Mamamia founder Mia Freedman receives death threats after response from Sunrise’s David Koch over ‘Strippergate’ article

The founder of Mamamia Mia Freedman and editor Jamila Rizvi have received “rape and death threats” on Twitter after Sunrise presenter David Koch attacked them this morning for representing him as a “dirty old man” after an online fashion segment of the show referred to co-host Samantha Armytage’s shoes as “stripper shoes”.

Yesterday the row, dubbed “Strippergate” by, exploded over the segment where Koch comes on screen with a pole which Armytage wraps her leg around, with the Mail Online, operated in Australia in partnership with Nine Entertainment Co, posting a story headlined “Isn’t it too early for stripper jokes? Australia’s breakfast show Sunrise takes humour to a new low.”

The was followed up in an editorial by Mamamia editor Jamila Rizvi “Dear Kochie. It’s not okay to humiliate your colleague on television”, in which she says it was “sexist and demeaning” of Koch to present Armytage with the pole.

Dear Kochie Mamamia post

However, this morning both Koch and Armytage spent several minutes on Sunrise rebuking comments made in the piece, and accusing both Rizvi and Freedman of “sneakily” amending errors in the article, and not posting Koch’s response for more than four hours.

Now Freedman has taken to Twitter saying her and Rizvi have received threats on the social network following the response.

Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 12.30.52 PM

In this morning’s response Koch said he received a private message from Freedman who said deleting his comment was an “F-up” by a member of staff who had sought to protect Rizvi.

“So on the Mamamia website the comments are censored to support the view of the writers,” Koch said, while also taking aim at Freedman for sending a private message.

“Man up go public and say someone did delete my post and you do censor your website. If you’re a credible media outlet you need to play by the rules as well,” he said.

“It sort of sets up the whole older male grubbiness routine which is just pathetic and then it continues on to humiliate her and to make me out to be a dirty old man, it’s just pathetic.”

Koch said Rizvi used to be Kate Ellis’ press secretary and part of Kevin Rudd’s media unit adding “she is the classic political spin doctor, and you can just imagine her doing the dirt files on Opposition politicians”.

Claiming her approach to the story without calling Armytage for comment was, “such a political spin doctor type thing to do.”

Armytage told viewers:  “At no point was I humiliated at all. I found it to be far more insulting to be labeled by a woman who doesn’t know me, who obviously doesn’t watch the show, who would describe me as a piece of eye-candy for my male host, which is utterly ridiculous. That she would feel sorry for me, for going along with a stupid fun joke.”

She added: “I was not embarrassed, my dignity is still completely intact. I think it was an insult to me, it was an insult to my family, to my father who has raised me to be a strong woman. I’m not a pushover, I’m perfectly capable of sticking up for myself.

“And I do not like this part of the sisterhood that insists on running down men to be a feminist or part of the sisterhood. I like the men I work with, I respect the men I work with and I won’t do it.”

Mail Online stripper shoesSunrise producer Michael Pell said in a statement to media: “It’s just a bit of fun. It certainly gave us all a good laugh. If any strippers have been offended by this video, we sincerely apologise.”

Sunrise shared the clip of Armytage and Koch’s response on their Facebook page.

Freedman declined to comment further to Mumbrella.

Sunrise Facebook stripper heels

The stripper heels segment:

Megan Reynolds


  1. qwerty
    23 Jan 14
    2:08 pm

  2. Yawn

  3. Wendy
    23 Jan 14
    2:09 pm

  4. Why didn’t Kochie take aim at the Mail Online article? Anyway, to be honest, I don’t care. I don’t care about this story and I really don’t know why this peanut is still on television.

  5. Matthew Cheyne
    23 Jan 14
    2:13 pm

  6. I have a question for Mia Freedman and Jamila Rizvi which is in the ballpark of what has been discussed.

    Why is it that if a man goes to a gentlemen’s club and pays a woman to dance on a pole, that is seen by feminists as exploitation. But if that same woman goes to pole dancing studio, pays to learn how to dance on a pole, a skill that could be used at any gentlemen’s club, that is seen by feminists as a woman empowering herself. Why is that?

    Now I have a follow up question. Who made the two of you the final arbiters on womens issues? And who made you judge and jury on the actions, decisions and words of men? No arm of government appointed you, no electors voted for you and dare I say it, you have probably never actually studied feminist theory or womens’ issues at a tertiary level.

    So really the two of you are just spouting out hot air and expecting us punters to swallow it as something authoritative. The problem is nobody is falling for it, not even your own readers.

  7. TG
    23 Jan 14
    2:21 pm

  8. Anyone actually seen these death threats? Or did the “staff member” delete them too?
    Not a fan of Koch normally, but his line ” If you’re a credible media outlet” when referring to Mamamia is *hilarious*

  9. Boris
    23 Jan 14
    2:30 pm

  10. First world problems alert! Is there a reason why anyone at all should care about all these people or know who they are????

