Video: Reporter speaks out about the flub ‘heard round the world

posted at 4:56 pm on February 18, 2011 by Allahpundit

Judging by the number of hits for Monday’s post, there’s a lot of reader interest in figuring out what could have caused an otherwise ace correspondent to start babbling about “burtations.” So, in the interest of closure, here you go: In her own words, Serene Branson takes CNN moment-by-moment through America’s most famous migraine episode. More than one reader chimed in after the original post to say that they suffered from migraines too and had had similar episodes of incoherence, but they’re rare and random enough that scientists actually seem jazzed to have finally caught one on tape to study. The good news, per one of the doctors interviewed, is that complex migraines aren’t a serious health risk unless they start to recur, indicating a deeper neurological problem. Branson says this was the very first migraine she’s ever had, so hopefully she’s out of the woods now.

Two clips for you, the first of the interview and the second of Glenn Beck and crew chortling guiltily over the original audio now that they know she didn’t have a stroke. (Beck himself suffered from migraines for years.) I’m not sure how public ethics about laughing at another’s health issue shake out in an episode like this. Laughing about a stroke would obviously be horrible. Laughing about someone stubbing their toe and hopping around in pain is probably A-OK. Where does “complex migraine that didn’t do any damage but seemed darned scary at the time yet produced a memorable viral video” fall on that spectrum? So much nuance, my friends. Click the second image to watch.



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clearly appears to be a hemiplegic migraine given her verbal ability in that video clip as well as her statements afterwards about numbness on one side of the face. Crazy stuff to go through. I wish her the best as she works to learn what the triggers are for her and how she can avoid those in the future.

gatorboy on February 18, 2011 at 5:02 PM

Beck and crew were very clear that they were not laughing at the health issues, and never laughed at this episode before learning that it was NOT a more serious thing than a migraine. Glenn made it clear that he had been a long-time sufferer of very severe migraines for decades. If anyone can laugh about them, it’s a regular victim of them.

I never had a migraine induce incoherence, or inability to speak, but have had to spend hours in a darkened room, lying on a hard flat floor with a cold cloth over my face.

Five days after the event, with the victim herself saying that all is well, it’s ok to laugh at the audio…

Freelancer on February 18, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Where does “complex migraine that didn’t do any damage but seemed darned scary at the time yet produced a memorable viral video” fall on that spectrum? So much nuance, my friends.

I put it close to the stubbed toe end. But that’s just me. Dad & sister get migraines, they aren’t fun, but their not life threatening.

rbj on February 18, 2011 at 5:06 PM

Thanks for the update, AP, I was a little worried about her. Especially since she didn’t get evaluated right away and it could have been much more serious.

Good luck to her.

DrAllecon on February 18, 2011 at 5:07 PM

Wow,glad to hear she`s okay,and now she/we,know
what happened!!!!

In the first thread,I was a bit humourless,and I apologize for that!

canopfor on February 18, 2011 at 5:08 PM

Migraine? Well that’s a relief, I was thinking TIA or stimulant abuse

clnurnberg on February 18, 2011 at 5:11 PM

Regardless of the medical cause, the video was more scary/sad than jokeworthy. Maybe if she was a well-established “elite” gasbag like Katie Couric (and there was no serious medical condition behind it) it would have struck me as funny.

Cicero43 on February 18, 2011 at 5:12 PM

In the first thread,I was a bit humourless,and I apologize for that!

canopfor on February 18, 2011 at 5:08 PM

Nothing to apologize for. In the first thread there were so many serious possible diagnosis it could have been, combined with the knowledge that she didn’t seek medical treatment. It was no laughing matter then.

DrAllecon on February 18, 2011 at 5:15 PM

I’ve had the same thing happen to me. Extremely stressful day, fighting a monster migraine, tried to book a hotel reservation at the front desk and all I could do was utter gibberish. Most embarrassing moment of my life.

Ace ODale on February 18, 2011 at 5:15 PM

Beck…ugh…what is he thinking? Granted, Beck admits he had migraines as a kid, but I doubt it was the “TV lights” that caused this woman her migraine.

Wasn’t it just this past year where Beck got all serious, and said he might be going blind, and then it was some other thing he might have too? He pined for sympathy or attention or something with that. So he’s really in the last place to laugh about this.

