Striking back at offensive comments

TV reporters are all too familiar with comments from viewers about their hair, their glasses, their clothes, their bodies and other physical characteristics. Viewers can be both well-meaning and rude at the same time. I remember one letter to the editor in which the writer referred to the female news anchor with the “big teeth.” He wasn’t being kind, either. I’m not even talking about the mash notes the reporters get.

On the other side, it doesn’t take many hours in front of the television to realize that looks count among news reporters and anchors, particularly if you’re a woman. Stories are legion concerning reporters being pushed out because they’ve gotten old or overweight or have a low Q rating. A not-real but true-to-life example:

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So, with that in mind, the video below is powerful. I suspect, too, that many of the “on-air talent” hope their stations’ management pay attention to the response.

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Wednesday update: After posting this, I’ve watched some of the television coverage of the anchor’s comments. Not surprisingly, I haven’t seen much discussion of the importance of a TV reporters looks in attracting viewers.



6 thoughts on “Striking back at offensive comments

  1. Yes, “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.” I will start worrying when the same people wonder whether they would even be employed if they had the same knowledge level but the face of the typical non-TV reporter.

  2. You know, if it weren’t for Mayor Bloomberg, Michelle Obama and those of the nanny state who have decided to dictate to us about the health hazards of obesity and what we should be eating, the e mail from the viewer would never have happened. Think about it, folks. the e mail did not call her names,.In fact it was very polite. The writer was simply going along with what Michelle Obama and the Mayor have given him permission to do. Fat people (and I’m one of them) are the 21st Century version of the Smoker.(and I was one of them). Well, the Health Nazis are at it again. And , again, they’ve given the “holisticer than thou” maniacs the opportunity and permission to berate you. Read the e mail again. It is not like he called her a pig or used any other insulting language. Read it again and see if it doesn’t mirror the hype about obesity coming out of the Nanny state

    • Oh, Romaine, I’ve gotten nasty emails and letters about my writing and attitude and, even, my photo in the paper since the ’90s. I’m sure TV folks could tell you that it started long before then. This has nothing to do with any imagined nanny state and everything to do with people wanting to tell others what to do.

  3. I think it’s sad that someone felt the need to comment on this woman’s appearance. I was raised to never build yourself up by tearing others down. This ‘fault’ seemed to crop up on the playground, during recess as a child. Bullying never seems to fade as children grow up. It’s a shame that adults are exhibiting this type of behavior instead of acting like a role model for our youth. The person who sent this cruel email needs to focus on their own self and keep hurtful statements like this to themselves. Life is hard enough…

  4. My photo appears on my work blog, and I frequently get called one of two things: either Howdy Doody or Dwight Schrute. Not sure how I can be both, but anyway, I just ignore it. I reckon it could be a lot worse.

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