News Anchor Fires Back
Do local news anchors have a responsibility to the community when it comes to their appearance? A La Crosse, Wisconsin, news anchor received an email from a guy calling her obese and a bad example for children:
"I was surprised indeed to witness that your physical condition hasn't improved for many years. Surely you don't consider yourself a suitable example for this community's young people, girls in particular. 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."
Normally anchors are told to brush this kind of stuff off... it comes with the territory. But this one really got to her. So the station let Jennifer Livingston strike back. In a four minute editorial, Jennifer responded:
"The truth is: you could call me fat. And yes, even obese, on a doctor's chart. But to the person who wrote me that letter: Do you think I don't know that?"
"October is is national anti-bullying month, and this is a problem that is growing every day in our schools and on the internet. It is a major issue in the lives of young people today. And as the mother of three young girls, it scares me to death..."
".... The internet has become a weapon. Our schools have become a battleground. And this behavior is learned. It is passed down from people like the man who wrote me that email. 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. We need to teach our kids how to be kind, not critical, and we need to do that by example."
Take a look at Jennifer's on-air response to the viewers email.
Should folks in the local media, and I include radio, set an example with their physical appearance?