Sam Armytage defends Sunrise segment

Sam Armytage has hit back at reportage of a Sunrise segment yesterday which debated a newspaper article “Save Our Kids.”

The front page article quoted assistant minister for children & families David Gillespie calling for “white” families to care for at-risk Aboriginal children.

In yesterday’s Hot Topics segment commentators Prue MacSween and Ben Davis agreed children should not be left in abusive environments.

“Don’t worry about the people who decry and handwring and say, this will be another Stolen Generation, said MacSween.

“Just like the first Stolen Generation, where a lot of children were taken because it was for their wellbeing, we need to do it again, perhaps.”

Host Sam Armytage hoped “sense prevails.”

But while the regular opinion segment at 6:48am shared similar views, it lacked an Indigenous perspective or alternative viewpoint.

Both Fairfax and News Corp (the latter being the original source of the story) quote community opinions, and social media responses, which point to a lack of Indigenous voices in the discussion.

Sam Armytage has since defended the segment on Twitter.

A Seven spokesperson also defended the segment, saying: “Editorial opinions, either written or articulated are a vital part of journalism.

“At all times on Sunrise, respect for others and their values and opinions is a foundation principle in debates.

“The issue raised by the page one article in today’s newspapers around the country warranted a discussion in a fair and reasonable forum, as undertaken by social commentators Prue MacSween and Ben Davis.”

In 2010 Sam Armytage apologised to viewers after Prue MacSween used the word “retard” during a debate about education for children with special needs, acknowledging “We do believe it belongs to a different era.”


  1. carolemorrissey

    The so called balanced panels on Sunrise are a joke. One day they have Rita Panini & Alan Jones, both right wing. Another day they have Jeff Kennett & Mark Latham. Latham hasn’t had Labor values in a very long time.

  2. Sunrise should hang its head in shame that topic was treated so poorly and to have two no bodies she calls them socia commentators yeh right Moreno like right wing extremists with no background on this subject Prue Macqueen and that Ben bloke from Queensland seriously from Queensland why one has to ask ,was so insulting and clealry shows sunrise had no intention of treating this subject seriously or with any respect that it deserved .it was pathetic really .i can’t watch that show any more .every thing on their including all its segments are all pay per view stories paid by tourism bodies and companies pay sunrise to talk about certain subjects and the money tourism Queensland spends with sunrise to promote Queensland is disgusting .

    • I have never lived in Qld, but I suspect that there are as many thinking, intelligent people there as in the other states. In fact, they probably have more insightful comments to make about these issues as they are more affected. It would have been good for the show to find commentators with recognised credentials on this issue, but assuming they are incompetent based on their locale doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    • haha yes exactly! i can’t stand the way Sam sounds so smugly knowledgeable about things which in reality she seems to know very little about. The segment was insensitive but i also suspect it was a bit ‘click bait’ TV too.

  3. Well Sam, I saw this live. It wasn’t a debate about looking after the best interests of children at all. Disgraceful segment on so many levels. Not one panelist said ‘children in need need to go to caring and well vetted foster families’. And not one panelist talked about the need for indigenous children to continue to have access to their culture or community. This is surely a condition that must be considered for all children that need to be placed in foster care. Community and culture were a big factor in why my father had the opportunity to foster a young adult as it meant the he could still go to the same school, see his siblings and friends. None of this was discussed by these panelists.

    • Jen you are so far removed from reality.. aboriginal children when removed by child safety always continue to be involved with their culture… the recognised entity does this.. in our community we make sure they learn about their mob their traditions their language.. that is required by law under the child protection act!! So your comments are wrong wrong wrong

      • Bren, I think you need to watch the segment and re-read my post. Which part did I get wrong about the segment? Give me the time stamp and name ood the person who discussed placing indigenous children in well vetted foster families with access to their community. They didn’t. They advocated for the opposite.

        • Oh, and Prue even joked that people will start crying stolen generation again. I get that some people have this view, but I think a child having access to their community is important. These panelists didn’t. So I’m unsure why you think I am wrong to disagree with this panel. I’m unsure whether you are in fact agreeing with Prue and Sam on this matter or whether you agree with me that children in need need access to their culture and community. Are you angry that the laws are in favour of this out are you angry that I disagree with the panelists who aren’t?

  4. I’ve always had a problem with these discussion panels with socialites, journos and so called stars. It’s like having a chat with your mates at the pub. No knowledge at all

        • In every way they are the same.. lets look at the facts… bring on militants with militant views from the far left and far right.. sensational comments that draw headlines the next day in the media and on social media.. talk fest with nothing ever changing!

          • One might argue there was no left in the Sunrise discussion, or at least a contrasting perspective. But to your point, Q&A and Project have had plenty of topics debated that have seen change, gay marriage the most recent. They are forums not the decision makers. Not sure generalisations help.

    • carolemorrissey

      And the ‘social commentators’, what qualifications do you need to be one? They need to get some ordinary Aussies to discuss some of these issues not journalists who are on such huge salaries & have no clue about doing it tough in the real world.

  5. An all white panel discussing the removal of aboriginal children and forcing them into adoption by white people makes me so angry. The white media continue to print lies and propaganda that has been purely made up by white people in power, and the white media continue to print stories that are factually incorrect such as this. Removing them for their own well-being?? What a pathetic thing to say, Sunrise should be forced to apologised and all parties involved should be sacked.

  6. “The issue raised by the page one article in today’s newspapers around the country warranted a discussion in a fair and reasonable forum, as undertaken by social commentators Prue MacSween and Ben Davis”

    Well, that right there is the problem.

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