Posted Oct 04, 2012 11:36 am CDT
Updated: A Wisconsin man who wrote a TV news anchor to tell her she is too fat isn’t retracting his assertion.
Kenneth Krause of LaCrosse told WKBT anchor Jennifer Livingston in an email that he briefly saw her morning show and was “surprised indeed to witness that your physical condition hasn’t improved for many years.” Among the publications with stories are the New York Times blog the Lede, the Huffington Post and MPR News.
“Surely you don’t consider yourself a suitable example for this community’s young people, girls in particular,” Krause wrote to Livingston. “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.”
Several publications identify Krause as a lawyer; the Wisconsin State Bar also lists a Kenneth Krause as a LaCrosse lawyer. He later told ABC News, however, that he works as a security guard.
Livingston responded to Krause’s criticism on the air. “The truth is I am overweight,” Livingston said. “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? That your cruel words are pointing out something that I don’t see? … I am much more than a number on a scale.”
Livingston went on to point out that October is anti-bullying month. The Internet has become a weapon for bullies, she said, and children struggling with their weight should not let their self-worth be defined by such people. She later appeared on national TV to talk about the controversy.
Krause didn’t respond to the Lede’s calls for comments, but he issued a statement. It read: “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.”
Later, an ABC News reporter caught up with Krause, who said he didn’t consider himself a bully. “I’m in no position to bully her,” he said. “She’s a big time media personality; I’m just a working stiff.” He said he never intended to hurt Livingston, and if she is truly hurt, he apologizes. He added that he struggled with obesity as a child and understands her plight.
Updated on Oct. 5 to include report by ABC News.