Etiquette Hell

A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. Guests, register for forum membership to see all the boards. => Time For a Coffee Break! => Topic started by: bansidhe on October 02, 2012, 11:07:53 PM

Title: Handing it to a jerk on live TV
Post by: bansidhe on October 02, 2012, 11:07:53 PM
This is well worth watching: http://www.upworthy.com/bully-calls-news-anchor-fat-news-anchor-destroys-him-on-live-tv (http://www.upworthy.com/bully-calls-news-anchor-fat-news-anchor-destroys-him-on-live-tv).

I wish I could say, had I received the e-mail she did, that I would have responded in such an eloquent, Ehell-approved manner. Probably not, though.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: AustenFan on October 02, 2012, 11:15:54 PM
Wow. I'm so proud of her, and I've never seen her before in my life. I'm also proud of everyone who came to her defense.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: NyaChan on October 02, 2012, 11:36:46 PM
She is very well spoken, good for her.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Luci on October 03, 2012, 12:49:40 AM
Eloquent and to the point.

Whatva lady.

Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on October 03, 2012, 04:33:37 AM
That is impressive.  She's my role model of the day.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: QueenofAllThings on October 03, 2012, 06:03:06 AM
I think she did an excellent job. I also think that, while obviously a terrifically mean statement, the email was not bullying. Seems like everything gets slapped with the bullying label these days. Isn't bullying typically defined as repeated incidents?

At any rate, a standing O from me.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: MorgnsGrl on October 03, 2012, 06:28:24 AM
I get that officially "bullying" is repetitive incidents, but I'm comfortable with saying that one incident on its own is bullying. I think it's splitting hairs. This guy put himself in a position of superiority to the news anchor, thinking that he had the right to tell her what to do and how to behave. There was no reason for him to contact her about this -- he did it because it made HIM feel good to make HER feel bad. That's bullying to me.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Winterlight on October 03, 2012, 09:01:13 AM
Well played, Ms. Livingston!
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: WillyNilly on October 03, 2012, 09:05:31 AM
I think she did an excellent job. I also think that, while obviously a terrifically mean statement, the email was not bullying. Seems like everything gets slapped with the bullying label these days. Isn't bullying typically defined as repeated incidents?

At any rate, a standing O from me.

I think the point wasn't really though that the singular email was bullying, but rather that man's attitude is what leads to bullying.  He was one guy writing one email to one person, but as the newscaster pointed out, if he starts saying things like "fat newscaster" at home his kids will pick up on that and will think "its ok to be negative towards fat people" as a general idea instead of as a specific incident, and she was more talking about that larger issue.  I also really liked how she pointed out that while one guy made fun of her and was cruel, so very many more stepped up and defended her - an important reminder for kids who as she pointed out aren't as emotionally thick skinned as she is.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on October 03, 2012, 09:16:58 AM
I think she did an excellent job. I also think that, while obviously a terrifically mean statement, the email was not bullying. Seems like everything gets slapped with the bullying label these days. Isn't bullying typically defined as repeated incidents?

At any rate, a standing O from me.

I think the point wasn't really though that the singular email was bullying, but rather that man's attitude is what leads to bullying.  He was one guy writing one email to one person, but as the newscaster pointed out, if he starts saying things like "fat newscaster" at home his kids will pick up on that and will think "its ok to be negative towards fat people" as a general idea instead of as a specific incident, and she was more talking about that larger issue.  I also really liked how she pointed out that while one guy made fun of her and was cruel, so very many more stepped up and defended her - an important reminder for kids who as she pointed out aren't as emotionally thick skinned as she is.

Also, if he's going out of his way to send that kind of email to her, chances are it's the kind of thing he *does* have a history of.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: LadyMisha on October 03, 2012, 09:56:04 AM
I just watched this video response and while the instigator was very derogatory in his letter to her, she was the epitome of grace and eloquence in her response.  Definitely someone i would be inspired to try to live up to. 
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Thipu1 on October 03, 2012, 09:59:32 AM
I saw this and can only say, 'Brava, Ms. Livingston!'.

Her DH is a news anchor on the same station.  He was the one who chose to publicize the E-mail and, IMO, rightly so.  The lady is an excellent role model.  She has a medical condition that makes it difficult for her to lose weight but she exercises regularly, participates in foot races, and is raising three young daughters. 

People as sanctimonious as the man who sent the E-Mail need to be taken to task.  Who are they to judge others? 
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: AmethystAnne on October 03, 2012, 10:06:55 AM
I saw that yesterday on a news cast.

Well done, Ms. Livingston!     
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Amava on October 03, 2012, 11:07:49 AM
CRUD MONKEYS! I love her!

And - if this is not a too shallow thing to say in a thread about "not letting what people think of your appearance get you down - she is gorgeous.  :o What a beautiful woman.

And what lovely, inspiring words. I'm going to listen to this video 5 times.

I grew up with a lot of insecurity and body issues due to being bullied, too. The other way round for me. I was considered too thin. :(   


Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Sirius on October 03, 2012, 12:06:43 PM
I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes.  The worst bullies in my life lived in my house with me, and I'm just now starting to come to grips with it, and I'm 50+.  You go, girl (said to the news anchor).
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: JoieGirl7 on October 03, 2012, 01:32:09 PM
I am not in agreement with the consensus.
 
If you are self-possessed and truly don't care what other people think about your weight, or your hair, or anything else then you ignore nasty emails like that.
 
It's obvious that he got to her.  As far as I can see the "bully" got exactly what he wanted--a reaction.
 
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: WillyNilly on October 03, 2012, 01:41:40 PM
I am not in agreement with the consensus.
 
If you are self-possessed and truly don't care what other people think about your weight, or your hair, or anything else then you ignore nasty emails like that.
 
It's obvious that he got to her.  As far as I can see the "bully" got exactly what he wanted--a reaction.

Well... her husband posted it on the internet and she says the show's Facebook page was all a flutter about it, so I think addressing it was the way to go.

I think her point was also that by not being silent and ignoring it, she got a huge outpouring of support from family, co-workers, viewers etc.  And that's an important message to bullied kids - you can suffer in silence, but if you speak up you will find you are not alone, people want to defend you.

I think if she'd remained silent the "bully" would have thought she was too ashamed to say anything, and he would have smugly thought he came out on top.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: violinp on October 03, 2012, 02:02:51 PM
I am not in agreement with the consensus.
 
If you are self-possessed and truly don't care what other people think about your weight, or your hair, or anything else then you ignore nasty emails like that.
 
It's obvious that he got to her.  As far as I can see the "bully" got exactly what he wanted--a reaction.

Well... her husband posted it on the internet and she says the show's Facebook page was all a flutter about it, so I think addressing it was the way to go.

I think her point was also that by not being silent and ignoring it, she got a huge outpouring of support from family, co-workers, viewers etc.  And that's an important message to bullied kids - you can suffer in silence, but if you speak up you will find you are not alone, people want to defend you.

I think if she'd remained silent the "bully" would have thought she was too ashamed to say anything, and he would have smugly thought he came out on top.

That, exactly.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: jemma on October 03, 2012, 02:19:36 PM
I worry that this bullying thing is going to be used the wrong way.  People are saying some really mean things about the letter writer, but if you believe that people can control their weight and that being very heavy is worse than being normal weight, then he doesn't deserve this level of vitriol.  The letter itself was written relatively politely.  It just seem like in many cases who is being bullied isn't so clear (the man who sent a polite letter meant to be read by a single person, or the masses publicly flaming him).  In this case both she and he are successful adults, but in the case of children I hope we are very careful to make sure that we don't punish a victim of bullying for responding.  I have a feeling that when the generation now in schools grows up, we will hear lots of stories of kids being tormented by classmates in private, responding in public, and then being punished for bullying.  It's such a hard issue to address, but people should certainly not be reacting with the level of vitriol toward the letter writer that I have seen on some other sites.

