A Bully Or A Jerk?

Only at the Daily News would I be able to engage in a lively discussion with a co-worker over the differences between a bully and an a**hole (his word, not mine). The conversation was prompted after I submitted my column today's column and an editor said he disagreed with my characterization of Jennifer Livingston's antagonist as a "bully."

To recap, Jennifer Livingston is the overweight TV news anchor who received an email from a viewer who critiqued her size and said she made for a poor role model. Livingston's on-air comeback was a pitch-perfect plea for tolerance, kindness and understanding, and it has gotten almsot 9.7 million hits, and counting.

My editor disagreed that the viewer bullied Livingston.

"Being an a--hole doesn't make you a bully," said the editor, whose exacting approach to word choice helps make our paper great.

I've been thinking it over (how much do I love a job that requires I mull such nuances?). And I think my editor is right.  I think all bullies are jerks (my more delicate word choice), but not all jerks are bullies. In Livingston's case, I think the man who gratuitously slammed her didn't bully her.

But, man, what a jerk.

What do you think?

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