined; personally one dose of this babble lasts me for weeks.

  8. dam buster of Preston

    Has anyone asked Bolt to “Name Just Ten” of the so called fakes yet?

    he states that there has been “a number”. Could be one, two.. who knows.

  9. dam buster of Preston

    Barry Bones has been banned?
    I hope Bolt has another sock puppet in the wings.

    Another oddity in it all is that the fake names thing occurs when all the Nescorp blog comments go into melt down…

    No doubt Bolt will be using it as an excuse to ban people who have created valid arguments against his positions.

  10. bertus

    I also thought Barry Bones was a Bolt sock puppet (sorry Barry if you read this, I don’t mean that to be insulting to you in any way), but now I see he’s been banned, so maybe I was wrong.

  11. bertus

    Monkeywrench @ Feb 22 8.07pm.

    Howdy. I can’t help noticing that you have a very good grasp of English on here. Yet a pattern I’ve noticed over in Bolt world is that the “Leftards” often have mis-spelled words in their posts (perogative instead of prerorogative is an example from yesterday) as well as poor grammar etc; while the Boltzombies usually come off as models of lucidity. Which given the quality of the actual thinking behind their posts, I’d be surprised if they are.

    Do you think the sad little thing actually linguistically sabotages left-wing posts while polishing the turds presented by the rightos? I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if he does.

    Of course I suppose another explanation would be that Lefties are shaking with such fury as they type comments over there that they are more likely to mis-spell stuff.

  12. Ross Sharp

    I’d be interested to know if Bolt actually reads all the comments that are submitted or whether he just reads ones referred to him by the “moderators” if they dare question his sense of infallibility. Because they appear to be the only ones he ever comments upon. In most of the mainstream news blogs I read, the authors do engage with their contributors fairly frequently.

  13. dam buster of Preston

    I like how Bolt describes it as “New Racsim of the Left” with Capitals.. and then this line:

    “What madness this is – to perpetrate a vileness in order to denounce it, because what you’ve been denouncing is in fact too innocent.”

    Oh Andrew, you must be joking?

  14. Ben Tehan

    Back to the original post.

    ALERT: We have detected in past two days a number of new readers – or old readers using new fake names – posing as racists and claiming to be my keenest supporters.

    I think it had to do with the stuff up in the news ltd comments section where all the replies went to the wrong blogs. So if you are reading a sports blog all of a sudden you have a comment about “those muzzies” and the name of Bolt included in the comment. Due to the prolific output of the nasty commentors on his blog Bolt attracted a whole new audience of nasty vermin.

    I have read Bolts stuff before as a regular Courier Mail commentor but it was like a slap in the face to read some of the offensive drivel out of context. At least when I click on the link to his blog I am prepared to be offended.

  15. confessions

    Nuts and Bolts was very subdued, lowering his voice from his usual strident and mocking tone. This came across as very caring or respectful towards the victims of the fires.

    this is what I was talking about before by posting those 2 comments from andys blog. It’s the hypocracy of the rightwing extremists like bolt who know that their true views won’t fly in the mainstream, so they shield their real opinion and pretend to be moderate. back on his blog however it is a different story: greenies are to blame.

    If you can’t defend your actual views because you know their too extremist and hide behind a more moderate persona you are nothing more than a liar and a fraud. but then we all know bolt lies.

  16. bearbrass

    Doesn’t your own post fail on it’s first point, Mr Bridges – haven’t you gotten it exactly backwards? Bolta’s “Alert” read, “We have detected in past two days a number of new readers – or old readers using new fake names – posing as racists and claiming to be my keenest supporters.” It is clear from this that he was talking about comments under NEW NAMES (whether by new or seasoned readers).

    So I don’t understand how you interpreted that as Andrew having announced “that regular commenters at [his] blog have had their names stolen by trolls, with racist comments posted in those names.”

  17. bertus

    Um Pure Poisoners – do you have to have these trackback thingos? I really honestly think folks like Tizona are probably seriously dangerous, like possibly homicidally dangerous and I’m not kidding. Americans are really starting to worry me, like massively.

    I clicked on the 8.11pm trackback and when I got down to comments, there was my jolly lil’ email address, I actually don’t want turds like Tizona KNOWING my BLOODY EMAIL ADDRESS ta very much!!

