A man who wrote to a Wisconsin TV news anchor last week calling her “obese” — which sparked a response that went viral — now says he was merely concerned that her appearance might be influencing children.
A statement being attributed to one Kenneth W. Krause, a former prosecutor who appears to write for several secular humanist publications, encourages journalist Jennifer Livingston to lose weight for the sake of the children, in hopes that her transformation will inspire them.
The statement reads: “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.”
His first message to Livingston — who happens to be the sister of “Office Space” star Ron Livingston — chided her for appearing overweight on television. “Surely you don’t consider yourself a suitable example for this community’s young people, girls in particular,” he wrote. “Obesity is one of the worst choices a person can make and one of the most dangerous habits to maintain.” The letter went on to say that the reporter has a “responsibility” to the children in her community to slim down.
“You don’t know me, you’re not a friend of mine,” Livingston said in a response aired Monday night. “You’re not a part of my family and you have admitted that you don’t watch this show.” she said. “So you know nothing about me but what you see on the outside, and I am much more than a number on a scale.”
Social media networks lit up after that segment aired, and the video was viewed over 1 million times in short order. Appearing Wednesday on “CBS This Morning,” Livingston said she hopes that making an example of her bully would send a strong message to parents about teaching tolerance to children.
“That email was well-written, it was articulate,” she said. “But make no mistake, it was meant to hurt my feelings. It was meant to shame me into losing weight and in my opinion, that’s a bully.”
Krause did not respond to Raw Story‘s request for comment.
This video is from “CBS This Morning,” broadcast Wednesday, October 3, 2012.