‘Lay off’: Knight hits back at trolls
Todayhost Deb Knight has said she is a "tough cookie" but is nonetheless "flabbergasted" at online attacks she has received for being a working mother.
"Mummy guilt is a vicious thing. I beat myself up about it enough as it is. I'd love to spend more time at home and not have to work to make a living," she told former Today host Karl Stefanovic on 2GB this afternoon.
"But since when did working hard to create a future for my kids become something to criticise?"
Yesterday fellow 2GB presenter Ben Fordham said he was shocked when he came across Knight taking time out of her schedule to deal with the online abuse she received from trolls.
The Channel 9 host has been defended by not only Fordham but also Stefanovic and Channel 10 personality Amanda Keller.
Talking to 2GB today, Knight said: "I don't want to beat up the impact that the trolls are having on me because I'm a tough cookie and I'm in the public eye."
However, the attacks perplexed her.
"I've got to work to make a living and I shouldn't have to apologise for that. I'm flabbergasted that working hard is something that is considered a negative."
She urged the online abusers to take a breath: "Lay off the pile on mentality from people who hide behind the keyboard. It's so boring."
Knight has three kids - Darcy, Elsa and Audrey and has been married to husband Lindsay Dunbar for 20 years.
She said it had taken "blokes calling out this rubbish" to bring it to public attention.
Stefanovic also let rip on the Facebook and Twitter trolls and said they weren't keyboard warriors but rather "keyboard cowards".
"Sometimes it can get you at the wrong time of day, or you're having a tough week and you take real offence to it," he said on 2GB.
"There are people out there who aren't used to it who are really going to be bullied
"They're called keyboard warriors but I like to refer to them as keyboard cowards."
Yesterday, 2GB host Fordham had explained how he found Knight at the 2GB studios, calmly flicking through her phone "just dealing with trolls".
He said it "knocked his socks off" when he found out what Knight was being trolled about - being a working mum.
"It exposed a double standard when it comes to people working hard who also happen to have children," he told The Daily Telegraph.
"Here is anonymous keyboard bullies hounding a hardworking mum who is doing everything she can to build a future for her children.
"I've worked four jobs at once and nobody has ever accused me of neglecting my children.
"There's a discriminatory double standard going on here: dads who work hard are given a pat on the back while mums seem to cop a raised eyebrow.
Fordham noted that Sunrise host David Koch is also a financial journalist, columnist and chair of Port Adelaide Football Club has never bee accused neglecting his children. In fact, in 2007, he was awarded Father of the Year.
"Deb is a spectacular mother, a top journalist and there's no reason she can't be both at the same time," Fordham said.
"The trolls need to get a life. If they worked as hard as Deb they wouldn't have as much time to be gutless keyboard cowards."
WSFM breakfast show host and Channel 10 personality Amanda Keller also came to Knight's defence and said she had also being "triggered" by online abuse.
"I get defensive when people say to me, 'God, could you be any busier?' or 'When are you ever at home?' because they've seen me on a show that was recorded in the middle of the day, two months ago," she said on WSFM's Jonsey and Amanda show this morning.
"I look busier than I am and I'm always at pains to tell people that."