  11. Matt
    23 Jan 14
    2:36 pm

  12. Over-contrived, much?

  13. 2 Cents
    23 Jan 14
    2:47 pm

  14. It’s a shame Mamamia got the facts wrong (saying it was live on air when it was not), as this detracts from Kochie’s actions, which I personally find to be pretty off.

    Seven is not a on a good roll at the moment, with this coming after Sam Smith’s dating question to Eugenie Bouchard. They probably need to be more careful.

  15. Mark Juddery
    23 Jan 14
    3:02 pm

  16. I’d usually ignore all this… except it’s ironic that Kochie told Freedman to “man up” about the whole thing.

  17. Casey
    23 Jan 14
    3:07 pm

  18. I’m a pole dancer (recreationally) and what I take offense to is that Sam’s shoes in no way look like stripper heels! No platform, no 7 inch heel…

  19. Stuart
    23 Jan 14
    3:20 pm

  20. “And I do not like this part of the sisterhood that insists on running down men to be a feminist or part of the sisterhood.” – Sam Armytage. Praise the lord. At last a woman calling out this feminist clap trap that men are being forced to tolerate. I love you Sam.

  21. Water Cooler Gal
    23 Jan 14
    3:22 pm

  22. Seriously, this stuff is happening all the time on Mammamia. Good on Kochie for naming it

  23. Jo
    23 Jan 14
    3:25 pm

  24. Michael Pell and David Koch have one set of rules for Sunrise and another for everyone else. Blocking out the view of the plaza when breast feeding mothers sort to express their opinion when David Koch offended them was ok. But deleting his comment on mummamia was not? Both seem to be not allowing a right of reply or freedom of speech. And Michael Pells “humour” when he is disagreed with is unnecessary superiority.

  25. Tim S
    23 Jan 14
    3:26 pm

  26. And so it begins. The Daily Mail spreads its poison down under. Expect plenty more manufactured fake outrage, misogyny and xenophobia over coming weeks…

  27. S
    23 Jan 14
    3:33 pm

  28. Mamamia and Seven will both be stoked about the whole thing. Clicks, views & editorial coverage galore.

  29. Alana
    23 Jan 14
    3:50 pm

  30. I’m so over Mamamia. They take aim at companies and individuals and then get upset when those same people fire back. They offer no right of reply either. If the site employed anyone who’d ever actually worked as a journalist, the content might improve.

  31. Connor
    23 Jan 14
    3:55 pm

  32. Apparently Mia was shocked by Koch’s ‘aggressive response to opinion’. I’m no Koch fan but his response may be described as ‘exasperated’ at a stretch but it was pretty rational. Anyway, how would you class Jamila’s original tweets then?? Oh, but it’s ok to be blunt/rude on twitter because you only get 140 characters right?? Anyway, regardless of THESE issues neither Jamilia nor Mia should be receiving threats as a result – probably the only thing we should all universally agree on. And yes, Tim S is right…the Dark Age of DailyMailism beckons…..

  33. What
    23 Jan 14
    4:01 pm

  34. MamaMia trying to be relevant when there are not.

  35. SHG
    23 Jan 14
    4:04 pm

  36. Manufactured outrage much?

    The only group looking silly here is Mamamia.

  37. Pex
    23 Jan 14
    4:12 pm

  38. Rarely do I agree with anything Kochie says but he is right about something.

    Mamamia do heavily censor comments to support their own view / agenda and often ‘sneakily edit’ errors after being caught out.

    I certainly hope they are not considered a credible media outlet

  39. Connor
    23 Jan 14
    4:18 pm

  40. Actually in among all of this there is an interesting media/organisational question…..what actually IS Mamamia now if it’s NOT a serious media outlet but nor is it the ‘by mums, for mums’ that it started out as?…neither fish nor fowl. Ambiguity has probably helped them to date but stuff like this should force the issue….

  41. RoRo
    23 Jan 14
    4:47 pm

  42. While any sort of personal threat is way out of line, I’m really getting tired of the routine where a media commentator feigns shock and hurt at the angry responses they get when they launch an emotive and highly personal character attack on somebody.

  43. Strahan
    23 Jan 14
    5:01 pm

  44. So good to see someone calling Mia Freedman and Mammamia to account at last. It has become a tiresome website. I, too, like men and like working with them. Sue me!

  45. james ng
    23 Jan 14
    5:05 pm

  46. daily mail…why don’t you fix the sun with its pages of women in scantily clad women…before you start ‘fixing’ other countries problem

  47. Walid
    23 Jan 14
    5:40 pm

  48. Silly mamamia….

  49. Kate
    23 Jan 14
    9:01 pm

  50. The whole thing was so obviously a set up anyway, it’s not as if Kochie carries around a stripper pole to fling at women when the opportunity presents itself. Sam made a joke about the shoes, out came the pole, no doubt it was all rehearsed.

