A television news reporter said she was feeling fine Monday after she lapsed into an incomprehensible stream of gibberish during a live report outside the Grammy Awards, according to her station.
Serene Branson was examined by paramedics immediately after her broadcast, but her vital signs were normal, KCBS-TV said in a statement.
She was not hospitalized, and a coworker gave her a ride home, the station said.
Branson’s speech slipped during an 11 p.m. newscast on Sunday. After the anchor introduced her, Branson, outside the Staples Center, began speaking but quickly had difficulty forming basic words.
Branson had been smiling widely, but she suddenly looked panicked.
After several awkward seconds, the station cut away to a video package of Grammy performances
Branson is an established pro in the news business. She is a two-time Emmy nominee and worked at three other California news stations before coming to Los Angeles.
Salon.com reported the incident as a possible stroke, but that did not appear to be the case Monday.
But many remain concerned. Even CBS News’s national reporting of the incident indicated there may be a real health scare afoot.
“I am a little surprised,” Dr. John Krakauer, associate professor of neurology and neuroscience at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, told CBS News. “Frankly, I would have admitted her.”
Krakauer, a CBS expert source who is not involved in Branson’s care, speculated that the reporter may have suffered a transient ischemic attack (TIA), also called a “mini-stroke” that only causes temporary problems. She may have also suffered a seizure or experienced a rare condition often associated with migraines, CBS reported.
Social media was not cordial. Neither were outlets like Fox News, which made fun of Branson’s episode. Fox guessed that Branson was drunk.
On the Facebook page “Serene Branson – Get well soon!!” many fans wished her well, but even there people were lining up to criticize Branson for what appeared to be nothing short of a serious health problem. In fact, on some pages, the jokes and criticisms outnumbered the support.
“The botox has overwhelmed her brain. Classic,” wrote Kristen Paes on the page. “Maybe less speed pre broadcast? lol.”