Photo: @GMA / Twitter
Since election night, speculation spurred on Twitter and Facebook led many to believe Diane Sawyer may have had a few drinks before her on-air ABC coverage of the event.A person close to ABC tells us that this is bunk.
The Twitter buzz about the anchorwoman hitting the bottle is absurd, the source says, attributing her odd behaviour mostly to a lack of sleep due to a jam-packed schedule, and to being a workaholic.
“It’s someone who was overworked because they do care so much about trying to put on quality coverage for the viewer and I think that it’s a symptom of her being a workaholic, not as many on Twitter defined to imply an alcoholic. That’s just crazy.”
Over the past 48 hours Sawyer’s been working a “tenuous” schedule, making it extremely difficult for the anchorman to have time for a drink, the source says.
For example, yesterday Sawyer made an appearance on ‘The View’, was in the office all day prepping for both ‘World News’ and election coverage, was rehearsing in studio, according to our source.
For election coverage, the ABC source says Sawyer was on set 4:30 to 5:00 p.m. leading up to “World News” at 6:30 p.m. and was there until 2:30 a.m. before heading home.
We’re told Tuesday night’s seven-hour continuous election coverage is what’s to blame for Sawyer’s loopy behaviour.
“I think not getting enough sleep played some role in that. She’d probably say that’s a fair assessment as well. The fact that it is a marathon and that she should have spent a little more time sleeping and a little less time cramming the night before.”
If you still don’t buy the exhaustion excuse, there were reporters from both The New York Times and The Hollywood Reporter in the control room that night who later reported on the blackout ABC News headquarters experienced near the 11 o’clock hour.
“Had there been any issue with Diane they would have known, and that would have been a big part in their story,” says our source.
In addition, we were told there were not any alcoholic beverages present in the newsroom election night.
Our ABC source adds that it’s not new that Sawyer will often spend much more time trying to report, read up on news, and study instead of sleep.
According to them, this is the first time Sawyer’s headed election coverage for the network, and though she has operated on little sleep previously for “Good Morning America,” a lack of sleep may have ultimately affected her Wednesday evening.
Just because you can normally survive on four to five hours sleep … on a day like today [election day] you probably needed the extra two or three hours.
Sawyer didn’t directly respond to the many tweets asking whether she was under the influence. Instead, she sent out one message acknowledging the influx:
Photo: @DianeSawyer / Twitter
“She does have a good sense of humour about this kind of stuff,” said our source. “Some of the things people were saying were kind of nasty, and the fact that she can laugh it off I think is a testament to her being above it all.”
Tweets about Sawyer ranged from concern to direct accusations of on-air drunkenness even inspiring a feed @DrunkDianeSawyer.
Photo: @Slate, @PerezHilton, @mashable / Twitter
Photo: @DailyCaller / Twitter
As we pointed out yesterday, this isn’t the first time this has occurred. Sawyer exhibited similar strange behaviour during President Obama’s 2009 inauguration.
The Twitter discussions have also resurfaced an old video of Sawyer drinking wine and taking pills during a commercial break for “Primetime” :
You can check out a few clips of her actions during the election below:
Here’s Sawyer getting overly giggly while introducing Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel and asking Jake Tapper about the reasoning behind the exclamation mark removal from the Obama Forward campaign poster.
And, here she is at another point referring to the president as Barack O’Rama.
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