(I don't believe in the calorie in calorie out theory btw and think we would have a lot less meanness if people had a more realistic view of what causes weight gain.  I certainly find it hard to believe that a successful anchor is such an uncontrolled hedonist that she is fat because she pigs outr all the time!)
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on October 03, 2012, 02:25:02 PM
The letter was written with the air of "Who do you think you are, being on television like being fat is okay enough to be seen in public?"

Also, I'd like to throw in my support once again for her standing up.  In silence, only bullies profit.  The notion that if you ignore a bully they'll go away is false.  Ignoring a bully just tells them you'll sit and take it.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Yvaine on October 03, 2012, 02:32:23 PM
I worry that this bullying thing is going to be used the wrong way.  People are saying some really mean things about the letter writer, but if you believe that people can control their weight and that being very heavy is worse than being normal weight, then he doesn't deserve this level of vitriol. 

No matter what one believes about the science of weight, obesity, and weight loss, what we're reviling him for is the rudeness of bring a critical busybody about it. He can think whatever he wants about her weight in his head.

We've got another thread going right now that's about kids being rude by criticizing adults for their health choices. Adults shouldn't do it either--in fact, adults have more of a responsibility to know better. What good does it do to write a letter to a stranger to criticize her weight? It's just rude. I don't care what the science is or whether the woman is comfortable in her own body--it doesn't matter. It's rude.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Judah on October 03, 2012, 02:33:52 PM
I worry that this bullying thing is going to be used the wrong way.  People are saying some really mean things about the letter writer, but if you believe that people can control their weight and that being very heavy is worse than being normal weight, then he doesn't deserve this level of vitriol. The letter itself was written relatively politely.  It just seem like in many cases who is being bullied isn't so clear (the man who sent a polite letter meant to be read by a single person, or the masses publicly flaming him).  In this case both she and he are successful adults, but in the case of children I hope we are very careful to make sure that we don't punish a victim of bullying for responding.  I have a feeling that when the generation now in schools grows up, we will hear lots of stories of kids being tormented by classmates in private, responding in public, and then being punished for bullying.  It's such a hard issue to address, but people should certainly not be reacting with the level of vitriol toward the letter writer that I have seen on some other sites.

(I don't believe in the calorie in calorie out theory btw and think we would have a lot less meanness if people had a more realistic view of what causes weight gain.  I certainly find it hard to believe that a successful anchor is such an uncontrolled hedonist that she is fat because she pigs outr all the time!)

There is nothing polite about that letter. The very fact that the letter was written is rude.  It's never polite to give unsolicited advice which is what the letter writer was doing in the letter. It's never polite to call someone fat if they didn't ask you.  It's never polite to interject yourself into a situation that doesn't involve you.  Nope, there was nothing polite about the letter.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Twik on October 03, 2012, 02:40:51 PM
I worry that this bullying thing is going to be used the wrong way.  People are saying some really mean things about the letter writer, but if you believe that people can control their weight and that being very heavy is worse than being normal weight, then he doesn't deserve this level of vitriol.

Of course he deserved vitriol. Any decent person knows that one doesn't go around castigating people at random for their flaws, physical or otherwise.

I agree with Judah - the very fact the writer sent this to a stranger was incredibly rude. THere's no way on earth you can do this and call it even "relatively" polite.

Quote
In this case both she and he are successful adults, but in the case of children I hope we are very careful to make sure that we don't punish a victim of bullying for responding.  I have a feeling that when the generation now in schools grows up, we will hear lots of stories of kids being tormented by classmates in private, responding in public, and then being punished for bullying.  It's such a hard issue to address, but people should certainly not be reacting with the level of vitriol toward the letter writer that I have seen on some other sites.

I'm really not sure how this relates to the story in this thread. Are you implhing that he is a victim in some way?He was not "tormented in private", unless you believe being forced to get his news from someone he didn't consider sexually attractive enough was cruel and unusual.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Cleargleam on October 03, 2012, 02:41:25 PM
I worry that this bullying thing is going to be used the wrong way.  People are saying some really mean things about the letter writer, but if you believe that people can control their weight and that being very heavy is worse than being normal weight, then he doesn't deserve this level of vitriol.  The letter itself was written relatively politely.  It just seem like in many cases who is being bullied isn't so clear (the man who sent a polite letter meant to be read by a single person, or the masses publicly flaming him).  In this case both she and he are successful adults, but in the case of children I hope we are very careful to make sure that we don't punish a victim of bullying for responding.  I have a feeling that when the generation now in schools grows up, we will hear lots of stories of kids being tormented by classmates in private, responding in public, and then being punished for bullying.  It's such a hard issue to address, but people should certainly not be reacting with the level of vitriol toward the letter writer that I have seen on some other sites.
(snip)



At best, the letter is harassing - the letter writer says that "as a community service and as a role model (especially for girls)" the anchor needs to be slimmer.

In what way do you consider that polite or appropriate?

Women across the US are fighting to achieve a healthy body image, no matter their weight. Girls are being told through television *all the time* that their weight and their looks determine their options, and sometimes their character.

This <I have no words> is actively attempting to foster that view.

That may be acceptable behavior in other places, but there is no place for that behavior in the US.

This anchor is demonstrating by her life and career that one's weight does not make one less articulate, less well informed, or less presentable to the general public.

The <> would have her believe that she has a civic duty to hide away until she loses weight.

Poppies!
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: jemma on October 03, 2012, 02:56:43 PM
My point is that nobody deserves vitriol period.  Making a mistake that violates social norms is not an excuse for masses of people to say nasty things about you.  (Otherwise is it ok to bully people with autism?  They often accidentally say mean things.)  The appropriate response would be for everyone to agree that being heavy or thin is not a reflection of someone's character, and we should all be nice to each other.  This anti bullying is being used as an excuse to revile someone.  It would be better if we tried to turn this into a positive discussion instead of an excuse to say mean things about someone. 
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Yvaine on October 03, 2012, 02:58:58 PM
My point is that nobody deserves vitriol period.  Making a mistake that violates social norms is not an excuse for masses of people to say nasty things about you.  (Otherwise is it ok to bully people with autism?  They often accidentally say mean things.)

But we're talking about someone who deliberately said mean things. And not only just blurted them in a foot-in-mouth moment, but committed them to writing and hit Send. I think it's very different to criticize someone for a deliberate act of rudeness vs. an accidental act of rudeness or the perceived flaws of their physical appearance.

(And we're not really saying "mean things" about him--we're saying he was rude. We say people are rude all the livelong day on this site. We're not telling him he's ugly and his mother wears combat boots.)
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: buvezdevin on October 03, 2012, 03:01:01 PM
The anchorwoman in question, and her husband were on GMA and the below link condenses their further remarks, which are enlightening.

The anchorwoman points out that calling her obese is one thing, but calling her a bad role model (based solely on her weight, though she has served the community for 15 years) is another.  She also notes that trying to shame her into weight loss isn't helpful - it's bullying.  And I agree. 

Her husband notes that his wife works out regularly, Ran a 5k last week and will run another race this weekend - and she has a thyroid condition which makes weight loss a problem.

http://www.radaronline.com/exclusives/2012/10/jennifer-livingston-television-news-anchor-la-crosse-wisconsin-bullying-good

Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Bexx27 on October 03, 2012, 03:11:27 PM
People are saying some really mean things about the letter writer, but if you believe that people can control their weight and that being very heavy is worse than being normal weight, then he doesn't deserve this level of vitriol. 

