There is always the story behind the story, and the behind-the-scenes gossip during the Presidential election Tuesday night was in full force as the country was glued to the commentators who held center stage. Instead of asking who was elected, the big question of the night may have been “was Diane Sawyer drunk?” The most popular trending gossip is the speculation that the nation witnessed Sawyer slurring during election coverage for ABC News.
The busiest media outlet was Twitter, and Sawyer was mocked and ridiculed for anchoring decorum not exemplary for professional news anchors, especially one of Sawyer’s veteran status. So while speculation swirls about the possibility of the Diane Sawyer slurring incident reflecting the extremes of a high-functioning alcoholic, or just fatigue, derision has held the day instead of a more critical examination.
Overworked or Under the Influence?
The media circus that surrounded a monumental presidential election is incredibly fickle; one minute there is an apprehension over the aggregate voting in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, a place most of the country has never heard of, to tweeting remarks about was Diane Sawyer drunk and why was she slurring during the Minnesota vote count. The trend jumping may be indicative of a country wide problem of attention deficit disorder; when the explanation could be as simple as the fact that Sawyer may have been exhausted due to the extended Sandy coverage over the last two weeks. People do tend to get tired when they are working 80 hours a week. This is not a Sawyer apologetic, but an attempt to contextualize the issue at hand. This is not the first time this year a high profile journalist/celebrity has received adverse media attention because of a potential and speculative issue involving a substance or alcohol. Back in September, Tom Brokaw had to be rushed to a Charlotte, N.C. hospital because he said he mistakenly took his sleep medication Ambien that morning. This story peppered the newswire for a few days and now hardly anybody talks about it anymore.
As far as the Diane Sawyer slurring story goes, there may be a bigger issue at hand, but until she or her representative makes a statement concerning the matter, all people can do is speculate. If there is an issue, and overwork is a concerning issue too, then attention should be on the dangers of drinking on the job, or taking medication on the job. Alcoholism is subtle and can surface even in the workplace. As quick as social media outlets like Twitter can report on the election results, it can also draw negative attention to those journalists delivering the news.Tags: Alcohol abuse, alcohol addiction, Alcohol and Drug Treatment, Alcohol Awareness, Alcohol Statistics, alcoholic, Alcoholism, Binge Drinking, celebrity alcoholic, Diane Sawyer drunk, Drinking, Drunk, Election night, high functioning alcoholic, rehab, sober celebrities, voting results