Hey, remember Serene Branson, the local CBS reporter in LA who started talking gibberish in the middle of her post-Grammy segment Sunday night? (See above!) The one some of us — um, me — had a good chuckle about until reports that she had a stroke made us — um, me — feel like ginormous a**holes? Well, Brandon did not — repeat, DID NOT — have a stroke. In fact, she’s in perfectly good health, according to her employers and the paramedics who examined her. That’s a relief. I never wanted Branson to be ill. Can I go back to laughing hysterically now?Look, I got a little bit of flack for posting this video yesterday and laughing about it. When I was alerted to the fact that she may have had a stroke, I put up an update as soon as I could — and I got a bit defensive when it was implied that I knew something was wrong with her and was laughing anyway. In all honesty, when I first watched the video — which was many hours before the post actually ran on the site — it never occurred to me that Branson could be mid-stroke. First, I’ve never seen someone have a stroke before so I didn’t recognize any signs. Secondly, as someone who does a fair amount of on-camera interviews, I have had my own, albeit more subtle, Serene Branson tongue-twisting meltdowns. I laughed “at” her, I suppose, because it was the sort of thing that would happen — has happened! — to me and dammit, I’d laugh at me too.
Whatever caused Serene’s tongue and brain to stop communicating for 13 seconds on Sunday — and some are hypothesizing about the potential causes — I’ve learned a valuable lesson. I am going to be more careful when posting videos like this, making sure to look into any aspects of the story that are not so funny. Even though Branson turned out to be in perfectly fine health, there was good reason to think she might not be and that needed to be considered and noted. I appreciate and thank commenters who called me out on that.
But now that a health threat has been considered and noted and, thankfully, ruled out? I’m back to laughing hysterically.