Well, I for one don't believe that people (always) have (complete) control over their weight. Obesity is not exactly the "choice" the letter writer framed it as. I find it hard to believe that anyone who has to live in our society would consciously choose to be fat. But the myth of choice is the main reason prejudice toward fat people is accepted, even encouraged.

I also strongly disagree that "being very heavy is worse than being normal weight." No, it isn't "worse." It may put you at a higher risk for certain health problems, it may mean that fewer people consider you attractive, and it may make your life generally more difficult because of the associated stigma, but it doesn't make you worse in any objective sense. It doesn't make you worth less than anyone else; it doesn't make you unfit to be a role model; it doesn't disqualify you from having a successful career or from being seen in public.

So yes, I think the letter writer deserved to be called out. If we don't publicly confront people who spew bigotry, and publicly declare that it's wrong, how will we stop it?
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Judah on October 03, 2012, 03:12:46 PM
My point is that nobody deserves vitriol period. 

I disagree. I think that when I choose to do something that is not just rude, but downright mean, I have to live with the social consequences of that action.  In this case, the letter writer's consequence is that a whole country is calling him/her actions.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Cleargleam on October 03, 2012, 03:16:14 PM
My point is that nobody deserves vitriol period.  Making a mistake that violates social norms is not an excuse for masses of people to say nasty things about you.  (Otherwise is it ok to bully people with autism?  They often accidentally say mean things.)  The appropriate response would be for everyone to agree that being heavy or thin is not a reflection of someone's character, and we should all be nice to each other.  This anti bullying is being used as an excuse to revile someone.  It would be better if we tried to turn this into a positive discussion instead of an excuse to say mean things about someone.

For an attorney to carefully craft and write this letter is not "a mistake that violates social norms". That is an attempt by the attorney to use his skill with words to make somebody feel inadequate, unimportant, less than valuable.

Isn't that a textbook definition of bullying? 

Moreover, he goes on to stand by and expand his comments:

Mr. Krause was invited to be interviewed on WKBT-TV, a programming director said. Instead, he issued a statement, which was shared on the air. Thestatement concluded with Mr. Krause saying: “Considering Jennifer Livingston’s fortuitous position in the community, 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.”
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on October 03, 2012, 03:17:02 PM
I'm going to chime in with a not-so-surprising response.  And that's if we don't take the bullies to task for what they say, we're tacitly endorsing them.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Moray on October 03, 2012, 03:26:30 PM
Calling someone's rude actions rude isn't spewing vitriol.

 
My point is that nobody deserves vitriol period.  Making a mistake that violates social norms is not an excuse for masses of people to say nasty things about you.  (Otherwise is it ok to bully people with autism?  They often accidentally say mean things.)  The appropriate response would be for everyone to agree that being heavy or thin is not a reflection of someone's character, and we should all be nice to each other.  This anti bullying is being used as an excuse to revile someone.  It would be better if we tried to turn this into a positive discussion instead of an excuse to say mean things about someone. 

Regarding the bolded: Please. Really? Are you equating this man's exchange of several emails (I think the article I read said 3 volleys) castigating this woman for daring to appear on television while fat is the same thing as my autistic nephew telling me my hair looks like crap? Furthermore, are you claiming that us calling it rude is now tantamount to engaging in bullying ourselves?

I know we do an awful lot of "What-if-ing" on this board, but you're comparing apples and orangutans.

Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: WillyNilly on October 03, 2012, 03:55:53 PM
My point is that nobody deserves vitriol period.  Making a mistake that violates social norms is not an excuse for masses of people to say nasty things about you.  (Otherwise is it ok to bully people with autism?  They often accidentally say mean things.)  The appropriate response would be for everyone to agree that being heavy or thin is not a reflection of someone's character, and we should all be nice to each other.  This anti bullying is being used as an excuse to revile someone.  It would be better if we tried to turn this into a positive discussion instead of an excuse to say mean things about someone.

Well I have to ask did he "out" himself?  Because I only watched the clip in the OP which is apparently what aired on the news and the letter writer was not named.  So no "body" was receiving vitriol personally, everything was merely a response to a nameless faceless letter writer.  Whereas the original letter wasn't written as a general missive about all fat people, it was a personal attack on the newscaster.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Elisabunny on October 03, 2012, 04:05:58 PM
My point is that nobody deserves vitriol period.  Making a mistake that violates social norms is not an excuse for masses of people to say nasty things about you.  (Otherwise is it ok to bully people with autism?  They often accidentally say mean things.)  The appropriate response would be for everyone to agree that being heavy or thin is not a reflection of someone's character, and we should all be nice to each other.  This anti bullying is being used as an excuse to revile someone.  It would be better if we tried to turn this into a positive discussion instead of an excuse to say mean things about someone.

For an attorney to carefully craft and write this letter is not "a mistake that violates social norms". That is an attempt by the attorney to use his skill with words to make somebody feel inadequate, unimportant, less than valuable.

Isn't that a textbook definition of bullying? 

Moreover, he goes on to stand by and expand his comments:

Mr. Krause was invited to be interviewed on WKBT-TV, a programming director said. Instead, he issued a statement, which was shared on the air. Thestatement concluded with Mr. Krause saying: “Considering Jennifer Livingston’s fortuitous position in the community, 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.”

He just doesn't get it, does he?  You can tell just by the way she carries herself that she is in good shape, other than the weight.  In fact, it sounds like she's in better shape than many people who are skinnier than she is.  She reminds me of my BIL, who used to bike absolutely everywhere, but was still chunky.  His cholesterol and blood pressure were great, tho. ;)

Actually, it sounds like she IS "taking advantage of a rare and golden opportunity to influence the health and psychological well-being of Coulee region children".  She's standing up to bullying and bigotry.  I hope she furthers this by vocally demonstrating that it is possible to be healthy and athletic even if you're not a single-digit size.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Twik on October 03, 2012, 04:14:01 PM
I would have slightly less disgust with the letter writer if he had addressed it to one of the hefty *male* anchors you see from time to time. However, oddly, he chose not to do that.

Even if one's weight is *entirely* one's choice, it is no one's responsibility or right to go around haranguing strangers. Without censure, this man, and others like him, will believe that he acted in a laudable manner.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: JoieGirl7 on October 03, 2012, 04:33:30 PM
I don't view the letter writer as a bully so much as a troll.
 
And he got what he wanted.  Attention.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Moray on October 03, 2012, 04:44:37 PM
I don't view the letter writer as a bully so much as a troll.
 
And he got what he wanted.  Attention.

And his "victim" took his bullying/trolling/rudeness/whatever and made it into a powerful statement that reached a wide audience.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Jaelle on October 03, 2012, 04:50:37 PM
People are saying some really mean things about the letter writer, but if you believe that people can control their weight and that being very heavy is worse than being normal weight, then he doesn't deserve this level of vitriol. 

Well, I for one don't believe that people (always) have (complete) control over their weight. Obesity is not exactly the "choice" the letter writer framed it as. I find it hard to believe that anyone who has to live in our society would consciously choose to be fat. But the myth of choice is the main reason prejudice toward fat people is accepted, even encouraged.

I also strongly disagree that "being very heavy is worse than being normal weight." No, it isn't "worse." It may put you at a higher risk for certain health problems, it may mean that fewer people consider you attractive, and it may make your life generally more difficult because of the associated stigma, but it doesn't make you worse in any objective sense. It doesn't make you worth less than anyone else; it doesn't make you unfit to be a role model; it doesn't disqualify you from having a successful career or from being seen in public.

So yes, I think the letter writer deserved to be called out. If we don't publicly confront people who spew bigotry, and publicly declare that it's wrong, how will we stop it?

Bexx27 said what I wanted to say. *applause*

In addition, the letter writer is seriously deluded if he thinks it's that simple. But a lot of people are. It's not all "Oh! You've brought me to my senses! I'm going to eat healthy and exercise and voila! I'll be thin!"  ::)

I do both. I'm not thin. So sue me.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: JoieGirl7 on October 03, 2012, 08:10:23 PM
I don't view the letter writer as a bully so much as a troll.
 
And he got what he wanted.  Attention.

And his "victim" took his bullying/trolling/rudeness/whatever and made it into a powerful statement that reached a wide audience.

As part of that audience, I don't see it as a powerful statement, I see it as feeding the troll.  All I thought was "wow, he really got to her."
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on October 03, 2012, 09:19:35 PM
Not to mention, thin doesn't always mean healthy.  I've known some skinny/ slender folks who have awful diets with not much to say for the health of what they eat. And then there are ones with eating disorders and they're definitely not healthy.  So I don't agree that thin automatically means healthy.

The letter writer is a nasty piece of work, and I like how she handled it. I saw it last night because Ellen tweeted it.  I think there's enough focus on looks that one really ought to focus more on what a person contributes to society and it sounds like this woman does contribute and it's not like she's not trying to keep herself healthy, if she runs as much as she does and eats well.  Who cares if she's not thin. I think she's beautiful, inside and out. :)
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Sharnita on October 03, 2012, 10:13:24 PM
I think people are way too invested in bullying being a repeated act.  That is a definition, not the definition. 

One would think that as a lawyer he would have an obligation to act as a role model to young children as far as rushing to judgement about other people, especially without being presented with all the facts.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Ereine on October 03, 2012, 11:52:22 PM
I don't view the letter writer as a bully so much as a troll.
 
And he got what he wanted.  Attention.

I've seen sort of similar opinions expressed elsewhere and even on this forum and I seriously doubt that they're seeking attention. It's easy to say that and that you should just ignore bullies but as a "role model" I think that it's great that she spoke out. Because ignoring bullying doesn't help at all, it just isolates the victim. You may think that talking about it makes her weak (or so I interpreted your statement that he really got to her, I'm sorry if I'm mistaken) but I think that taking insults in silence isn't particularly strong either.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: baglady on October 04, 2012, 12:08:02 AM
I'm another who doesn't think of this guy as a bully. Bullies pick on those they perceive as weaker than they are, who can't or won't fight back. Nothing weak about Jennifer -- she *did* fight back. Very publicly. The term "bully pulpit" comes to mind with its totally different meaning for the B word.

It really gets my back up that he called her a bad role model. She's the best kind of role model -- a woman who is fit and healthy and comfortable in a body that isn't a toothpick with b00bs. If there were more women like her on television, there'd probably be a lot fewer girls and young women killing themselves (literally and figuratively) to achieve an ideal their bone structure, metabolism or genes will never let them reach.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: starry diadem on October 04, 2012, 12:52:56 AM
I think people are way too invested in bullying being a repeated act.  That is a definition, not the definition. 
{rest snipped}

POD POD PODDITY POD

Thank you!   I was about to chime in and ask how many times something has to happen before it can be 'counted' as bullying.  Would two incidents do it?  Three?  Is there a threshold of abuse people are expected to tolerate before they can claim that they're being bullied?  Are people seriously told that "Sorry, you can't count that as bullying because it only happened to you once and the fact that someone more 'powerful' (for whatever definition of power you use) than you hurt/castigated/threatened/reviled/abused you, doesn't matter.  You're so out of luck.  Let them do it again and then we might listen."

There may be a pattern of bullying.  It may happen only once.  We shouldn't tolerate it at all.



Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: PeterM on October 04, 2012, 01:08:45 AM
And his "victim" took his bullying/trolling/rudeness/whatever and made it into a powerful statement that reached a wide audience.

As part of that audience, I don't see it as a powerful statement, I see it as feeding the troll. 

Going by the reactions I've seen here and several other places, you appear to be in the distinct minority on that. Which isn't to say you're wrong, of course, but it also doesn't mean you're right.

Quote
All I thought was "wow, he really got to her."

This I agree with, but I think she handled it admirably. Would it be better if she just didn't care what he said? Sure, but nobody's perfect. So this imperfect person took feelings she'd be better off not feeling and did something I and many, many other people think is positive.

If we take it as a given that the letter writer "got to her," how do you think she could have handled it better?
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Amava on October 04, 2012, 01:39:16 AM
I'm another who doesn't think of this guy as a bully. Bullies pick on those they perceive as weaker than they are, who can't or won't fight back. Nothing weak about Jennifer -- she *did* fight back. Very publicly. The term "bully pulpit" comes to mind with its totally different meaning for the B word.

It really gets my back up that he called her a bad role model. She's the best kind of role model -- a woman who is fit and healthy and comfortable in a body that isn't a toothpick with b00bs. If there were more women like her on television, there'd probably be a lot fewer girls and young women killing themselves (literally and figuratively) to achieve an ideal their bone structure, metabolism or genes will never let them reach.

Sigh... Baglady, I find this hard to say because I agree with all of the rest that you wrote, but, the bolded? Was that necessary? As a naturally underweight lady who has been bullied for *my* bodytype for years, and has had issues with insecurity and body image for many years more due to that, I find such wordings really, really painful.  :(

Like I said upthread, I love this woman. I think she's gorgeous. But can we please admire her without bashing other body types. Thanks.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Fleur on October 04, 2012, 04:59:56 AM
I'm another who doesn't think of this guy as a bully. Bullies pick on those they perceive as weaker than they are, who can't or won't fight back. Nothing weak about Jennifer -- she *did* fight back. Very publicly. The term "bully pulpit" comes to mind with its totally different meaning for the B word.

It really gets my back up that he called her a bad role model. She's the best kind of role model -- a woman who is fit and healthy and comfortable in a body that isn't a toothpick with b00bs. If there were more women like her on television, there'd probably be a lot fewer girls and young women killing themselves (literally and figuratively) to achieve an ideal their bone structure, metabolism or genes will never let them reach.

Sigh... Baglady, I find this hard to say because I agree with all of the rest that you wrote, but, the bolded? Was that necessary? As a naturally underweight lady who has been bullied for *my* bodytype for years, and has had issues with insecurity and body image for many years more due to that, I find such wordings really, really painful.  :(

Like I said upthread, I love this woman. I think she's gorgeous. But can we please admire her without bashing other body types. Thanks.

Seconded. I'm overweight, but I don't like the bashing of any body types, it is wrong. I also hate prescriptive attittudes to health and weight. I'm so sorry you were bullied, Amava, that sucks :( I also love this anchor.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Snooks on October 04, 2012, 05:01:16 AM
I thought she handled it well, given that she didn't mention the guy's name I'm not sure how it got out there.  If her husband put it on the Facebook page then I think that was an error but only because knowing who the guy is distracts from what he did.  I should really stop watching the clip though because I seem to get something in my eye every time...
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: RingTailedLemur on October 04, 2012, 05:37:51 AM
I don't view the letter writer as a bully so much as a troll.
 
And he got what he wanted.  Attention.

And his "victim" took his bullying/trolling/rudeness/whatever and made it into a powerful statement that reached a wide audience.

As part of that audience, I don't see it as a powerful statement, I see it as feeding the troll.  All I thought was "wow, he really got to her."

