Overweight Anchor Hits Back

I have known two wonderful female anchors who were fired for being too heavy. They knew it was a problem, and management made no bones about telling them that they had better make a change or they would take action. However you feel about it, things like this are just reality in television news. I’m not defending it. I’m just telling you.

This case however is unique for another reason. I have NEVER seen station management allow an on air talent to hit back against detractors. That is a luxury enjoyed by print journalists, not in broadcast. That is the thing I find the most unusual about this video:

When considered in relation to other pieces of viewer hate mail I’ve seen over the years, the viewer’s comments in this case were pretty tame. Again, I’m not defending the comments in question – I’m just telling you that on the food chain of viewer mail horrors – which can include death threats, sexual perversion, rampant profanity and kindergarten level spelling – relatively speaking, this missive is a literary treasure.

Viewers, and I don’t care who they are or how smart they are, critique TV news anchors solely on subjective personal qualities that revolve around delivery and appearance. That is just a fact. It’s also a fact in this business that all the love you get from the viewers who think you’re their best friend is just as “unreal” as all the hate you get from people who think you are conspiring against them or somehow offending their delicate sensibilities.

The fact is that you can’t take either to heart. As an anchor, your world is filled with people who project all of their personal baggage onto you: their disappointments, frustrations, aspirations, loneliness, quest for belonging or need for validation.

So should anchors burn up the airwaves by directly addressing a troll’s criticism? I don’t think so.

Anchors need to be above the fray, and realize inside that at the end of the day, they’re doing the job – and the rest of the world’s detractors and second-guessers are not – and couldn’t if they wanted to.