CAROLINE HURRY reviews David Bullard’s latest book
Hear that? It’s the sound of thousands of former Sunday Times readers cackling manically at David Bullard’s PC-free observations about his erstwhile editor, pompous politicians and … well, everything in South Africa that sucks.
Sadly, most of our mainstream media falls squarely in the “sucks” category. As editors kowtow to advertisers and agenda merchants, content is sacrificed on the altar of parsimony. I haven’t bought a newspaper or magazine in months. I read everything online, now.
Freedom of speech is a subject close to Bullard’s heart but unlike Max du Preez, who believes freedom of speech to be essential to our democracy “… unless the article is written by someone Max doesn’t like very much” … Bullard puts his money where his mouth is.
People should have a democratic right to say what they like irrespective of whether others agree, says Bullard. With freedom of speech comes the freedom to offend …”
Right on! You have to admire Bullard for zapping every sacred cow squarely on the rump with an electric cattle prod.
Bullard is not wrong when he says: “These days in journalism you need big balls and a private income if you want to say what’s on your mind; Steve Mulholland is a good example of that rare breed.”
As is Bullard himself, of course, and you can’t help gasping at his rapier thrusts – Ann Taylor, the “pug-faced harridan” always to be “found at the barricades when there is a sniff of racism in the air”; Mike Robertson, “the personality-challenged MD of the Sunday Times”; the “bibulous buffoon” Mondli Makanya”, the “stench of Avusa’s dirty linen being aired” in an 88-page report compiled by the “bouffant-haired” Prof Anton Harber.
Writes Bullard: “The report leaves the reader in no doubt that the Sunday Times is a bloody awful place to work for all but the charmed few. It seems clear – just as I remember it – that it is a workplace characterized by spite, malice, pettiness, idleness, and nepotism. It is well known within the Sunday Times that many, if not most, of the management (sic) team have exchanged bodily fluids … Which might explain how a lesbian poetess rose without trace to become … editor of one of the Avusa newspapers, not withstanding that there were far more deserving candidates for the job.”
We learn with some fascination that Bullard’s former editor allegedly spent up to R40 000 a month on bar bills and was seen “vomiting over himself after a very liquid lunch at JB Rivers”.
Frankly, he sounds like a typical editor to me. I too have had to skip nimbly out of the way of a few multicoloured yawns, but The Times, they are a-changing … and clearly for the worse …
Revenge, Bullard-style, is not so much served cold as neatly dished up into 95 delicious columns in a 350-page book. If you’re fed-up to the back teeth with sanctimonious bleeding heart liberals, this book is for you.
- As always Bullard is donating 25 % of all royalties to Cornucopia Charity.