I disagree.  There is no evidence that he "got to her" at all.  I think instead she realised what a great opportunity it was to reach out to and stand up for people who would be hurt by such words.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Yvaine on October 04, 2012, 06:20:42 AM
I think it's not really important to get into a semantic discussion of the definition of bullying. If the thread title said "Handing it to a jerk on live TV," the essential issues would still be the same.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: baglady on October 04, 2012, 07:44:58 AM
I'm another who doesn't think of this guy as a bully. Bullies pick on those they perceive as weaker than they are, who can't or won't fight back. Nothing weak about Jennifer -- she *did* fight back. Very publicly. The term "bully pulpit" comes to mind with its totally different meaning for the B word.

It really gets my back up that he called her a bad role model. She's the best kind of role model -- a woman who is fit and healthy and comfortable in a body that isn't a toothpick with b00bs. If there were more women like her on television, there'd probably be a lot fewer girls and young women killing themselves (literally and figuratively) to achieve an ideal their bone structure, metabolism or genes will never let them reach.

Sigh... Baglady, I find this hard to say because I agree with all of the rest that you wrote, but, the bolded? Was that necessary? As a naturally underweight lady who has been bullied for *my* bodytype for years, and has had issues with insecurity and body image for many years more due to that, I find such wordings really, really painful.  :(

Like I said upthread, I love this woman. I think she's gorgeous. But can we please admire her without bashing other body types. Thanks.

Seconded. I'm overweight, but I don't like the bashing of any body types, it is wrong. I also hate prescriptive attittudes to health and weight. I'm so sorry you were bullied, Amava, that sucks :( I also love this anchor.

My apologies. I wasn't trying to bash -- it was a poor attempt to be facetious.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Moray on October 04, 2012, 08:14:45 AM
*snip*

(I don't believe in the calorie in calorie out theory btw and think we would have a lot less meanness if people had a more realistic view of what causes weight gain.  I certainly find it hard to believe that a successful anchor is such an uncontrolled hedonist that she is fat because she pigs outr all the time!)

Well, what if she was fat because she *did* pig out all the time? Is it ok to make disparaging remarks about her if there aren't mitigating factors that keep her weight high? The answer is "No", obviously, with a follow-up question of "And how would you even tell?".

I know that's not at all what you intended, but that sort of reasoning "Hey, be nice! It could be a medical condition." doesn't really address the root of the problem, which is that some people find it appropriate to make hurtful remarks about the appearance of others. If some jerk says "Put down the twinkies, lardbutt!!", it doesn't become less rude if the large person he's saying it to actually does have a thing for twinkies, KWIM?
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Thipu1 on October 04, 2012, 08:20:54 AM
The author of the original email surfaced on GMA this morning.

Guess what?  He's offered to 'advise' and 'help' her lose weight.  Ah, the goodness of his heart! (NOT)
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Moray on October 04, 2012, 08:24:42 AM
The author of the original email surfaced on GMA this morning.

Guess what?  He's offered to 'advise' and 'help' her lose weight.  Ah, the goodness of his heart! (NOT)

Aww, what a sweetie. There's nothing like someone who thinks put-downs are perfectly acceptable because "it's for [other person]'s own good". I don't think I've ever encountered someone with that attitude who actually have a dead rat's hindquarters about [other person].
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Sharnita on October 04, 2012, 08:36:23 AM
*snip*

(I don't believe in the calorie in calorie out theory btw and think we would have a lot less meanness if people had a more realistic view of what causes weight gain.  I certainly find it hard to believe that a successful anchor is such an uncontrolled hedonist that she is fat because she pigs outr all the time!)

Well, what if she was fat because she *did* pig out all the time? Is it ok to make disparaging remarks about her if there aren't mitigating factors that keep her weight high? The answer is "No", obviously, with a follow-up question of "And how would you even tell?".

I know that's not at all what you intended, but that sort of reasoning "Hey, be nice! It could be a medical condition." doesn't really address the root of the problem, which is that some people find it appropriate to make hurtful remarks about the appearance of others. If some jerk says "Put down the twinkies, lardbutt!!", it doesn't become less rude if the large person he's saying it to actually does have a thing for twinkies, KWIM?

Agreed - she shouldn't have to disclose medical information to justify her right to be treated with respect.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: PurpleyBlue on October 04, 2012, 09:43:17 AM
I'm extremely proud and greatful to Ms. Livingston for what she did. Her message may have made all the difference in the world to someone who is struggling with other people making them feel less than a whole person because of how they look.

People need to learn that a number on a scale is NOT who we are. In the past two years, I have lost a significant amount of weight. And you know what? I'm still the sme person I was two years ago. I'm not magically smarter, nicer, better at my job or life in general. I'm just me. Same as I used to be, just in a different size clothes. If what Ms. Livingston said makes even one person take a moment to realize that, then I will gladly give her a standing ovation.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: StuffedGrapeLeaves on October 04, 2012, 09:52:42 AM
I'm in the camp of applauding what she did.  It might give the viewer more attention, but I think it's more important that she stands up for herself and for other girls and women who are in the same position but do not have the ability to fight back. 

By the way, she is apparently the sister of actor Ron Livingston, who has issued his own statement that he was proud of his sister: http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20635965,00.html
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Jones on October 04, 2012, 10:26:51 AM
After I read here that the emailer had outed himself, I had to go find the scoop. I wish I could say I was shocked to find out that she had invited him on her show to speak about it face-to-face about his concerns and he declined. I also have to wonder about his newest statement, about helping her "transform herself" in public view of everyone. It's obvious from his physique he works very hard on himself, but I just don't know that he understands that people are built differently from each other and it's OK. Really, it's OK to look different from each other.

I have to wonder why he wears glasses when Lasik is available, but feels he can chide someone with health related overweightedness to lose that weight?  ::) (Sarcasm. I wear glasses myself and don't care if anyone else does.) I have a Zumba instructor who is overweight. She dances (aerobically) 6-8 hours a day/5 days a week and from comments she has made will never, ever fit into a single digit pant size (she hasn't lost any poundage in over a year). She is one of the most physically capable women I've ever met. She'd probably break Mr. Jerk's brain.

As a lawyer, he really should have known better than to stick his nose where it didn't belong.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Hijinks on October 04, 2012, 10:33:51 AM
I don't view the letter writer as a bully so much as a troll.
 
And he got what he wanted.  Attention.

And his "victim" took his bullying/trolling/rudeness/whatever and made it into a powerful statement that reached a wide audience.

As part of that audience, I don't see it as a powerful statement, I see it as feeding the troll.  All I thought was "wow, he really got to her."

I disagree.  There is no evidence that he "got to her" at all.  I think instead she realised what a great opportunity it was to reach out to and stand up for people who would be hurt by such words.

As she states in her piece, she had laughed it off, but her husband took offense on her behalf and posted it on the show's FB page, where people read it and sent out the signal.  She had nothing to do with it being put out there, but once it was, she felt she should address it.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Amava on October 04, 2012, 10:47:21 AM
I'm another who doesn't think of this guy as a bully. Bullies pick on those they perceive as weaker than they are, who can't or won't fight back. Nothing weak about Jennifer -- she *did* fight back. Very publicly. The term "bully pulpit" comes to mind with its totally different meaning for the B word.

It really gets my back up that he called her a bad role model. She's the best kind of role model -- a woman who is fit and healthy and comfortable in a body that isn't a toothpick with b00bs. If there were more women like her on television, there'd probably be a lot fewer girls and young women killing themselves (literally and figuratively) to achieve an ideal their bone structure, metabolism or genes will never let them reach.

Sigh... Baglady, I find this hard to say because I agree with all of the rest that you wrote, but, the bolded? Was that necessary? As a naturally underweight lady who has been bullied for *my* bodytype for years, and has had issues with insecurity and body image for many years more due to that, I find such wordings really, really painful.  :(

Like I said upthread, I love this woman. I think she's gorgeous. But can we please admire her without bashing other body types. Thanks.