    At least this issue has exposed Mamamia’s hypocrisy. For a ‘feminist’ site they are constantly running down women who they don’t agree with then censoring critical comments. Anything for clicks.

  51. Pay up or shut up
    24 Jan 14
    1:16 am

  52. Mamamia lost relevance with the fact it does not pay its writers. Maybe a token tossed here and there. Hauls in a nice advertising revenue. Free writers loading up opinions maybe the Internet version of the media. But if their writers aren’t worth paying, why expect a high standard?.Sad little ‘feminist’ rant isn’t up there at all. Very amateur project.

  53. Tony
    24 Jan 14
    6:59 am

  54. My wife subscribes to Mammimia and for the most part they possess some interesting articles on child rearing, friendships and other area’s of life. My wife has sent me some of their articles and they have excellent reads.

    The Kochi – Sam episode in my way of thinking was funny with some funny chemistry and flirting. I have worked in offices where both males and females have flirted with me and I’ve flirted back. It makes working fun, builds morale and does not need to lead to accusations of disrespect or sexist behaviour.

    I’ve seen Rivsi speak on Television and she comes across as intelligent, if slightly idealistic. I think when she views the chemistry of Koch and Sam she would notice that the occasional playful flirt is they engage makes the audience comfortable because it’s happening in all offices in Australia.
    Males and females both engage in it and it makes the world go around!

  55. Elbogrease
    24 Jan 14
    7:12 am

  56. I read the story on D/M site and was unimpressed with it’s troll baiting. Mammmia got reeled in hook line and sinker.

  57. lady
    24 Jan 14
    9:04 am

  58. Comment still awaiting moderation?

  59. Nic
    24 Jan 14
    9:54 am

  60. Is she paying her writers yet?

  61. Daz
    24 Jan 14
    10:04 am

  62. crap television, crap programming, crass comments, what else does anyone expect from this country??

  63. Dr Oyvind
    24 Jan 14
    10:31 am

  64. Sound the Political Correctness klaxons! There’s an irrelevant pile of nothing over there that we can turn into a hot pile of nothing over here by application of indignation.

    Click. Bait.

  65. liz
    24 Jan 14
    10:49 am

  66. Finally, someone is calling out Mamamia’s knee-jerk brand of feminism. This website and its commentators rarely contribute anything insightful – they merely rip off overseas stories (in particular Caitlin Moran’s column) and offer outraged first person pieces.

    Also, these rape or death threats? Well spun, Mia.

    Connor is right – the site has become a force in Australian media… yet has few journalistic credentials and mostly aggregates (summarises/plagiarises?) news from other sources. Interesting that Daily Life is essentially offering a similar service, but manages to pay its writers and content providers.

  67. Frank
    24 Jan 14
    11:41 am

  68. Woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof woof.

    All I hear is the tedious sound of a pack of rabid dogs. Move on you feral mutts!

  69. Dee G
    24 Jan 14
    12:08 pm

  70. Question: would Mamamia have leveled the same criticism at Karl Stefonovic if it had been him?? I think not! I find this the most interesting aspect of all this!
    Nb: not that Karl would or has done this, but I do believe there is an element of Today Show vs Sunrise in all this also… My 2c worth.

  71. BJM
    24 Jan 14
    1:33 pm

  72. I’m not a Kochie fan by any stretch – but good on him for standing up and naming them.

    I’m sure more people saw his response than read the original post

  73. Carolyn RJ
    24 Jan 14
    1:50 pm

  74. I used to quite enjoy Mamamia, but noticed of late an increase in my comments either being censored and not appearing, or completely removed once posted. The MM site does not like it’s readers questioning the basis of their “information”, and when I’ve called them out on a couple of things, my comments have been “conveniently” ignored. It’s writers continually rehash the same topics, and it’s a site full of victim-mentality and double-standards. Sad, because MM could have been a valuable and insightful forum. Thankfully I’ve since found a blog by women who are actively making a difference by working within the fields of education, health and legislation both in Australia and abroad, and not just sitting in airconditioned offices in Sydney’s eastern suburbs “writing” about such things. Not that MM is or ever will be known for is contribution to women’s equality.

  75. Kylie
    24 Jan 14
    2:34 pm

  76. @qwerty, indeed. Isn’t it known as ‘Yawning TV’, not ‘Morning TV’?

  77. M
    14 Feb 14
    4:07 pm

  78. MamaMia is completely bias with their opinion based articles. Reporting facts doesn’t need to come into it, does it?