Ray Hadley questions how Andrew Bolt could refer to him as a left wing commentator

Ray Hadley assures Peter Saxon he is of the right. 

Hadley was packing up to drive to the Gold Coast when I called him. He’d been sweating on getting a border pass in time for the move.

While 4BC, under Nine management, has reverted to live and local content in Breakfast and Drive, Hadley’s Morning show which is networked to around 30 stations nationally will remain. But he’ll be broadcasting from Queensland, which will presumably give the show a more national flavour and be less Sydney centric.

Either way, it’s nice work if you can get it.

Hadley admits he didn’t see or hear exactly what Andrew Bolt said about him on Foxtel’s Sky News last week.

“Actually, people told me, because I don’t watch his program, that he referred to me as a left wing commentator. And I simply said that it will come as news to the Greens and the left wing of the Labor Party that I’m all of a sudden described as one of them because obviously they’re the direct polar opposite of what I represent and what I stand for.”

Does Ray feel insulted by Bolt’s jibe? 

“No. No I don’t. I don’t take anything that Andrew Bolt says with anything but a grain of salt. I think he was just having a cheap shot. He was putting it in terms that Channel Nine has turned it (2GB) into a left wing station and that would be a reference to the fact that Alan’s gone . He’s the only one that could be described as extreme right . I mean, I’ve always had a reasonable relationship with both sides of politics. But I certainly lean to the right, which is the way people view me and the way people suit me.”

There’s no doubt that for the better part of two decades, Alan Jones was the headline act, synonymous with the 2GB brand. It was he who gave 2GB its ultra conservative persona. But if there was any reason (or reasons) other than ill health for his departure it was not his political leanings but the manner in which he often berated those with whom he disagreed and the language that he used to belittle them.

Only last week George Moore, who, is arguably, as conservative as Alan Jones, made a quiet comeback on 2GB, filling in (at this stage) for Deb Knight on afternoons.

Moore had resigned from the station last December when contract negotiations with the previous management broke down over defamation insurance. But he left the door open for a comeback, telling listeners, “There’s new management here now and I’ve told them: if you should phone me in six months-time, you never know my answer could be yes.”  

The real difference between Moore, Hadley along with Chris Smith who’s no slouch when it comes to standing for conservative values either, and Alan Jones is that it is only Jones who seems to attract the attention of the ACMA for his occasional, ill-advised turn of phrase. And while the other three have little trouble attracting advertisers, Jones, of late, has attracted the ire of women’s groups and others calling for advertiser boycotts of his show which has resulted in millions of dollars worth of cancellations.

Sometimes it has nothing to do with right and left. It’s simply about right and wrong


Nonetheless, Hadley, Bolt + Jones, all three self-described conservatives, could not disagree more on the matter of COVID-19.

“I think Bolt, like a lot of very conservative people – Donald Trump included and the president of Brazil –  keep saying it’s no more than the common flu.”

In the audio from last week (below), Hadley produces some figures about how many people die from the common flu every year: it’s between 350,000 and 600,000 worldwide. But that’s out of around a Billion cases. And that’s with a vaccine to limit the death rate.

By comparison, so far, the world’s recorded only almost 13 Million (but rapidly rising) cases of Covid-19. Yet, we have almost 600,000 deaths already. So, once we get to a Billion cases, without an effective vaccine, the death rate would be in World War II proportions.

“How people can actually call it a flu is quite beyond me,” says Hadley “What Bolt and Alan and other conservative commentators’ view is, is that the economy is more important than human life and that’s not something that I agree with. and that the you know that he made a remark in his column today that it’s only old people die. If it was my grandfather. my grandmother or my great grandfather, great grandmother… I’m not going to cheapen their lives by dismissing it as just old people dying. I think it’s really uncharitable and I think it’s undignified. It’s cruel.”

Also in the audio is a mantage of lunatics from Florida with their opinions on waearing a mask.



Hadley also has much praise for the way our politicians, from the PM down, have handled the pandemic. “I think, all the premiers – even Daniel Andrews who stuffed up to some extent. But I look at the New South Wales Premier yesterday she looked absolutely exhausted. I don’t think she had a day off since this started back in early March. And I think in general the premiers and the Prime Minister and the various senior ministers and public health officials have done an incredible job to restrict it (the death toll) to a 100 plus as opposed to thousands and thousands who’ve died elsewhere. I think they’ve done an incredible job.

“And they, particularly Bolt keeps saying, ‘There’s only 104 dead (now 108) only 104.’ But that’s because we haven’t followed the lead of others including the UK and we haven’t done what they’ve done in the United States of America nor Brazil. We restricted it because we’ve been very very very sensible about it. Very sensible.”

As I’ve noted before, Scott Morrison has left the politics out of it. The other day when he was given a golden opportunity by media to take a dig at Daniel Andrews, a Labor Premier, for the sharp spike in coronavirus cases in his state, he declined. Instead he proclaimed, ‘We are all Melburnians, we all Victorians.’

Hadley says, “If 68 per cent (Newspoll 28/6/2020) of the population think he’s doing a good a job, it means a lot of people from the other side of politics are in tacit agreement that the Prime Minister is doing a good job. I don’t mind siding with a minority from time to time but in this particular case I’m more than happy to be with the majority of people.

“I think the opinions expressed by the right wing conservatives over this, that it’s is nothing more than the flu are dangerous. I think it’s a bit strange that News Corp is trying to be as responsible as they can and yet they let a senior columnist like this bloke (Bolt),- and I know we’re talking about freedom of the press and different viewpoints – but we’re in territory that no one’s ever encountered before. We’re at war. We’re on a war footing, not with the Germans, with the Chinese, not with the Japanese not with anyone. We’re on a war footing against a virus that’s going to, unless contained, kill millions of people,” concludes Ray Hadley.

Below is yesterday’s interview with the Prime Minister from the Nine studios on the Gold Coast, including a live line drop out, fixed like a tyre change in Formula One.







Subscribe to the radioinfo daily flash briefing podcast on these platforms: Acast, Apple iTunes Podcasts, Podtail, Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Ask Alexa: ‘Alexa, play radioinfo flash briefing’ or ask Google Home: “Hey Google. Play the latest Radioinfo flash briefing podcast.”

  Post your job, make sure you are logged in.



Tags: | |