  18. silkworm

    I taped last week’s Insiders. I wanted to see if ol’ Nuts and Bolts would have anything to say about how the Greens were responsible for the bushfires. I was a little disappointed. Nuts and Bolts was very subdued, lowering his voice from his usual strident and mocking tone. This came across as very caring or respectful towards the victims of the fires. Barrie Crassidy set him up. “Andrew, you’ve got something to say about who’s responsible for the fires?” Here it comes, I thought. Sadly, no. Instead, Nuts and Bolts blamed the fires on the state and federal governments. Then I got it. Bolt didn’t really believe what he was saying. What he was trying to do was to deflect attention away from the conservative councils. His attacks on “green policy” were really just to shield his conservative mates (like Liberal MP Fran Bailey) from criticism.

    May I suggest that others tape Insiders too, not just for Nuts and Bolts, but for Bliar and Crassidy and any other snakes that Crassidy may give support to on his show.

    Bridgit, good work. You actually got N & B to crack down on racism in his own blog!

    I was watching a report on the ABC about the connection between the fires and global warming. They interviewed a fire ecologist, who said the connection was being discussed in 2003 after the Canberra fires, and now the connection is fairly firmly established. I was expecting the ABC to run a counterview from Nuts and Bolts or one of his mates, but instead, there was this watered down critique by Fran Bailey against the science of global warming. Bailey didn’t dare criticise the Greens or the state or federal governments for listening to the Greens. All Bailey had to say was that the scientists should listen to the people (about fuel reduction). It was vague, it was weak, it was anti-science. Not as bad as Nuts and Bolts, but still pretty pathetic.

    I’ve also noticed that at the same time as Nuts and Bolts was waxing hysterical about the Greens’ responsibility for the fires, he was also fomenting discontent against the ABC (News radio) for pulling down a poll on its website. “Censorship!” he cried. It was clear from the boastful comments on his blog (Nuts and Bolts revisited this topic twice more on his blog) that his followers had crashed the poll, and that the ABC was doing the responsible thing. However, his followers went apeshit, as flying monkeys do. The ABC poll asked, “Is global warming responsible for the current heat wave?” Strangely, the poll gave a third option to the usual two of Yes or No, offering “global warming is a mith (sic),” which was later changed to “myth”. As soon as the poll was posted, it was flooded by Bolt’s goons, and in one and a half hours, 93% had proclaimed their “skepticism” towards global warming. By Monday morning, before the poll was withdrawn, a record 17,000 had voted. I understand that there is an internal ABC investigation into the conduct of the poll. What astounded me was the ability of the flying monkeys to organize themselves so quickly to crash the poll. I thought having a phone tree was a lefty thing to do. Our American oilman friend “Spot the Dog” definitely had a lot to do with it. He was proactively calling for the GW-deniers to crash the poll.

  19. monkeywrench

    Now when is the Queen of All She Surveys, Janet Albrechtsen, going to get her own category, like Bolt and Akerman? She did a real snot-job on Hewson today, but there are some absolutely cracking replies in the blog: this from someone called MelbChappie:
    “This really should be labelled an in house Liberal column. Costello (and Howard) were economic wrecking balls while in Government, who simply rode the terms of trade. But to a starry eyed acolyte like Janet, who also got her handouts from Crazy Johnny, they are both knights in shining armour. The mountain of debt they created with policies aimed at generating nothing but speculation are what makes us so vulnerable now that their crim mates in New York work is now bearing its full fruit. And yet, both they and people like Janet attempt to trumpet both these imbeciles as somehow low or no debt types. Utterly ridiculous and simply not supported by the facts. Our debt quadrupled under Costello and mostly to feed mindless retail consumption and property speculation. I spent two and half hours with Costello in a meeting in early 1996. I came away thinking that he was a complete rube. Hewson has hit the nail right on the head, Costello is a lazy front running, spoon fed dope. And as for making judicious and well timed comments Hewson is again on the money, as opposed to that grinning idiot Howard from whom we can expect to hear an endless rambling of self justification.
    Janet says that Crazy Johnny ‘Howard is content with being measured and dignified.’ Just like he was when telling lies about WMD, when he at first said there was no legal or moral basis for going to war in Iraq to simply remove Saddam, but then in lockstep with his pal GWB, switched to a defence of removing Saddam when no WMD turned up. Hundreds of thousands dead, but Johhny is ‘is content with being measured and dignified.’ and Janet just loves him for it. Pathetic.”

    This man should get a free Crikey subscription.

