Andrew Bolt is the biggest content producer in Australian media.

From columns in our most-read newspapers to regular spots on radio stations throughout the day, to the nation’s best-read blog, to the Sky News program five nights a week and an hour with Steve Price each night on the Macquarie network, Bolt is a one-man content powerhouse.

And it must be bloody hard. Work wise and emotionally.

The continual, relentless, vicious attacks on his character have to sting.

What is remarkable about Bolt is his civility.

A gentleman, always

Bolt’s remarkable discipline is that he always plays the ball. Never the man.

He has stuck to his conservative – conservative, not right wing – principles throughout his long career. Despite the attacks he has remained the very picture of polite disagreement. Fact based. Never personal.

He hinted over the weekend that his commitments may be wound back:

I was planning to make an announcement soon about my career. Given this post – and the wilful misreporting about Sky – I should make absolutely clear that my plans were made and discussed with many relevant people BEFORE Ross was sacked. What has happened and what I will do are unrelated.

This is the essence of the problem in Australia. The quality of political debate is becoming more like the US every day.

Bolt is a victim of that.

The report in Fairfax proved that. This is how the story was advertised on the SMH website, implying that Bolt was about to be sacked (for which there is no evidence):

 

Whatever decision is looming, it would be a tragedy for the Australian media if it lost its most prominent and civilising voice for reason because of the personal nature of the attacks. The comments sections on Fairfax websites will prove this pretty fast.

When the decision comes, watch who cheers the loudest. Those people are to be feared the most.