While the Sunday Times
editor is denying any ‘other' hand in the dismissal of Bullard, speculation doing the rounds at two key industry events last night where leaders in the media, marketing and advertising industry were assembled – the annual Apex Awards and John Farquhar's 80th birthday party celebration – was that political pressure has been brought to bear on the Sunday Times
with Government threats to pull advertising. This is being denied by the Sunday Times
editor, Mondli Makhanya, today.
Many in the industry felt that this was an opportunity for the Sunday Times
to “get rid of Bullard” as he became more and more vocal in his criticism of the Government and the ruling party, the ANC.
Makhanya reportedly said it was about “values” and that Bullard's column no longer fitted in with the values of the Sunday Times
According to a senior writer who was with Bullard at an event he was MC-ing last night, Makhanya fired him over the phone due to his “racist column”. Says the journalist, “Surely the buck stops with the editor? If he or she thinks any copy is unsuitable or racist or whatever, he or she should pull it, not fire the journalist!... Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought that columnists were entitled to express their opinions?”
Others have countered that Bullard's column was indeed offensive and it shouldn't come as a surprise that he was finally fired.
Bullard has worked on a freelance contract basis for the Sunday Times
for 14 years. He hit the headlines last year when he was shot and severely wounded in a robbery at his home.
Read the controversial column for yourself:
Uncolonised Africa wouldn't know what it was missing [David Bullard].
... Imagine for a moment what life would be like in South Africa if the evil white man hadn't come to disturb the rustic idyll of the early black settlers...www.thetimes.co.za/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=741855
This was the reaction earlier this week to the Bullard column by leading commentators:
The heat of hate in Sunday column [Xolela Mangcu]www.businessday.co.za/articles/topstories.aspx?ID=BD4A745310
So many 'what ifs', but we cannot go back [Max du Preez]www.iol.co.za/general/other/lol_container.php?set_id=40&click_id=2773&art_id=vn20080410053847595C810883
Here is what the mainstream media are saying today, Friday 11 April:The Times Online
– Bullard fired as Sunday Times
Controversial columnist David Bullard has been fired by the Sunday Times
for writing a "racist column," reports Business Day
iafrica.com | news | sa news Sunday Times
fires David Bullard
Former Sunday Times
columnist David Bullard has said he was surprised to be fired as the brief from his newspaper bosses was to be controversial...http://iafrica.com/news/sa/654146.htm
24.com – News top story Sunday Times
fires Bullard Sunday Times
Johannesburg – David Bullard, a regular contributor to the Sunday Times
, was fired from his post after an "extremely racist" column of his was published in ...www.24.com/news/?p=tsa&i=888001
What is being said on the blogosphereDavid Bullard on Amatomu.com – tagged articlesDavid Bullard on Amatomu.com – keyword searchDavid Bullard on Afrigator.comDavid Bullard on Google Blog SearchDavid Bullard on Technorati.com