Seconded. I'm overweight, but I don't like the bashing of any body types, it is wrong. I also hate prescriptive attittudes to health and weight. I'm so sorry you were bullied, Amava, that sucks :( I also love this anchor.

My apologies. I wasn't trying to bash -- it was a poor attempt to be facetious.

Thank you very much, Baglady, apologies accepted!  :) The /rational/ part of me already knows, of course, that nobody here is calling me a toothpick. ;)  And it's understandable that with hearing so much about people struggling to keep their weight down every day, we sometimes forget that there are people reading along who are the exact opposite, too.

And thank you too, Fleur. Yes, it sucked. But I know that I'm only one of very many and oh well, I lived. I don't /often/ think about it anymore, it's all good.

Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: #borecore on October 04, 2012, 11:07:43 AM
I was the person who sorted through letters to the editor for a major daily newspaper. The sheer number of letters we got was incredible, and almost daily they insulted our writers, our editorial board, me personally or the newspaper or journalism in general. Often they included racist, sexist, ageist or just plain prejudiced remarks; sometimes they went so far as telling us we should commit suicide, quit or otherwise do dangerous, shocking and horrible things. We sent them to the circular file as a matter of policy. (Actually, I kept them in a stack and had a policy of not publishing only borderline-offensive letters by frequently prejudiced or threatening writers, but this wasn't universal.)

Responding to idiots (or taking their comments personally) just feeds the beast, even if those particular idiots are articulate enough to be read on-air. I'm disappointed that she gave into this alluring temptation, though in reading the thread I understand the situation better. It's brought a person who depends on popularity among viewers a little more job security, sure, but I'm just not a fan of airing your dirty 'fan' mail on air no matter what. This should've stayed private.

I have one former colleague, a female sportswriter of considerable talent who doesn't look the sportswriter part -- lots of makeup, bright clothes and heels, older than the average female sportswriter and overweight -- and she gets tweeted at or emailed about how ugly/fat she is every time she says something someone doesn't like. It's clear it gets to her, and I feel terrible for her. But at the same time, it'd be SO unprofessional (given our business's code of ethics) to retort or even respond to anything but the sports part of their messages.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Fleur on October 04, 2012, 12:08:13 PM
I was the person who sorted through letters to the editor for a major daily newspaper. The sheer number of letters we got was incredible, and almost daily they insulted our writers, our editorial board, me personally or the newspaper or journalism in general. Often they included racist, sexist, ageist or just plain prejudiced remarks; sometimes they went so far as telling us we should commit suicide, quit or otherwise do dangerous, shocking and horrible things. We sent them to the circular file as a matter of policy. (Actually, I kept them in a stack and had a policy of not publishing only borderline-offensive letters by frequently prejudiced or threatening writers, but this wasn't universal.)

Responding to idiots (or taking their comments personally) just feeds the beast, even if those particular idiots are articulate enough to be read on-air. I'm disappointed that she gave into this alluring temptation, though in reading the thread I understand the situation better. It's brought a person who depends on popularity among viewers a little more job security, sure, but I'm just not a fan of airing your dirty 'fan' mail on air no matter what. This should've stayed private.

I have one former colleague, a female sportswriter of considerable talent who doesn't look the sportswriter part -- lots of makeup, bright clothes and heels, older than the average female sportswriter and overweight -- and she gets tweeted at or emailed about how ugly/fat she is every time she says something someone doesn't like. It's clear it gets to her, and I feel terrible for her. But at the same time, it'd be SO unprofessional (given our business's code of ethics) to retort or even respond to anything but the sports part of their messages.

Respectfully, I disagree with you. I understand that you have experience which most of us in this thread lack, but I am not persuaded that this news anchor was unprofessional. I don't see anything 'disappointing' in her actions, and I think to portay her behaviour as 'feeding the beast' is unfair. I'm sorry, and I know that this wasn't your intention, but that smacks to me of victim blaming. I'm not picking on you, because I have seen varations of the 'standing up to bullies just gives them what they want' theme all over the internet, both regarding this story and other ones. I completely disagree with this point of view. Standing up to bullies, and showing them that their ugly and cruel behaviour is unacceptable, is an act of great strength. It is true that there is strength in a 'dignified silence', but why should the onus of dignified behaviour always be put on the victim? Why shouldn't the bully be shown for the mean and unprofessional person he/she is?
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Ereine on October 04, 2012, 12:15:25 PM
I was the person who sorted through letters to the editor for a major daily newspaper. The sheer number of letters we got was incredible, and almost daily they insulted our writers, our editorial board, me personally or the newspaper or journalism in general. Often they included racist, sexist, ageist or just plain prejudiced remarks; sometimes they went so far as telling us we should commit suicide, quit or otherwise do dangerous, shocking and horrible things. We sent them to the circular file as a matter of policy. (Actually, I kept them in a stack and had a policy of not publishing only borderline-offensive letters by frequently prejudiced or threatening writers, but this wasn't universal.)

Responding to idiots (or taking their comments personally) just feeds the beast, even if those particular idiots are articulate enough to be read on-air. I'm disappointed that she gave into this alluring temptation, though in reading the thread I understand the situation better. It's brought a person who depends on popularity among viewers a little more job security, sure, but I'm just not a fan of airing your dirty 'fan' mail on air no matter what. This should've stayed private.

I have one former colleague, a female sportswriter of considerable talent who doesn't look the sportswriter part -- lots of makeup, bright clothes and heels, older than the average female sportswriter and overweight -- and she gets tweeted at or emailed about how ugly/fat she is every time she says something someone doesn't like. It's clear it gets to her, and I feel terrible for her. But at the same time, it'd be SO unprofessional (given our business's code of ethics) to retort or even respond to anything but the sports part of their messages.

I think that this was a different type of situation. In your examples people get insulted because of something they write that people don't agree with and the insulters just pick the easiest things to be insulting about (though it's likely that they're harsher with the female sportswriter than they would be with her male colleagues) and I agree that that type of comments should be ignored. In this case the letter writer doesn't even watch her show and doesn't seem to have a problem with the content of it, he just doesn't like the way she looks. 
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: violinp on October 04, 2012, 12:20:55 PM
With all due respect, jmarvellous, letters to the editor are not the same thing as a personal email chastising someone for their appearance. In the former case, the letter writers want an audience to listen to their pontificating. In the latter case, one man was trying to shame a woman for the way she looks.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Fleur on October 04, 2012, 12:21:54 PM
With all due respect, jmarvellous, letters to the editor are not the same thing as a personal email chastising someone for their appearance. In the former case, the letter writers want an audience to listen to their pontificating. In the latter case, one man was trying to shame a woman for the way she looks.

That is also an excellent point.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: #borecore on October 04, 2012, 12:40:26 PM
With all due respect, jmarvellous, letters to the editor are not the same thing as a personal email chastising someone for their appearance. In the former case, the letter writers want an audience to listen to their pontificating. In the latter case, one man was trying to shame a woman for the way she looks.

I should point out that all our writers' email addresses were on their articles, and 75% of writers were CC'd on these letters -- and I was privvy to "private" emails in many cases, too, as well as being required to share any messages about an individual with that person and her boss before trashing them. I apologize for not including the stuff that's obvious to me but clearly not part of a wider audience's perception!

These people are clearly aiming to shame their audience, be it one person or thousands. In the case of the individual I mentioned, she gets it from all sides, daily. As I said, I know it hurts, but I don't think the situations are all that different and silence is still the best response, if not the only acceptable one.


Then again maybe I'm bitter because I tune into TV news expecting actual big, newsy events and the nightly half hour is increasingly this kind of stuff.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Amava on October 04, 2012, 12:53:31 PM
Then again maybe I'm bitter because I tune into TV news expecting actual big, newsy events and the nightly half hour is increasingly this kind of stuff.

Maybe one day we will live in a society where "It is not okay to put others down because of their weight" will no longer be news for anyone. Where teaching people that they are allowed to be happy in their skin is no longer necessary. Where respecting others will be a given.

Until that day, I will support anyone who makes an effort to bring it people's attention.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: bansidhe on October 04, 2012, 01:21:19 PM
If the thread title said "Handing it to a jerk on live TV," the essential issues would still be the same.

And now the thread title says exactly that.  :)
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: bansidhe on October 04, 2012, 01:36:24 PM
I have one former colleague, a female sportswriter of considerable talent who doesn't look the sportswriter part -- lots of makeup, bright clothes and heels, older than the average female sportswriter and overweight -- and she gets tweeted at or emailed about how ugly/fat she is every time she says something someone doesn't like. It's clear it gets to her, and I feel terrible for her. But at the same time, it'd be SO unprofessional (given our business's code of ethics) to retort or even respond to anything but the sports part of their messages.

I added some bolding to clarify my take on the situation. The fact that she gets comments about her appearance when people disagree with something she said about sports speaks volumes. Mostly it says "In this society, women's primary and most valuable asset is their appearance. If their appearance doesn't pass muster with men -- the men's appearance notwithstanding - - then they're basically worthless."

That's the same kind of message I see in the lawyer's e-mail to Jennifer Livingston. He's annoyed because she doesn't meet society's standard of beauty and he believes that's her duty as a woman. Notice that he doesn't point out that her competence as a newscaster or a career woman serves as a great role model for young girls. It's all about the way she looks.

On another much less polite site I hang out on, the vast majority of the responses to this story were basically, "But she IS fat! He didn't do anything wrong by pointing it out."

I've got years of anorexia behind me and current food-related issues so this kind of attitude seriously annoys me. It is pervasive and widespread and needs to be changed, and there is no way it will be changed unless people speak up. I'm glad Jennifer Livingston spoke up.

Title: Re: Handing it to a jerk on live TV
Post by: Roodabega on October 04, 2012, 01:54:21 PM
I think that another aspect to this incident which isn't widely publicised is that the lawyer didn't just send the email to her, he sent it to every email address at the station that he could find.  That's one reason why the husband responded on facebook originally, because he also received the email.

The email writer wasn't trying to be helpful, he was trying to humiliate her to do something that he wanted.  I think she did the right thing in responding.
Title: Re: Handing it to a jerk on live TV
Post by: Two Ravens on October 04, 2012, 02:06:02 PM
I think that another aspect to this incident which isn't widely publicised is that the lawyer didn't just send the email to her, he sent it to every email address at the station that he could find.  That's one reason why the husband responded on facebook originally, because he also received the email.

The email writer wasn't trying to be helpful, he was trying to humiliate her to do something that he wanted.  I think she did the right thing in responding.

Do you have a link where this is mentioned?
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: JoieGirl7 on October 04, 2012, 03:44:49 PM
Then again maybe I'm bitter because I tune into TV news expecting actual big, newsy events and the nightly half hour is increasingly this kind of stuff.

Maybe one day we will live in a society where "It is not okay to put others down because of their weight" will no longer be news for anyone. Where teaching people that they are allowed to be happy in their skin is no longer necessary. Where respecting others will be a given.

Until that day, I will support anyone who makes an effort to bring it people's attention.

You can't bring everything to everyone's attention.  It actually comes to a point where saturation is reached and no one pays attention anymore.   Doing things like this is not going to create a utopian society where no one is insulted for how they look.  It's certainly not going to stop letter writing trolls.

Do you really think that the guy who sent that letter doesn't know that what he's doing is wrong?  Of course he does!  That's why he did it!

I agree totally with jmarvellous.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Amava on October 04, 2012, 03:57:38 PM
Then again maybe I'm bitter because I tune into TV news expecting actual big, newsy events and the nightly half hour is increasingly this kind of stuff.

Maybe one day we will live in a society where "It is not okay to put others down because of their weight" will no longer be news for anyone. Where teaching people that they are allowed to be happy in their skin is no longer necessary. Where respecting others will be a given.

Until that day, I will support anyone who makes an effort to bring it people's attention.

You can't bring everything to everyone's attention.  It actually comes to a point where saturation is reached and no one pays attention anymore.   Doing things like this is not going to create a utopian society where no one is insulted for how they look.  It's certainly not going to stop letter writing trolls.

Do you really think that the guy who sent that letter doesn't know that what he's doing is wrong?  Of course he does!  That's why he did it!

I agree totally with jmarvellous.

He may know that he's doing wrong, but the message is that those who are on the receiving end of such behaviour don't have to put up with it in silence.

Saturation? Let's get fed up with bullying, not with the protests of the targets.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Fleur on October 04, 2012, 04:02:04 PM
Then again maybe I'm bitter because I tune into TV news expecting actual big, newsy events and the nightly half hour is increasingly this kind of stuff.

Maybe one day we will live in a society where "It is not okay to put others down because of their weight" will no longer be news for anyone. Where teaching people that they are allowed to be happy in their skin is no longer necessary. Where respecting others will be a given.

Until that day, I will support anyone who makes an effort to bring it people's attention.

You can't bring everything to everyone's attention.  It actually comes to a point where saturation is reached and no one pays attention anymore.   Doing things like this is not going to create a utopian society where no one is insulted for how they look.  It's certainly not going to stop letter writing trolls.

Do you really think that the guy who sent that letter doesn't know that what he's doing is wrong?  Of course he does!  That's why he did it!

I agree totally with jmarvellous.

He may know that he's doing wrong, but the message is that those who are on the receiving end of such behaviour don't have to put up with it in silence.

Saturation? Let's get fed up with bullying, not with the protests of the targets.

I could not agree more with the bolded. Why should bullying and cruelty be swept under the carpet? I hate this 'take it on the chin and toughen up' attitude, I don't think it helps anyone.
Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: Moray on October 04, 2012, 04:04:13 PM
Then again maybe I'm bitter because I tune into TV news expecting actual big, newsy events and the nightly half hour is increasingly this kind of stuff.

Maybe one day we will live in a society where "It is not okay to put others down because of their weight" will no longer be news for anyone. Where teaching people that they are allowed to be happy in their skin is no longer necessary. Where respecting others will be a given.

Until that day, I will support anyone who makes an effort to bring it people's attention.

You can't bring everything to everyone's attention.  It actually comes to a point where saturation is reached and no one pays attention anymore.   Doing things like this is not going to create a utopian society where no one is insulted for how they look.  It's certainly not going to stop letter writing trolls.

Do you really think that the guy who sent that letter doesn't know that what he's doing is wrong?  Of course he does!  That's why he did it!

I agree totally with jmarvellous.

He may know that he's doing wrong, but the message is that those who are on the receiving end of such behaviour don't have to put up with it in silence.

Saturation? Let's get fed up with bullying, not with the protests of the targets.

I could not agree more with the bolded. Why should bullying and cruelty be swept under the carpet? I hate this 'take it on the chin and toughen up' attitude, I don't think it helps anyone.

