Bullying | Jennifer Livingston | News

News Anchor Takes a Few Moments to Nail a Bully: VIDEO


Many of you may have seen this video since it went super-viral in a number of hours.

It's WKBT anchor Jennifer Livingston's amazing response to a letter she got from a viewer who wrote in to tell her she was overweight.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Said Livingston: "To the person who wrote me that letter — do you think I don't know that? That your cruel words are pointing out something that I don't see?...You don't know me. You are not a friend of mine. You are not a part of my family. And you have admitted that you don't watch this show. So you know nothing about me but what you see on the outside. And I am much more than a number on the scale."

Livingston's response has already caught the attention of Ellen DeGeneres, so it's likely she may be rewarded for her efforts here, if millions of views aren't enough reward.

Livingston tells her bully that the bad things he's doing will likely be passed down to his kids: "If you are at home and talking about the fat news lady, guess what? Your children are probably going to go to school and call someone fat."

She concludes: "I will never be able to thank you enough for your words of support, and for taking a stand against this bully. We are better than that email. We are better than the bullies that will try to take us down."


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  1. I don't quite get it,actually. Is this just another attempt to bring 'emotion' and drama into reporting the news, in order to attract and keep the much advertiser-coveted female demographic?

    I'm sure people in public positions receive all kinds of mean spirited correspondence, even death threats.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Oct 3, 2012 7:41:00 AM

  2. @ Ratbastard

    You were spot on with your first sentence.The rest of your comment is pure nonsense.

    Posted by: R8 | Oct 3, 2012 7:49:10 AM

  3. It's been all over my Facebook page for a day now... frankly, I don't get it. The letter seems rude, but not really bullying. The power dynamic is not equal, although I assume the writer is a man, in which case... why does he think he has the right... but again the answer might be more about private people thinking public people are our friends.

    My only takeaway from this... She definitely needs a better tailor. There's no reason she has to look so dumpy in that horribly fitting jacket!

    Posted by: Pete N SFO | Oct 3, 2012 7:54:29 AM

  4. She's amazing. That was quite moving. You just couldn't have put it any better.

    @Ratbastard @Petensfo - no you clearly don't get it. It's very simple. She's trying to help make the lives of bullied kids less unbearable by relating her own personal experience.

    Posted by: DanSwon | Oct 3, 2012 8:06:41 AM

  5. But she does need to lose weight or health problems might come later in her life. The letter was a bit out of line but I think it carries a message that she chose not to address.

    Posted by: Wade | Oct 3, 2012 8:14:41 AM

  6. It's amazing to me how many people just didn't get the point of Livingston's impassioned message. I'm not sure why but I expected The Gays to be better than the dim-witted evangelicals who say that my "chosen lifestyle" is dangerous. That I should change. That I have a choice.

    This isn't just a story about a news personality who got a rude e-mail. Ben Cohen (whom I love btw) delivers the same anti-bullying message daily and many of us swoon. LET'S STAND UP TO BULLYING! If the vessel delivering the same message isn't so cute...we worry about future health issues. They hypocrisy astounds me.

    Posted by: Gigi | Oct 3, 2012 8:32:15 AM

  7. I had a mixed reaction to that. The email was critical, but respectful, which *bullying* never is. But like Jennifer says, it was also presumptuous, since the writer doesn't know her situation.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Oct 3, 2012 8:39:49 AM

  8. I love this woman. I actually am good looking, fit, and healthy all around. At 48, I am probably in better shape than all of you posting here, and I look years younger. I'm sure this means that I have carte blanche to criticize Pete and Ratbastard and anyone else when I see them - you know, given that I am a better role model for children than they are. I think this gives me the right to be condescending and rude to everyone who is fat and average looking. IT DOESN'T! That's the point. Now go away and let the adults play.

    Posted by: datlaw | Oct 3, 2012 8:42:45 AM

  9. LOL that on a post about anonymous bullying, the first comment is by Towleroad's favorite racist, Ratbastard.

    Irony tastes delicious in the morning.

    Posted by: endo | Oct 3, 2012 8:43:00 AM

  10. The email from that viewer was not bullying, was probably meant to be a private communication, and should have remained a private communication.

    Posted by: Rick Roberts | Oct 3, 2012 8:54:09 AM

  11. LOL @ Datlaw. Thanks for letting us know just how amazing you are. Your comment's just as irresistible as you are.

    Posted by: Your Mom | Oct 3, 2012 9:07:49 AM

  12. wow ppl really dont get the concept of bullying..she's an adult and the man is an adult bully. By nuances of lack direct name calling does not excuse the fact that he's calling her fat and should be ashamed of herself by being in the public. Adults can experience bullying too in even more insidious and well calculated ways, like this man using the excuse that she's a bad role model to girls in the community.

    Posted by: jayjay | Oct 3, 2012 9:09:56 AM

  13. @Rick Roberts

    Since when does anyone expect an email to a person with a public persona to remain "a private communication"?

    Furthermore, what did this crude rude loon know about Ms Livingston's personal habits, health markers, etc? Fat healthy people exist. What possible business is it of this dufus to call her out for simply her body size?

    Posted by: Jake | Oct 3, 2012 9:17:14 AM

  14. Bravo! Wonderful speech and meaningful thoughts.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Oct 3, 2012 9:31:47 AM

  15. She seems like a well adjusted, healthy woman to me. Don't buy into the hype that everyone needs to look like a supermodel or Olympic swimmer. I go to boot camp twice a week, lift every other day and do tae bo and insanity classes the other days in addition to three 30 minute abs classes a week and I am healthy as an ox but you know what, I still have a serious gut that none of that work seems to touch, just genetics I guess. I think I'm just supposed to have it. I love working out and the camaraderie of the gym.

