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Media Watch: David Bullard Attacks Black Columnists at The Weekender (RIP)

Screw It, Let's Do LunchJacqueline & David BullardThe Democratic MomentNative NostalgiaAlert! David Bullard has turned what must have been a smidgen of Schadenfreude at The Weekender‘s closing – the paper was part-owned by Avusa, owners of the Sunday Times, firerers of the same David Bullard – into, no prizes here for guessing what, a column.

His diagnosis on the newspaper’s demise boils down to two factors: a mismatch between the political and material orientation of its readers and the writers who filled its pages; and Avusa’s desire to protect the Sunday Times from competition. Fair points, perhaps, except that, in making the first, Bullard casually takes out the race card he apparently keeps up his sleeve and deals it into the mix. Black columnists like Xolela Mangcu (and, by implication, his Weekender colleague Jacob Dlamini – both out with new books) simply don’t cut the mustard, according to Bullard:

The problem with many black columnists is that they can’t write. Sure, they can string sentences together in such a way that they would pass an English language O level but, sadly, they are not very interesting writers. Many were academics and there is a great difference in writing a dry academic paper and knocking off a newspaper column that people actually want to read.

The cash strapped intellectual Xolela Mangcu was a case in point. Each week he would bore readers with how clever he was and how whiteys had better watch out because the day is coming when the darkies will run out of patience. This is not exactly what an affluent white wants to read in his weekend newspaper and the relief was palpable when Mangcu “resigned”, having failed to substantiate a defamatory claim he had made in his column about one of his betters.

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Recent comments:

  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    November 9th, 2009 @14:36 #
     
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    Absolutely jaw-dropping. Here's the bit where he gives himself away: "A newspaper like this should have appointed an opinionated, larger than life editor (I would have been an ideal candidate) who would have appeared on every TV and radio show possible..."

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  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    November 11th, 2009 @14:24 #
     
  • <a href="http://fionasnyckers.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Fiona</a>
    Fiona
    November 11th, 2009 @14:37 #
     
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    Ben, this link doesn't seem to take me to the right place.

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  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    November 11th, 2009 @14:51 #
     
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    Hmmm, looks like they've got a permalink problem...

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  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    November 11th, 2009 @14:51 #
     
  • <a href="http://fionasnyckers.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Fiona</a>
    Fiona
    November 11th, 2009 @15:05 #
     
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    Thanks, that works. An intelligent piece that is not afraid to grapple with the tough issues, and manages not to blame black columnists. How refreshing.

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