Made famous by on air meltdown, reporter Serene Branson tells her story to CBS
When KCBS reporter Serene Branson began spouting gibberish during a live report from the Grammy awards, viewers wondered whether she was having a stroke on air.
Later, as YouTube clips of her distress spread across the Internet, some cracked jokes and others faulted her employer for not moving quickly enough to get her to a hospital -- worried the aphasia was a sign of something worse. (click here to see a particularly odd remix of her words, if you can stand it)
Now Branson herself is speaking out, mounting a mini media tour of CBS-connected TV shows to tell the world she's doing fine. Appearing on KCBS Thursday to watch the clip for the first time, the reporter said she suffered from a migraine with aura -- a condition, often hereditary, which can mimic the symptoms of stroke. She'll discuss it all again today on CBS' The Early Show and daytime chat show The Talk.
Local blogreaders may remember WFLA-AM newsreader Martin Giles had a similar episode Jan. 21 during a newsbreak. But Giles has not yet returned to work and has declined to comment on the incident.
The incident also shows how quickly an on camera misstep can spark ridicule and worse, as social media and online outlets give us all the ability to voice our worst thoughts in an instant. Some of the online commentary about the attack on CBS reporter Lara Logan in Egypt stands as a stark example; when people are unlucky enough to have an awful experience in the limelight, the online reaction can be harsh and unforgiving.
Until our online civility catches up with the technology, we can expect stories like this to keep ricocheting across media, as those caught in the spotlight reclaim a little more of it to save their reputations.
Doesn't hurt that her redemption tour comes during February's "sweeps" period. Look below for her KCBS story: