“It’s unusual that I see your morning show, but I did so for a very short time today. 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.”
Wouldn’t you know? It had to be a lawyer. And why wasn’t I surprised?
Any wonder that in August of last year, I almost spit out my Folger’s when I read that “ABA President Stephen N. Zack today called on lawyers to take the lead in returning civility to a public arena that has come to be dominated by anger and insult.”
I asked at the time, “Isn’t that a bit like inviting arsonists to put out a fire?”
The rude dude.
The author of the rude missive identified himself as Kenneth W. Krause of La Crosse, Wisconsin. And rather than being embarrassed or apologetic once the fur started flying, he doubled-down on his unwelcome ‘tough love.’ Indeed, he basked in the limelight enough to offer Livingston “any advice or support she would be willing to accept” to lose weight.
Here’s Krause’s complete statement to the media, “Given this country’s present epidemic of obesity and the many truly horrible diseases related thereto, and 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, and, to that end, I would be absolutely pleased to offer Jennifer any advice or support she would be willing to accept.”
But it wasn’t as though Livingston needed any advice from Krause. “You can call me fat,” she’d admitted. “Even obese on a doctor’s chart. Do you think I don’t know that?
And then her most important point of all, “The Internet has become a weapon and is passed down from people like that man to those who don’t know any better. If you are at home and you are talking about the fat news lady, guess what? Your children are probably going to go to school and call someone fat.”
Her heartfelt anti-bullying riposte was widely lauded.
Coincidentally, yesterday there was also the news story, “Why We Are So Rude Online,” which among other findings, mentioned that an inflated sense of self can create a tendency to exhibit poor self-control. You think? Additionally, one psychologist further explained that online anonymity translates into being “less inhibited online because we don’t have to see the reaction of the person we’re addressing.” Think trolls, which by chance, was underscored with abounding caution by the chilling tale recently told by Leo Traynor, “The day I confronted my troll.”
That double-standard . . . again.
But so long as the question’s being asked about online rudeness, what about the obvious parenthetical questions concerning society’s persistent double-standard. Why do some men find it easier to be ruder to a woman than to a man? And why is a plus size guy on TV more likely to get a pass than a plus size woman?
When I lived in No. Nevada, for example, there was a popular local newsman, a real hail-fellow-well-met and inveterate chow-hound, Tad Dunbar, who I’m sure tipped the scales well north of 300 lbs. Dunbar is now retired. But more importantly, I can’t conceive that the long time Reno news anchor would have put up with the kind of uncalled-for nastiness visited on Livingston.
Photo Credit: “LazyGirl6,” by Maria Raquel Cochez at Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license;”Bette Davis the little foxes,” in the public domain at Wikipedia.