Diane Sawyer was suffering from ‘exhaustion’ while hosting last night’s marathon election special on ABC, according to senior network sources.
The legendary TV anchor, 66, left many viewers asking if she had begun celebrating yesterday’s election results a bit too early.
Taking the helm of ABC News’ coverage, the veteran journalist spoke more slowly than usual – while seeming to prop herself on outstretched arms at the anchor desk she shared with George Stephanopoulos.
However, today, a source told MailOnline: ‘Diane’s fine, she’s exhausted’ – while others admitted Miss Sawyer’s lack of sleep may have come at the ‘expense of the broadcast’.
‘If you knew Diane you’d realise she’s one of the hardest working people on television.
‘She likes to cram things in, she likes to have every fact at her finger tips.
But the source said that rumours that Miss Sawyer had been a tad tipsy had been met with ‘a lot of laughter’ around the office.
Another TV source said: ‘I think that Diane’s tiredness came at the expense of the broadcast.’
Miss Sawyer’s behavior was met with concern soon after she went on air at the ABC studios in Times Square
‘OK,’ she said at one point around 10 p.m. EST, ‘I wanna — can we have our music, because this is another big one here?
‘Minnesota, we’re ready to project Minnesota, rrright now. … Well, tonight we know that President Barack has won Minnesota,’ she rambled on, stumbling over the president’s name, calling him ‘Orama, before correcting herself.’
Her name was soon trending with unflattering posts, while a new Twitter handle, Drunk Diane Sawyer, collected hundreds of followers.
‘A bit tipsy,’ ”hammered’ or ‘on pain killers, muscle relaxers, benzos or some combination’ were among the jeering explanations.
Singer Josh Groban tweeted: ‘I’ll have what Diane Sawyer is having,’ while Real Housewives of New Jersey star Dina Manzo – no stranger to controversy herself – added: ‘I want whatever Diane Sawyer is taking or drinking tonight.’
Another likened it to an episode of HBO’s drama ‘The Newsroom,’ where Will McAvoy, the fictitious anchorman, had eaten a couple of pot brownies before unexpectedly being summoned to his anchor desk to report a news story.
Some tweeters joked that a more fun-loving Sawyer was a ploy by ABC to boost viewership.