An online petition calling for David Koch to be dumped from Sunrise has attracted nearly 30,000 signatures.
The petition criticises Koch for is hosting of a debate between Pauline Hanson and Derryn Hinch, both independent senators.
On social media some viewers accuse Koch of ‘bullying’ Hanson through his interview style.
“Time for him to go. Put someone on who actually has a clue,” the petition suggests. “Someone who can call someone in for an interview and actually have an interview and not simply bully and talk over them the whole time.”
Koch grilled Hanson on her political views, particularly those around immigration and her anti-Muslim stance, while Derryn Hinch drew upon his broadcasting bluster. Koch told Hanson her views were enflaming racism and asked if she felt complicit in extremists turning to terrorist actions. Hanson denied the accusation.
While the segment was full of raised voices and robust opinions, Hanson was given airtime to state her position within the context of a TV debate.
Koch may not have remained entirely independent in the segment, but compared to schoolyards and online where bullying is very real and personal, it’s hard to see how this qualifies as bullying.
Hanson also took issue with her image being used alongside Fraser Anning and the gunman charged with murder in NZ.
Sacking Kochie is unlikely to emerge from this segment. But the bigger question for Sunrise is how much longer it can give Hanson airtime while it is clearly has moral issues with her ideology. Yes a news show can couch two sides to an argument, but it has enjoyed Hanson as a hot topic trigger for self-serving purposes, and needs to consider whether it is part of the problem or part of the solution.