Petition targets David Koch following fiery interview

30,000 signatures upset over heated debate on Sunrise. But was it really 'bullying?'

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.

32 Responses

  1. I haven’t watched Sunrise for years because of Kochie. I find him determined to win all arguments that he feels is right. He didn’t let her speak but whether you agree with someone or not you must let them have their say.

  2. It isn’t words that inflame racism, it is actions. Like watching all the negative impacts of mass migration on Australia & Europe and having reasonable resistance to it stifled & demonised.

    “All people (groups) deserve unmolested self-determination & safety from demographic displacement & eternal interference” is a recipe for peace & goodwill amongst men, and the maintenance of beautiful national cultures & global diversity.

    It is a shame people who support mass migration completely close their eyes & ears to what it costs the Earth and the people around them. They don’t support human rights, they assist in crushing them.

  3. Petition is now up to almost 69,000 but doubt even 500,000 would see Ch.7 butt an eye link. On to my opinion on the matter, it doesn’t matter what side of politics you are on we shouldn’t support the way Koch went about this interview. Journalists are there to report and interview, sure they should ask the hard questions but no matter what the reply, they must allow that reply – its our job to form an opinion from what we hear.

    As to those saying we need to shut down people like Pauline, no we don’t its exactly how we got into this situation, in 2016 600,000 Australians voted for One Nation in the senate, in a few months time if polling is accurate, just under 1,000,000 will. Shutting down and screaming racist at 1,000,000 people drives hate, its drives a them vs us attitude and it drives extremists. Its time to stop labeling and shutting down and time to start understanding why…

  4. I’ll certainly be watching the NSW state election on Saturday TV (something I wouldn’t normally do) to see if Mark Latham wins a seat in the Upper House representing One Nation. The curent toxic politics and heated interviews following the tragedy in NZ may have some influence on the result.

    1. Yes exactly. People seem to have conveniently forgotten the appalling way Gillard was treated by all media. Even the supposedly ‘left’ media. She had more things than an egg thrown at her & laughed it off.

  5. The point is Sunrise has chosen to give Pauline Hanson a platform to share her controversial views while the hosts have hardly raised an eyebrow for a long time. However, after the horrific tragedy in Christchurch, Koch came out swinging. Hanson’s views haven’t changed for decades, so if you chose to give her a platform, challenge them on a weekly basis.

  6. I doubt they’ll get rid of Pauline. Too many sunrise viewers agree with her and it was great television. Confrontation is what these TV shows aim for and you can always count on Pauline for that

  7. I just want the media to just ignore people like Hanson & Anning. The more we ignore them the likelihood of them disappearing increases. Don’t give them (or others like them on all sides) any more oxygen.

  8. So 30,000 racist who support Hanson have their knickers in a not, I wonder how many Hinch fans will come out in support of Kochi, I’d imagine that petition will have a few more zeros in the numbers.

  9. While he’s not the EP, Kochie has been around long enough to have some sway over the way that show is produced. If he felt this strongly, he could and should have stood up long ago as Sunrise indulged Hanson (and others) ever whim and ridiculous, racist thought bubble.

      1. Good point. I used to be a big fan back in the Kochie and Mel days when Boland was EP. I just find it’s become more and more tabloid on Pell’s watch to the point where it’s been a number of year’s since even went near it.

  10. I’m not a fan of Koch, but I’m behind him 100% on this issue. It’s about time Sunrise asked her to ‘please explain’ her extreme views. Sunrise should sever ties with her. There’s no place for bigoted shills on morning television.

    1. Completely agree with you here. I’m with Kochie who is clearly sick to death of Ms. Hanson’s garbage and probably just as sick of having the producers impose her upon the show. He’s done nothing wrong here.

  11. I have been away from home for the past week so I have not been following this whole story. But someone did note that many media organisations and commentators have steadfastly avoided using the word “terrorist” in their reporting / commentary. The little reading I have done since my return would indicate this is true.

    If this happened anywhere else in the world and with different nationalities – then I have no doubt the word “terrorism” would be used freely and frequently. So why is this different now? It almost seems a collective decision made by media and politicians to avoid using this word.

    This is something that I think you could follow up David, especially with the media organisations.

  12. The majority of the media focus has been on the effect of far-right extremist views being complicit, and I think the concerns of complicity could be valid, however, there has not been much focus on far-left extremist views also being complicit. The media focus has been very one-sided by focusing mainly on one side of extremism and I think that’s dangerous when the role media has in society is powerful, influential and effective due to the large scale of broadcasting across geographic distances. Balance has always been important.

    1. First, no such thing as the “Far Left Extremist ” Made up by Trump

      The left defend the planet on Climate change/recycling/clean energy

      The Far-Right Extremist believe in mass murder and genocide the list goes on……

  13. There are many times Kochie should have been sacked over the years but this is not one of them. It’s about time someone called Pauline out on her comments and the consequences of them. She has to accept responsibility but she won’t. It’s way past time Sunrise cut her loose. They are part of the problem giving her airtime every week to air her hateful views.

  14. The bigger question you ask is one the show definitely needs to address. They were happy to ask Pauline if she was complicit in inciting hatred and anti-Muslim sentiment but the reality is, Sunrise are also complicit by giving her the platform to spread those views on a weekly basis.

  15. There should be absolutely no need for a host to remain “neutral” when interviewing racists, bigots and idiots. For too long now (though it is only a relatively recent thing) people with extremist views have been allowed to spout their nonsence to a wide audience via TV as the right wing has been moved into the mainstream.

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