Bullying among children has become a much talked about issue, but we often forget that adults are also faced with situations where hateful words can inflict pain and suffering. Television news anchor Jennifer Livingston recently reminded us all how damaging bullying can be, even when adults are the ones involved.
The 37-year-old anchor recently spoke with the Today show after receiving an outpouring of support for her televised reaction to a viewer, Kenneth Krause, who wrote in to her show regarding her weight. Krause criticized her weight and told her that she has a responsibility to maintain a healthy weight because she is a TV personality. He wrote, “Obesity is one of the worst choices a person can make and one of the most dangerous habits to maintain. I leave you this note hoping that you’ll reconsider your responsibility as a local public personality to present and promote a healthy lifestyle.”
Though obviously hurt by the Krause’s harshly personal criticism, rather than bottling up her feelings Livingston decided to respond to the email on her show. During an on-air segment, Livingston responded to Krause saying, “You can call me fat, and yes, even obese on a doctor’s chart. If you are at home and you are talking about the fat newslady, guess what, your children are probably going to go to school and call someone fat. Do not let yourself be defined by bullies.”
Livingston, a mother of three girls, says the weight commentary didn’t bother her as much as being called a bad role model to young girls. She explained to Today, “I can deal with being called fat ... with being called obese. It was calling me a bad role model that rubbed me the wrong way, and not only a bad role model for our community, but for young girls, in particular.”
Krause has not backed down from his stance and does not feel that his email was bullying. He has since issued this statement: “I hope she will finally take advantage of a rare and golden opportunity to influence the health and psychological well-being of coulee region children by transforming herself for all of her viewers to see over the next year, and, to that end, I would be absolutely pleased to offer jennifer any advice or support she would be willing to accept.”
What do you think of new anchor, Jennifer Livingston’s on-air response to a viewer’s criticism of her weight?
Do you consider Kenneth Krause’s critical email over Livingston’s weight a form of bullying?
I think that the man who sent the email is one of those kind of bullies who has learned to phrase his critical comments in a way that makes it appear that he is offering to be helpful. But it is really meant to belittle her none-the-less. She isn't making a mountain out of a molehill, though I do think that she might well have retaliated more toward him by actually ignoring him and not letting him have the recognition he may well have been craving. His email wasn't relevant to the news that day was it? So why was it shared with the audience. Just hit the delete key.
I was visiting my parents in LaCrosse when this was going on. After seeing him interviewed and his comments, he is a bully. This women is a wonderful award winning broadcaster and no one has any right to post any comments about her appearance and than continue to harass her after she spoke back to this man. Shame on any one who judges people...BY THE WAY....this broadcaster has a thyroid problem....and runs long distance races.....now how do you you feel about commenting about this woman's weight??!!
Maybe I should have worded my comment a little better. However, in case you do get offended from what I wrote, I am not trying to pick a fight here about this issue. I am just stating how I see this situation and it is rolling out. I find that this issue wouldn't have snowballed so big if it wasn't for her husband posting it up on face book. Then people were wondering why she is allowing such "hate mail" as they so put it, to roll on by her. Could it be that she did it under peer pressure as well? again, endless possibilities.
Though I do agree that Adults can be bullies as well. I see no merit in your comment. She wasn't forced into anything nor do I see what Krause wrote as intimidating because the anchor woman herself admitted that she wasn't bothered by it much at all. Could it be a publicity stunt on the news channels behalf since BULLYING is such a big epidemic right now? the many possibilities. She herself spewed out negative words to "fill" in the gaps in Krause's email. The email as far as i can see is black and white, but she just made GREY areas appear. This is also my opinion in this matter and i doubt that Krause is a health professional, a simple google states that he is a personal Injury Lawyer.
I diasgree with the previous commenters. She wasn't called out, she was bullied. A bully is someone who uses force or coercion to intimidate others. Abuse - emotional, verbal, or physical. The email was a form of written verbal bullying. What makes it even more so, is Krauses follow up - he actually has the gall to say that he can help her! My guess is Krause makes it a profession to get people healthy and he's trying to coerce Jennifer into paying him money to not be fat. Obviously this is all my opinion, me reading into it, but it is what it sounds like to me. How does Krause know if Jennifer works out every day, and eats healthy? He doesn't! Some people are built heavy, and no matter what can't lose that weight. I think Jennifer looks healthy, and has an extremely positive attitude! If you read the full email of what he wrote, she was not over-reaching. She was spot on, and I think sent an important message out to the bullies out there. Because guess what, adults can bully too!
I think she is making a mountain out of a mole hill so to speak. I saw her response before I saw the comment and the response is way over kill, the comment wasn't nice but it wasn't rude either and where its not polite he did make a good point. I think the reporter is a prime example of the over use of the phrase bully that is causing society to be desensitized to it true meaning, she wasn't bullied she was called out big dif.
I agree with MadHatter. I watched the video and thought that the anchor's response to the viewer's comment was a bit of an "over-reach". I understand the point she is making but, really, it was not justified based on the email that was sent in.
I like what she is doing, but then I think she took something that WASN'T supposed to be as negative as she put it and twisted it to make it seem extremely negative to justify her not going into a more healthier lifestyle. I think the person who wrote this was being pretty discrete. I don't see how she could label someone a bully when there was no malicious intent in the letter or act. Yes she could be a role model, but then the person writing the letter could be concerned about her health and habits gone unchecked or unchanged. I watched her video and seriously, the first thing in my mind was that she was a little heavy set. does that make me a bully? I think not.