Agreed.
Title: Re: Handing it to a jerk on live TV
Post by: MrsJWine on October 04, 2012, 04:10:37 PM
I only have my experience as a the class nerd through the entirety of elementary school, but "just ignore it, and it will go away" worked precisely never. Cruel second-graders' brains work differently than cruel grown-up lawyers' brains, I'm sure, but it's partly this advice that kept me getting picked on year after year while no adult helped me.
Title: Re: Handing it to a jerk on live TV
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on October 04, 2012, 04:16:05 PM
This.  Ignoring doesn't say to jerks "No fun."  It says "Easy prey."
Title: Re: Handing it to a jerk on live TV
Post by: Sirius on October 04, 2012, 04:25:14 PM
I've been fat all my life, and I've been teased/mocked/bullied for it.  I've also heard a great deal of nastiness directed at fat people under the guise of being "helpful" that it infuriates me.  If my doctor said anything about my weight, I'd listen; it's her job.  If Mr. Sirius voiced concern about my weight, I'd listen; I know he cares about me.  But what I weigh or look like is no one else's business.   



Title: Re: Handing it to a bully on live TV
Post by: JoieGirl7 on October 04, 2012, 05:28:25 PM
Then again maybe I'm bitter because I tune into TV news expecting actual big, newsy events and the nightly half hour is increasingly this kind of stuff.

Maybe one day we will live in a society where "It is not okay to put others down because of their weight" will no longer be news for anyone. Where teaching people that they are allowed to be happy in their skin is no longer necessary. Where respecting others will be a given.

Until that day, I will support anyone who makes an effort to bring it people's attention.

You can't bring everything to everyone's attention.  It actually comes to a point where saturation is reached and no one pays attention anymore.   Doing things like this is not going to create a utopian society where no one is insulted for how they look.  It's certainly not going to stop letter writing trolls.

Do you really think that the guy who sent that letter doesn't know that what he's doing is wrong?  Of course he does!  That's why he did it!

I agree totally with jmarvellous.

He may know that he's doing wrong, but the message is that those who are on the receiving end of such behaviour don't have to put up with it in silence.

Saturation? Let's get fed up with bullying, not with the protests of the targets.

And get fed up with every other issue of the day.  Saturation is a fact of life as are nasty letters from trolls when one is a public figure.

Being a public figure who gets nasty letters is very different from a kid in school getting beat up or teased.
 
And I am not suggesting that one put up with it in silence, but making oneself a cause cé·lè·bre is a bit self aggrandizing.
 
I simply don't agree with it because I think there are enough people raising awareness without also feeding trolls.
Title: Re: Handing it to a jerk on live TV
Post by: Moray on October 04, 2012, 05:48:47 PM
Wait, what?

People should raise awareness, but they can't use actual examples because it's self-aggrandizing?
Title: Re: Handing it to a jerk on live TV
Post by: JoieGirl7 on October 05, 2012, 01:11:56 AM
Wait, what?

People should raise awareness, but they can't use actual examples because it's self-aggrandizing?

In this case it is self-aggrandizing.  Her job is to report the news, not use her job to become the news.

There are ways to promote healthy body image without using an example like this that feeds the troll.
Title: Re: Handing it to a jerk on live TV
Post by: MyFamily on October 05, 2012, 08:20:14 AM
Wait, what?

People should raise awareness, but they can't use actual examples because it's self-aggrandizing?

In this case it is self-aggrandizing.  Her job is to report the news, not use her job to become the news.

There are ways to promote healthy body image without using an example like this that feeds the troll.

How was she self-aggrandizing?  She wasn't making herself appear to be more important than she is, she was responding to a bully.  The fact is that in that part of Wisconsin, she is well-known and is a role-model for young girls (not as big as say Brittney Spears, but these girls see her on their tv and may even know her daughters or see her in the local grocery store).  She is using her position to send a message; and imo, that is exactly what she should be doing.  The outside press grabbed the story and is sharing it, but in my mind and in the mind of many of friends, she isn't the story - the story is about how women are judged on how they look and not on who they are, and what kind of message that sends to our daughters.  We applaud her for taking a stand.
Title: Re: Handing it to a jerk on live TV
Post by: MamaMootz on October 05, 2012, 10:01:34 AM
Am I the only one who is wondering if Mr. Lawyer is selling Herbalife or one of those MLM type things to promote weight loss and is trying to give his "advice" to sell her some product? I haven't seen the guy but he sounds really arrogant.

Other than that, good for her for standing up to him.
Title: Re: Handing it to a jerk on live TV
Post by: Yvaine on October 05, 2012, 10:07:33 AM
Am I the only one who is wondering if Mr. Lawyer is selling Herbalife or one of those MLM type things to promote weight loss and is trying to give his "advice" to sell her some product? I haven't seen the guy but he sounds really arrogant.

Other than that, good for her for standing up to him.

Yeah, I was wondering if this is meant to financially benefit him in some way. I didn't even think of MLM, but that would make sense. I was wondering if he moonlights as a personal trainer and thought this would get him publicity.
Title: Re: Handing it to a jerk on live TV
Post by: Thipu1 on October 05, 2012, 10:11:01 AM
GMA had a brief interview with the guy this morning.
 
He sounded as if he had no idea that what he wrote could be seen as offensive and provoke the flak that it did. 

Of course, the TV crew ambushed him when he arrived at work so it might not have been quite fair. 

Still, I don't think Ms. Livingston was wrong to jump in and use this situation as a teaching moment when her DH decided to post the email to Facebook.   

Title: Re: Handing it to a jerk on live TV
Post by: MamaMootz on October 05, 2012, 06:24:57 PM
Am I the only one who is wondering if Mr. Lawyer is selling Herbalife or one of those MLM type things to promote weight loss and is trying to give his "advice" to sell her some product? I haven't seen the guy but he sounds really arrogant.

Other than that, good for her for standing up to him.

Yeah, I was wondering if this is meant to financially benefit him in some way. I didn't even think of MLM, but that would make sense. I was wondering if he moonlights as a personal trainer and thought this would get him publicity.

What made me think of the MLM was that in his response to Ms. Livingston, he offered some advice and coaching.... so yeah, I was thinking he was trying to drum up publicity and make $$. Maybe he thinks he's Wisconsin's answer to Bob Harper?  >:D
Title: Re: Handing it to a jerk on live TV
Post by: gingerzing on October 05, 2012, 06:40:52 PM
I did not get through all the thread yet.  But this gal is my hero.
I have often wanted to look someone dead in the eye and say, Gee thanks for that.  It isn't like I have to look in the mirror or try to buy clothes, but needed someone to point that out for me that I am fat.

And yes, I think the guy needed to be called on the table about it.  Too many people make the internet a way to lose all manners.  I would never think about going up to someone and telling them that they were fat.  But apparently, telling someone in an email is fine. 

Plus I liked her comment to the fact that he even said that he didn't watch the show (just turned it on).
Also, the guy then mentioned something about losing weight on air to be a role model.  You know, cause it worked out so well for Oprah. 

Yes, she is MUCH more than some number on a scale. 

I think the best article about this was this gentleman. 
http://www.mercurynews.com/entertainment/ci_21699714/hicks-wisconsin-news-anchor-who-stood-up-her
Title: Re: Handing it to a jerk on live TV
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on October 10, 2012, 12:21:08 PM
Mrs. Livingston was on Ellen yesterday, talking about this and she said people had told her that in order for it to be considered bullying it has to happen more than once and be a pattern. She didn't really think much for that definition, saying that if her daughter came home with something like that, she wasn't going to wait for a second time to address it, she'd take care of it right then and there.

She also said her reaction wasn't really because of this one guy targeting her, but rather just bullying in general.

Title: Re: Handing it to a jerk on live TV
Post by: NyaChan on October 10, 2012, 02:50:02 PM
Random info - apparently she is the sister of the lead actor in Office Space  & she has won Emmys for her journalistic work
Title: Re: Handing it to a jerk on live TV
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on October 10, 2012, 04:53:55 PM
And apparently her brother starred with Ellen DeGeneres in "Mr. Wrong".