'Why is it a crime for a bloke to have an opinion these days?': Kochie defends breastfeeding comments

David "Kochie" Koch has penned an opinion piece in today's Sydney Morning Herald defending his stance on breastfeeding, following the uproar over comments he made on Friday's episode of Sunrise.

"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," Kochie wrote.

"Look, I don't have a mortgage on opinions, never have. But I have an opinion ... always have and always will," he continued.

"It may not be an opinion you agree with, but that is OK. It is a democracy and I am happy to hear yours.

"With three hours of live television every day, you cannot pretend to be something you are not. Viewers are way too smart. So you have to be honest and, unfortunately, that is often not politically correct."

Last Friday, Kochie said on Sunrise that breastfeeding mothers needed to be "classy" about where they choose to do it in public, referring to a story about a breastfeeding mother forced to leave a public pool on Queensland's Bribie Island.

His words sparked widespread debate across social media and news sites, some calling him "offensive and selfish" (Herald Sun's Siobhan Duck), while others agreed ("all for Kochie on this one. I breast fed but did it so no-one knew, I didn't want to expose my breast to some pervert" wrote a ninemsn reader).

Around 100 young mothers and their babies protested outside the Sunrise studios in Sydney's Martin Place on Monday. Kochie apologised on air to the organiser of the protest, Amy Ahearn before playing with her baby (see video at the top of story).

"I am a fan of breastfeeding in public and believe nursing mothers deserve our respect, support, encouragement and praise," Kochie wrote in the SMH.

"But I also think that respect is two-way. That nursing mothers need to assess the different public arenas they feed in and, if necessary, be more modest."

"[Amy and I] agreed to disagree. It was a good discussion ... the way it should be".

Has the whole breastfeeding furore been a beat-up? Where do you sit on the breastfeeding debate? Share your thoughts below.

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