  20. monkeywrench

    Scubsteve, can you name me one person on the Bolt blog who is taken seriously if they so much as faintly disagree with the Great Dictator? “Taken seriously” should mean ” engage in mannered debate” as you and I are doing here; but how often are dissenting replies there greeted with a torrent of scathing insult?
    I’m sure Barry Bones has become inoculated, as I have, with the deceased corpuscles of the Bolt virii : there’s almost an irresistible compulsion to insult in the same vein as those who reply to ones posts. I have never called anyone names on there, as you infer; I have simply replied in kind. And this is where your bland assertion that “snip for abuse means you’re being abusive” falls flat on its face: there is a severely-tilted playing-field on the Bolt Blog that favours abusive supporters vs. less abusive contrarians.
    And has there been an example in here, in the short existence of this blog, where a ‘Rightie’, as you call them, has been shouted down? Pray reply in the confidence that you will be read carefully and debated; you’re not in the Bolt Blog now, you know.

  21. scubsteve

    Monkeywrench,
    If you want to be taken seriously on Bolt’s blog, then watch the language. Snip for abuse means you’re being abusive. You clearly understand that you do that, but persist. What for when you know you’ll get snipped?
    Comment without personal attacks, name calling etc and I’m sure you’ll be tolerated.

    As for Barry Bones…he really is a troll on that site. Typical one line throwaways deliberately meant to provoke a reaction.
    Paul of Hervey Bay at least tries to make an effort. Being a clear Leftie of course he’s shouted down, much as any clear Rightie would be shouted down here.

  22. toiletboss

    Not a foible. Much of what passes for debate there is only just above contempt for retort & definitely worthy of derision.

  23. toiletboss

    That would be ironic, if 1,000 000 hits of angry BoltbotsTM per month swamped this place.
    They wouldn’t like it. No quickfix REPLY option.

  24. toiletboss

    You do know that Akerboltbrechtsen may invoke Godwin’s for the krystallnacht comment.

  25. monkeywrench

    There are others, like poor Barry Bones, and Paul of Hervey Bay, who manfully attempt to engage in comment; I have no idea how many times they get snipped for replying in kind to the Orcs mustering under their Dark Lord.
    And there is, sadly, a foible I must admit to, and that is descending to acerbic abuse in the Bolt blog more frequently than I would like; but in my defense I point out that I am, in general, replying in kind. And this is where the Bolt Moderators exercise their little prerogative: I often encounter my replies SNIPPED FOR ABUSE (the Bolt Moderators apparently have yet to appreciate the coarseness of upper-case comment) followed by some rather-badly-parsed little encomium.
    It’s frustrating; but then there’s this blog, where the Boltards are free to come and engage us if they dare. Out with the swords!

  26. toiletboss

    “You could taste the panic: the little demagogue was suddenly the poster-boy for a violent attack on a woman alone on her farm.
    You’d laugh it it wasn’t reminiscent of Krystallnacht…….”

    I didn’t know about that. Not good.

    As I said…”just way too full of poisonous shit that strikes a chord with the easily convinced.”

    “I had no idea anyone else in the blogosphere would have noticed me!”

    Seadrift is another noteworthy one, & there are others, but few. I don’t know how you guys put up with the heavily slanted volume of unsubstantiated derogatory bullshit that you draw with calm statements over there.

    I dropped in to gloat after the 2007 smiting of Howard Co. & a couple of other times but got banned much more often than posted so never commented there much.
    It’s a “stimulating” time passer to read the flowing sewerage stream at work when things are running well. I’ve only got access to news.com there or I wouldn’t bother with his self indulgence. That’s why I’m reasonably familiar with the Boltbots & it makes this site fun.

  27. monkeywrench

    Why thank you, TB! I had no idea anyone else in the blogosphere would have noticed me!
    Bolt worries me deeply. He has assumed the mantle of a demagogue, exhorting his readership in subtle ways -ways they don’t really understand, I’m sure- to heights of wrath that skate perilously close to violence. Indeed, a good recent example was the Goulburn-Murray pipeline row.
    Bolt had spent many weeks attacking Brumby and his staff for the pipeline decision; many of the protesters were fans of his: this from http://www.yea.com.au (a site for pipeline protesters)…..
    “Melbournites Have No Idea About Pipeline
    Talking to Melbournites, most have no idea about the N/S pipeline, […..]
    I have taken the first step and emailed Andrew Bolt of 3AW and Herald Sun fame to try and get him on board with an investigative article as there is no better investigative journalist going around (in my opinion) SO LET’S GET CRACKING!….”

