'Shocked by the venom'


Why is it a crime for a bloke (and an older bloke) to have an opinion these days which isn't consistent with the noisy social media brigade? Particularly if it is regarding a subject which dares to broach family issues.

The venom associated with my comments on breastfeeding has been extraordinary. From being called a buffoon with discriminatory views by the Fairfax Media critic Michael Idato, to being accused of hating kids, being jealous of babies and having a boob fetish.

But maybe my views are more representative than the social media critics would have you believe. At the time of deadline, 64 per cent of the 30,000 votes made on a Fairfax Media poll agreed with my opinions.

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Look, I don't have a mortgage on opinions, never have. But I have an opinion … always have and always will. It may not be an opinion you agree with, but that is OK. It is a democracy and I am happy to hear yours.

With three hours of live television every day, you cannot pretend to be something you are not. Viewers are way too smart. So you have to be honest and, unfortunately, that is often not politically correct.

For me it is an abuse of our privileged position in the media to ignore dissenting views. That is not the Sunrise way.

As soon as I made my original comments on air, we were bombarded with emails to our soapbox. They ran 80-20 against my opinions so we read out a string of the critical emails.

On Monday, about 100 nursing mothers and their babies, protested outside the studios. We regularly crossed to show them, their protest and their signs.

We spoke to the organiser of the ''nurse-in'' Amy Ahearn over two segments of the show.

Amy claimed my remarks unintentionally harmed the reputation of breastfeeding to which I apologised. I am a fan of breastfeeding in public and believe nursing mothers deserve our respect, support, encouragement and praise. But I also think that respect is two-way. That nursing mothers need to assess the different public arenas they feed in and, if necessary, be more modest.

We agreed to disagree. It was a good discussion … the way it should be.

David Koch is Sunrise co-host on Channel Seven

David Koch.

David Koch.


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