So after a morning on Sunrise in which he mocked breastfeeding mothers and they made boobs jokes in the tradition of Benny Hill, Kochie’s doing a fake mea culpa in this opinion piece.
Allow me to lift the debate by calling him a complete numpty. The piece is so ripe with goobiness that it’s hard to know where to start.
He kicks off with:
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.
You know what I don’t express opinions on? Astrophysics. You know why? Because I don’t know anything about it. Autistic children’s access to services, the Vienna Circle’s position on clocks, Manti Te’o’s upbringing – all subjects which, while I might be tempted, I don’t talk about because I’m completely ignorant. The idea that seems to have taken hold in our society that the mere expressing of an opinion, however misinformed, is somehow precious, even when it’s stupid, seems to me to be a bit wonky. And I’m not saying that we should suddenly be living in Hitler’s Germany (thank god we reached that point in the conversation early where I get to deny that); I just happen to think something crazy: not all opinions are as important as others. My three year old niece, for example, believes that vegetables should be wiped out. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say I don’t think she should be given a platform to say that on morning television.
It’s nice also that Kochie has immediately lunged for victimhood here. As a white, presumably fairly wealthy, man, sometimes it’s a struggle to get to that place in a timely fashion but he made it in the first paragraph. Bravo!
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.
Wow. It’s awkward when people have strongly held opinions in response to the ones that you threw off the cuff on morning TV. “Awks,” as the young kids say.
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.
Yep, I’m pretty sure that a poll online should clear things up. At the time of writing, I can’t even find that poll, and the one that’s now up shows more than 80% of people aren’t offended by public breastfeeding.
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.
…As long as you don’t get your norcs out while you’re giving it, girls! But seriously, I’m not sure whether at Federation, Australia’s founding fathers were fired up about ensuring that our robust democracy would protect the right of men on morning TV to tell women to stay classy. It’s not like he’s defending the rights of the unborn or arguing against racism. He said that it was ”fair enough” for a woman to be thrown out of a public pool for breastfeeding and that women should be ‘‘more discreet and modest.’’ More discreet and modest than what?
With three hours of live television every day, you cannot pretend to be something you are not.
Like say, not a goose.
Viewers are way too smart. So you have to be honest and, unfortunately, that is often not politically correct.
Really? Being honest is often not politically correct? What a burden that must be.
For me it is an abuse of our privileged position in the media to ignore dissenting views. That is not the Sunrise way.
Right on! If there’s one news outlet you can count on to tell it like it is and say what others don’t dare, it’s Sunrise. If I’m not mistaken, they lifted the lid on conditions at Guantanamo and ran a campaign against the Vietnam War. Excuse me a moment while I go don my campaign t-shirt from their tireless crusade against female genital mutilation.
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.
Brave, like the Anzacs.
I am a fan of breastfeeding in public and believe nursing mothers deserve our respect, support, encouragement and praise.
This is completely at odds with his comments yesterday when he compared them to topless sun-bathers.
But I also think that respect is two-way.
Exactly. Mothers have to earn respect, what with their boobs flapping all over the place.
That nursing mothers need to assess the different public arenas they feed in and, if necessary, be more modest.
Again, be more modest than what? What we’re talking about is someone breastfeeding at a public pool. There’s no suggestion she was doing a wild corybantic dance whizzing her tits around until they slapped people in the face. It is so very crackers that Kochie thinks this is a great public evil against which he needs to speak out courageously, like live cattle export. Right beneath our noses, people are crassly feeding their babies.
We agreed to disagree. It was a good discussion … the way it should be.