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La Crosse TV anchor earns national attention for obese comment response

by
WKBT-TV news anchor Jennifer Livingston.
WKBT-TV news anchor Jennifer Livingston.

LA CROSSE, WI (WTAQ) - A morning TV news anchor in La Crosse was invited to go on the national morning shows Wednesday, after she responded on the air to a viewer who criticized her weight.

Jennifer Livingston addressed the subject for 4 minutes Tuesday on WKBT. She said the viewer was being a bully by saying in an e-mail that she’s obese.

Kenneth Krause wrote, “Obesity is one of the worst choices a person can make,” and he urged her to, “Reconsider your responsibility to present and promote a healthy lifestyle.”

Livingston said they exchanged some e-mails, but Krause wouldn’t back down from his assertion that she was a bad role model.

The 37-year-old Livingston said she thought nothing of the man’s criticisms, because they’re part of the territory for a TV anchor. But she then thought of her children who may not be able to shrug off such criticisms so easily.

Her husband – TV anchor Mike Thompson – posted Krause’s note on his Facebook page, and Livingston said it resulted in over 1,000 messages of support. She said many writers were bullied themselves, and they wished that someone had stood up for them.

Livingston said her on air criticism was less about Krause and more about bullying in general. Krause told the AP that his e-mails had nothing to do with bullying. 

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