    She says she has children she's no doubt chasing around constantly, she is going to work daily at what I'm sure is a demanding job and she's absolutely adorable. The person who wrote that letter is an idiot.

    Posted by: Jersey | Oct 3, 2012 9:33:26 AM

  16. I was bullied as a kid, both verbally and physically. Frankly I don't see it here. The letter seemed to me to be making a point about the obesity epidemic in this country and that somehow we have become complacent as a society as to think that fat as the norm is ok. While letter was rude, I don't think it rose to the level of bullying and I'm glad some people are finally beginning to wake up to the fact that we as a country are becoming a herd of fat cows. After traveling e world and returning here, and comparing the fat status quo here to other populations, it was really quite disturbing.

    Posted by: Wren | Oct 3, 2012 9:51:39 AM

  17. @ENDO,

    HOW am I a 'racist'? I bet you love accusing people of being 'racist' and 'sexist' and 'homophobic' just in an attempt to get them to conform to you're attitude and feelings, don't you? Isn't that similar to 'bullying'?

    Posted by: ratbastard | Oct 3, 2012 9:59:11 AM

  18. We do have a a very serious public health [and cost$] problem associated with high levels of adults and now kids and teens being overweight and obese, in this country. There are various causes for this IMO. The #1 cause [IMO] is our mostly car-centric, suburban-style 'lifestyle' and lack of physical activity. Other main cause are an abundance of food, a post-industrial society, a high level of people on prescription meds that have side effects like weight gain, some subcultures and regions of the country have a well established tradition of eating very fattening and unhealthy food, etc.

    IMO, this is the #1 public health problem in the country, not smoking and tobacco use [which many 'advocates' like to promote since it involves government revenue enhancement, lawsuits, and big $$$].

    Posted by: ratbastard | Oct 3, 2012 10:08:55 AM

  19. How are you racist, Ratbastard? LOL

    Shall we count the ways...


    Posted by: endo | Oct 3, 2012 10:09:31 AM

  20. @ENDO,

    I've stated in past posts things such as the statistically true and accurate very high level of violence and criminality among some demographics in the U.S. HOW is this 'Racist'? I assume this is what you're referring to?

    I've also made HONEST observations about some demographics from my own life experiences, some of which are un-flattering. I have un-flattering things to say about my own so-called people, also. How the F is this 'Racist'?

    Posted by: ratbastard | Oct 3, 2012 10:22:13 AM

  21. Denigrating entire groups of people based on personal anecdotes to is the very definition of racism.

    You are not bright.

    Posted by: endo | Oct 3, 2012 10:34:15 AM

  22. I take issue with the anchor's message to kids "struggling with" weight, skin color, sexual preference, "even the acne on your face."

    It isn't weight, skin color, sexual preference, or acne that's the problem. It's other people's ignorant reactions that are the problem.

    As long as the "problem" is identified as being contained in the body or being of the person, the damage to self-esteem remains difficult to overcome.

    When the problem is correctly identified as located in the less than well-informed reactions of others, it's much easier to shrug it off.

    The letter, btw, was simply a slightly more subtle kind of bullying than is usually the case. It represents the entitlement many men feel to pronounce judgments on the fitness of a woman who doesn't meet their criteria of attractiveness to do a job in the public eye.

    It's all too typical for anti-fat, anti-woman bullying to present itself in pseudo-scientific "concern" for "health." It's like "concern trolling." I wonder if the letter writer ever sent a similar message to an overweight male anchor, or sportscaster, or weatherman. Naaahhh. Not likely.

    Posted by: Nanuq | Oct 3, 2012 10:53:21 AM

  23. Endo, the Ratbastard/Rick/Jason troll (yes, it's the same person) is a notorious source of bigotry, racism, misogyny and femmaphobia. It's best to just ignore them because they just want to terrorize.

    Posted by: MateoM | Oct 3, 2012 10:55:15 AM

  24. @ENDO,

    Learn how to properly read; I never denigrated an entire group. You're argument/ploy is obviously to keep me on the defensive. You simply troll blogs, read someone's opinion you don't, troll them with various accusations. It's pathetic


    NO, I'm not 'Jason', 'Rick' or anybody else except me. You must be confusing me with 'Little Kiwi', AKA Lil' Canadian, who has many personas.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Oct 3, 2012 11:17:20 AM

  25. It's all about being allowed to feel comfortable in your own skin, no matter what your physical appearance.

    Bullies don't allow that. They invade your space, either physically or psychologically, and take away your dignity, your sense of self-esteem.

    Bullying is a scourge no matter how minor or benign it might seem to some of the more insensitive commenting here.

    It hurts. And, the after-effects can last long after the bullying stops, sometimes causing an entire life to be wasted in a miasma of self-doubt and self-loathing.

    So, kudos to Ms. Livingstone.

    By quietly and maturely standing up to that bully, Ms. Livingstone will perhaps have given hope to a child or adolescent or young adult or even a mature adult that they, too, can simply turn their back on a bully and walk away.

    Because that is a bully's worst nightmare: to be ignored. A bully thrives on the power they believe they hold over you if they know that their harassment and vitriol is affecting you.

    People like Ms. Livingstone or the "It Gets Better" campaign can give the victims of bullying the courage to take that power away.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Oct 3, 2012 11:45:57 AM

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