TV’s Kochie faces mother of all protests over breastfeeding row


January 20, 2013

Madeleine King

David Koch

Criticised … Sunrise‘s David Koch.

”NEVER cross a breastfeeding mother” should be near the top of life’s adages.

Sunrise presenter David Koch has found himself the target of indignant women across Australia after adverse comments about public breastfeeding he made on the Seven Network program on Friday.

In response to a story about a Queensland mother being asked to be more discreet with her breastfeeding at a public pool, Koch said it was ”fair enough” that an attendant had asked her to move.

He later tweeted that, while agreeing with the legal right of mothers to breastfeed in public, doing it discreetly was a ”common courtesy to others”. And he said on Sunrise: ”I’ve never seen it done in such a high-traffic area.”

The reaction has been heated, with threats that the Sunrise studio in Martin Place would be swamped on Monday with protesting mothers bearing babies and baring breasts, under the plans of a Facebook group called Sunrise Nurse-In.

The comments drew a stinging riposte from the mother at the centre of the controversy, Liana Webster, posted on the Nurse-in Facebook page.

”I was … in an indoor pool with approximately seven people in and around the pool, which I would not exactly call ‘high traffic’. You do not know the facts so you may as well not comment,” she wrote.

The protest has gathered about 600 potential attendees promising to make use of the open windows facing on to the street during live broadcasts.

20 thoughts on “TV’s Kochie faces mother of all protests over breastfeeding row

  1. As a breastfeeding mother myself, I have to say that unfortunately this response to public breastfeeding is all to common. I myself was asked to move from an RSL last year due breast feeding my 3 month old daughter in the vacinity. I moved from the restaurant area which was busy and sat in a quiet corner where there were few patrons but this was not enough for the manager who promptly told me that I couldnt ‘do that’ there and that I had to move.

    Being ignorant of my rights, I quickly gathered my stuff and moved but to this day, I still feel like I did something wrong and that I made other people uncomfortable which has stopped me from writing in to complain. I was told at the hospital that breast was best and that support for breastfeeding was at its highest yet amongst businesses and the public in general. I’ve found the breastfeeding facilities amazing in shopping centres etc but when there is no alternative in restaurants or public pools , what else can a mother do? It wasn’t like I had my jugs out for all to see either. I was wearing a poncho for goodness sake! There is a massive drive in hospitals to encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies currently, but everytime we go out in public, we face public condemnation from those that are too concerned with their own selfish sense of propriety.

    Thank you for this story TAB. Kochie’s archaic standpoint on this issue has motivated me to write that letter after all. If we holiday near that area again, we will be sure not to visit that RSL.

    RSL in question: Sailos, Taree, NSW. You have been named and shamed.

  2. I also thought it was public knowledge that this self-important wanker shouldn’t be given any time of day.
    Nothing like a person who’s been on the brink of bankruptcy several times giving financial advice. He oozes that right-wing arrogance that’s so easy to spot.

  3. The reaction to his comments is completely disproportionate. Why not post something about that tosser Paul Henry? Kochie isn’t racist, he isn’t sexist, he’s just a little behind the times. Having the opinion that it’s fair enough to ask a woman not to bare her breasts on private property is not sexist, it’s not ‘bogan’ and it’s not discriminatory at all.

    I don’t necessarily like the guy, but everyone is just making a mountain out of a molehill, seriously. Find something worthwhile to whinge about. You know America killed hundreds of innocent people in drone strikes last year right? You know the French with UK and US backing are killing innocent people and about to hand a nation over to its former coup government, right?

    The owners of private property asked a woman to be more discreet as she took her breasts out, on their property. They had every right to do so and this guy has every right to make up and voice his own opinion, if you were offended by his very, very tame opinion, maybe you should all just stay indoors with your fingers in your ears from now on.

    Whinging for whinging’s sake.

    • Why not post something about that tosser Paul Henry?

      Because he got the boot and is presumably annoying the Kiwis again. Why don’t you start your own blog, then you can post what you like.

      … he’s just a little behind the times

      As a public figure and broadcaster he needs to get with the times. People take cues from celebrities whether we like it or not. That’s why Bolt and Jones among others are so dangerous. They are not laughable knuckle-dragging bogots fulminating on Facebook. They are wealthy, powerful and influential and they have the ear of people in government.

      You know America killed hundreds of innocent people…You know the French with UK and US backing are killing innocent people

      This is not a political analysis blog. We concentrate on Australia and on what we can influence. In any case we don’t want Australia to go down the path of the US.

      There is much to admire about France, but its international political and diplomatic performance over many centuries is not one of them. As colonists they were even worse than the British, which is saying something. The French should stick to culinary pursuits and high culture.

      The owners of private property asked a woman to be more discreet as she took her breasts out, on their property. They had every right to do so…

      Our understanding is that it was a public municipal swimming pool paid for by rate-payers. Which is public property. They have NO right to do so.

      …this guy has every right to make up and voice his own opinion

      You know what they say about opinions and arseholes don’t you? All very well to have a platform of privilege like your own TV show. Nursing mothers and their babies are not so lucky.

  4. I would have commented a fraction earlier but I was distracted by the tennis on channel 7. The camera kept zooming down Caroline Wozniacki’s top as she was leaning forward waiting to return serve.

  5. As for the old “aren’t there more important things to complain/protest about?” argument: as far as Liana Webster is concerned, no. Most of us are capable of walking and chewing gum simultaneously and can concern ourselves with both personal and world issues. I also subscribe to the belief that ignoring small issues of injustice allows larger ones to prosper.

  6. Today was my first visit to this site, I found it very informative…. But can I just say mindmadeup, you call ppl trolls, then post ip addy’s etc to prove what? You are not posting under your real name, and every thing I read you were all over it, arguing with anyone who doesn’t share your opinion, or prove them wrong or fakes…. Newsflash lol, You’re also a troll! ……and not exactly very nice about it, telling others to go away… What gives you that right? Makes you look narrow minded more than your tag name …. 🙂

    • Why would anyone post under their real name when the far right has frequently shown and displayed that they will stop at nothing to harrass, intimidate and even threaten people involved in this site?

      When posting items under my real name I has received threats of physical violence, and had disgusting messages sent to my inbox. Anonymity is a protection.

      The people whose comments appear on this site have chosen to make racist statements. Are you saying that deserve the right to privacy when they present information publically?

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