    So when the protesters got militant, and invaded Brumby’s farm when his wife was there alone:
    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/plug_those_plans/asc/P40

    You could taste the panic: the little demagogue was suddenly the poster-boy for a violent attack on a woman alone on her farm.
    You’d laugh it it wasn’t reminiscent of Krystallnacht…….

  28. toiletboss

    willt.

    I well know who you are. You’re one of the brave few who use(d)s reason to swim against the raging horde. Doesn’t seem to work too well over there hey?
    Those are the type of arguments that can never be won.
    The other side already has most of their answers written down on flashcards by Andrew.

    Kudos for trying to get ’em to assimilate nuance.

  29. AR

    Re Rusty of Insiders – the only people who take him to task (in his “reasonable TV persona” errkk..) are the women.
    Even Cassady lets him rave on, but Fran Kelly, Lenore Taylor & Annabel Crabbe hammer him into silence when he vents his “reasonable” crap.
    His stand-in, Timmeh, is surely an embarassment even to RWDBs, unable to string sentences together, falling back onto his snide, snarky & pig irnorant snippets.
    I’m horrified that my 8 cents a day help pay that inadequate, whining child of thatcher.

  30. ‘Conversatives’ are stoopid. Apparently. « The Tizona Group

    […] been cut ‘n’ pasted into comments on a new Crikey blog, and that another commenter had cut ‘n’ pasted my “About” section from this blog there as well, I dropped in to have a look.  [Memo ‘Bertus’:  If in future you want to debate […]

  31. monkeywrench

    Entirely reasonable, toiletboss. I used to post on Dunlop’s blog ( and Bolt’s) as Willt. I got entirely tired of being snipped by Bolt’s moderators for replies that were in no way even close to kind of insulting abuse that they were happy to publish for the Bolt-fans. The difference with my replies were that they were couched in better English, and a deal more witty; not that it would be a great achievement to stand out as a wit in the Bolt blog. In the last two weeks I have had approximately 12 attempts at comment ignored. Censorship in the Heart of the Free Right Nation!……
    I would, like you, be happy to doff my hat if I was proved incorrect in something; but in Bolteria, every time I linked to some page or site supporting my argument, I would be roundly insulted without any effort at counterargument being made. One might as well be arguing against National Socialism at a Nuremburg Rally in 1936…..

  32. toiletboss

    “Therefore we are wrong to gather in a group and gibber anti-Bolt apeisms, because….errm….why, guys? ”

    Because we are not extended the right of ridicule at Senor Bolt’s.

    BTW, I have absolutely no issue with apologising or swallowing my pride when I’m wrong about something (ah, the royal something….ie. I’m never wrong, cough).
    I fail to see much of this on wingnut blogs.

    Tim Dunlop made a good point when laying out the groundwork of Surfdom…

    “I tend towards the social-democratic end of the political spectrum with a strong liberal streak. Chuck in a bit conservatism when it comes to democratic institutions. Surfdom gets labelled as a leftwing blog, which, to the extent that such labels are meaningful, it probably is. It’s certainly not a rightwing blog. You can tell this by the fact that you will not find a knee-jerk defence of everything ‘my’ side of politics does. I regularly criticse stupid things done by Democrats or the Labor Party or Tony Blair or whomever else. The left of the blogosphere tends to lack the groupthink mentality that prevails on the right and I’m happy to be considered part of that.”Tim Dunlop

    Reasonable, no?

  33. toiletboss

    “I’m guessing timmy doesn’t want to suffer a similar fate hence his silence or jokes.”

    They were jokes?

  34. confessions

    “Has anyone else noted how Bolt modifies his persona for the TV?”

    yes, but not just andy, timmy as well. today’s episode was pathetic from blair. when presented with the opportunity to talk about his views on AGW, he said nothing, cracked a joke that got lost, and agreed with the others about the ETS. If your going to do the whole snark thing on AGW (“OMG he’s fat, therefore his AGW views can’t be trusted”) from the comfort of your own blog it seems disingenuous to try to appear as mainstream when you go onto TV. bolt does the same thing, except he got pwned by annabel crabbe last year. I’m guessing timmy doesn’t want to suffer a similar fate hence his silence or jokes.