Was Jennifer Livingston Really Bullied?


Jennifer Livingston has become an internet sensation for calling out a viewer who wrote her an email calling out her weight and responsibility as a role model due to her notoriety.  Everyone joined in a round of applause for Livingston defending herself.  October is National Anti-Bullying Month and how fitting was it that just in time, this became world-wide news.  Now my question is, was she really bullied?  Or did Kenneth Krause make a poor judgement call and say something jerkish?  I may become grossly unpopular for saying this, but I don’t think this is national, local or international news, nor was Ms. Livingston bullied.  Was she on the receiving end of a rude email, yes.  Was she bullied, not even in the slightest.

BULLY: a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people.

By that definition, Livingston was not bullied.  She is not weak, she has the confidence to get on television every night and she herself said that when she first received the email, she laughed it off.  Call me cynical, but I really believe that this was a media ploy.  Krause admitted that he sent the email and was apologetic and said that would have revised his email had he known how it would have hurt her.  Should he have sent the email, no.  Was it a jerky thing to do, yes.  Is he a bully, not even in the slightest.  He sent her 1 email and then apologized for the hurt it caused.  For any of you that have been bullied, myself included, know that bullies do not stop with one  insult.  They are a like a ravaging disease that will not stop unless treated or until they have defeated every bit of you.  They are not remorseful, they do not care, they do not apologize.  This one incident has blown into a full-scale media frenzy when all could have been resolved with either pushing ‘delete’ or saying what she said on air in an email to Krause.  Problem solved.  Instead she rallied the world to her defense to persecute the sender of the email.  Now which is more bullying behaviour, sending a rude email for only 1 person to see, or having the entire world speak poorly of you because you voiced your opinion?  Look at the children who said horrendous things to the elderly bus monitor?  They received death threats, had their homes vandalized, and their tires slashed.  By giving ground for bullies to stand on, you only perpetuate more and aggressive bullying.  Both of these situations could have been handled better and more maturely.  Instead, violence only begets more violence.  Who will stop the cycle?

Instead, Livingston’s husband posted the email online and her fellow colleagues allowed for this editorial to take place.  Since when does a rude email from a viewer constitute world-wide news?  Is there not an election coming up?  Are there not natural disasters that are destroying homes and lives that deserve that air time?  There are children hanging themselves at the age of 10 because of being bullied relentlessly.  Where are their 4 minutes of air time?  Was the Wisconsin news channel so short on stories that an email takes up time that could have easily been replaced with something far more important?  I think the one thing that truly bothers me is that there are literally hundreds of thousands if not millions of children and teens that are bullied worldwide and yet very rarely do their stories reach us at 6 o’clock.  I really feel since they are the future of this world, their lives and stories matter more and deserve more of our attention.  Maybe instead of giving that elderly woman $700 000, it could have been donated to suicide prevention and awareness.  This whole event is so shameful in my opinion.  Look at these two video’s below and tell me who needs their story told more?  Jennifer Livingston or Jonah Mowry?


“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” – Ghandi


2 responses »

  1. I have a slightly different take on the email Jennifer Livingston received. I do not believe it was a case of bullying, if indeed, that were the only email she received from this person and he apologized for it.

    I think, rather, that she experienced prejudice against overweight people. My take on the email she received was that the sender believes, like many do, that one’s weight is purely a matter of choice. I have heard some things in some scientific research that say this may not entirely be true. There are physiological things that can add up and become bigger than one’s willpower, and these things can also make what steps one does take to lose weight become less effective.

    Both bullying and acts of prejudice can make a person feel terrible, however, and we should call attention to both of them.

    • I read an article that the sender is actually overweight and has a thyroid problem and has struggled with his weight most of his life. While the email shouldn’t have been sent, I don’t think it was overly prejudiced or bullying. I think this has been blown up and made into a bigger deal than it needed to be.

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