The fallout from Barbara Walters on air rebuke of breastfeeding mothers continues (see my post on the story). Apparently, not to be outdone in the realm of exposing oneself as a public idiot, Ken Schram, KOMO-TV’s resident commentator and blowhard extraordinnaire, has entered the fray. Ken’s dinosaur-like comments on women who breastfeed in public ("It’s natural. Well, so is urinating, but most folks don’t up and pee in a glass jar in the middle of the mall.") mark him as one of the world’s biggest bloviators–or at the very least the Pacific NW’s biggest. His commentary is so rich in ignorance, rank prejudice and blatant misogyny that I just had to quote the entire thing:
I’m All For This ‘Cover Up’
June 7, 2005
SEATTLE – It was called a "nurse-in."
150 breastfeeding moms showed up outside ABC studios in Manhattan to protest something said by Barbara Walters.
And just what did she say?
Only that sitting next to a woman breastfeeding her baby on an airplane – no cover, no nothing! – made her uncomfortable.
Now, I know we’re supposed to be living in an enlightened society and all, but I’ll tell you what: When some woman sitting next to you pops it out and starts suckling little Johnny or Suzie, I think it makes MOST people uncomfortable!
Yeah, I know.
Well, so is urinating, but most folks don’t up and pee in a glass jar in the middle of the mall.
Maybe women in general are more OK with breastfeeding in public (though many women tell me no they are not).
But for guys, it is nigh on impossible to switch from breasts as something sexual to breasts as take-out-food.
The "lactavists" who showed up outside ABC to boldly feed their children said their point was that women shouldn’t be discouraged from breast feeding.
But that doesn’t mean new moms should feel encouraged to forget all about modesty, while expecting everyone around them to just go with the flow.
If you think Ken Schram is as big an idiot as I do, why don’t you tell him so by sending him an e-mail?
And for those of you who aren’t from the Northwest and who might begin to think we’re all a bunch of prudish suburban red state trogdolytes, this is what a KOMO TV newsanchor, Kathy Goertzen (and a breast cancer survivor) had to say: "Get over it! What an idiot!" Good on ‘ya, Kathy.
I’ve always wondered what Schram’s bosses at KOMO find in his commentaries that they air them year after year. Maybe it’s time to re-examine his position at the station? Do they really need this guy insulting half their listeing audience? I’d also like to know who the women are whom he claims agree with his point of view. Aside from his wife and mother of course. Unfortunately, they have to put up with his pontificating hot air due to blood and marriage. What about the rest of us? Do we have to too?
UPDATE: Ken Schram aired a second installment on his breastfeeding story noting he’d received 1,000 e mails (as if he was somehow proud of this) in response. Apparently, he’d like some sympathy for being called “ignorant,” “disgusting,” and other choice epithets. He won’t get any here.
He also quoted a sampling of responses and since not a single one was positive (or at least he didn’t allude to any) I can only guess that his foray into being a parenting commentator will be short-lived. And in case you thought he might’ve learned anything–you can forget about it. The title of his commentary is “Modesty is Moot,” which shows he’s completely missed the point. Whether a woman breastfeeds in public has nothing to do with modesty because it has nothing to do with sex. Why can’t he get that through his big, fat skull?
I wrote him an e mail too, but after reading the seriously nasty things that some women had to say to him I hadn’t the heart to give it to him with both barrels. But I did say he had a lot of nerve speaking for all men in saying that we’re offended by a woman “whipping it out” in public. I’m a guy too and I’m with the moms on this one, Ken.