Not long ago the right-wing blogger and News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt was in line to become the Bill O’Reilly of Australian television. Bolt would have led the way into a Foxified future, built on an amalgamation of Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News, and Lachlan Murdoch’s Network Ten, assisted by changes to Australia’s media laws. But not anymore.

They screwed it up. The government took longer than they planned to get the media law changes through the senate. They underestimated the hostility of Ten’s creditors, and they were gazumped by the American media giant CBS.

And so Bolt is left on the eighth floor of a Melbourne office building, holed up in a makeshift studio, broadcasting to an audience of almost no one. Guests ring a number to be let in and find their own way in the lift. There is no hair and make-up to speak of, none of the usual trappings of a television studio. This is as close as you can get to pirate radio without being on Mark Latham’s show. Mike Seccombe reports.

Plus: Paul Bongiorno on Pauline Hanson’s push to relax gun laws to win votes in Queensland, and Guy Rundle on the rise of a new nationalisation.

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The Saturday Paper