JetBoy on February 18, 2011 at 5:19 PM

I have had three of those “scintillating scotoma” migraine aura’s (ocular image that moves from the center to periphery) over the last 15 years. Scared the crap out of me the first ime it happened. I am fortunate in that I have not suffered an actual headache following it.

cktheman on February 18, 2011 at 5:23 PM

I was surprised to hear that only 1 out of 5 migraines are these type of “aura migraines”. I have had migraines since 2000 and every one of them have been the aura variety. No headache, just horrible nausea and blurred vision.

carbon_footprint on February 18, 2011 at 5:24 PM

Well the good news is that she is okay, and we now can find out more about the gowns worn on the red carpet…I was really worried…
If she was a lot smarter, she should have copyrighted the video and audio, then sold it to some shmuck stating that she was talking in tongues and it was a sign of from God.
Witness

right2bright on February 18, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Beck…ugh…what is he thinking? Granted, Beck admits he had migraines as a kid,

JetBoy on February 18, 2011 at 5:19 PM

Of all the posters, I would have counted on you catching this.
Beck, whenever talking about a malady, seems to always have suffered from it…He was going blind a few months ago, then a “mysterious” virus was taking his life…and of course before making fun, he himself had suffered from migraines…btw one of my best friends is gay/black/hispanic/muslim/jewish/, so now I can say whatever I want about them.

right2bright on February 18, 2011 at 5:30 PM

cktheman on February 18, 2011 at 5:23 PM

I had the misfortune of that happening to me twice three years ago, and had no clue of the cause. Yes indeed, scary, thinking my vision was going with that wandering crescent of prismatic effect. Once was accompanied by the headache, once not. The second time I was a bit less terrified, and realized that it wasn’t something wrong with my eye at all, but had to be neurological.

Any chance to slash at Beck, right JetBoy? As if you cared…

Freelancer on February 18, 2011 at 5:32 PM

A guy named Lenny Martz has already registered burtation.com.

playblu on February 18, 2011 at 5:33 PM

First, two thumbs up she is alert and active.

Second, lady, tell those docs to keep digging. None of this that-sounds-logical stuff. Make them prove it.

Limerick on February 18, 2011 at 5:39 PM

Refuah Shleimah to her, I have sisters and a Mom who suffer from these.

dmh0667 on February 18, 2011 at 5:52 PM

In the first thread,I was a bit humourless,and I apologize for that!

canopfor on February 18, 2011 at 5:08 PM
==========
Nothing to apologize for. In the first thread there were so many serious possible diagnosis it could have been, combined with the knowledge that she didn’t seek medical treatment. It was no laughing matter then.

DrAllecon on February 18, 2011 at 5:15 PM

DrAllecon:(It was no laughing matter then.)Yes,thats what I
was rerferring to,Hot Air Blog is above that,and
that is what I was trying to say!:)

canopfor on February 18, 2011 at 6:03 PM

According to my doctors after I had a similar episode, there really is no way to tell if it’s a complex migraine or a TIA.

Since I was pregnant at the time that mine occurred, they said that the TIA was more likely, but that we’d never know for sure exactly what happened.

The good news is that she probably showed no damage on the MRI/MRA so she’ll probably be ok.

Vera on February 18, 2011 at 6:11 PM

When it ends well, we can laugh and joke about it. Besides, it aids healing.

petefrt on February 18, 2011 at 6:32 PM

Let’s pray TOTUS doesn’t catch the burtation virus.

petefrt on February 18, 2011 at 6:35 PM

Looking at the video again, she sounded about as coherent as a Ron Paul supporter.

Or any of our resident trolls.

What!?

catmman on February 18, 2011 at 6:38 PM

Second, lady, tell those docs to keep digging. None of this that-sounds-logical stuff. Make them prove it.

Limerick on February 18, 2011 at 5:39 PM

It’s as hard to prove a negative in medicine as it is in any other science, Lim. Assuming it was a migraine, she could go through the rest of her earthly life without having another. If it was a TIA, chances are she will have another. I trust her doctors will be vigilant from here on out.

gryphon202 on February 18, 2011 at 6:59 PM

I have had three of those “scintillating scotoma” migraine aura’s (ocular image that moves from the center to periphery) over the last 15 years. Scared the crap out of me the first ime it happened. I am fortunate in that I have not suffered an actual headache following it.

Had that twice. For those who haven’t: think of it as your blind spot expanding to fill your entire field of vision. You know there are things in front of you, but all you can see is flashing colors.

Crawford on February 18, 2011 at 7:11 PM

Serene, there were hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people concerned for your well being. Thank goodness it appears that you’re OK. You are obviously a very talented TV personality and there are so many of us that appreciate your work and wish you the very best health.

bannedbyhuffpo on February 18, 2011 at 8:43 PM

Laughing about someone stubbing their toe and hopping around in pain is probably A-OK. Where does “complex migraine that didn’t do any damage but seemed darned scary at the time yet produced a memorable viral video” fall on that spectrum?

It’s wrong to laugh at something this. You don’t laugh at someone having a stroke and you don’t laugh at someone having a mini stroke like this. Glenn Beck is a jerk for making fun of this woman.

SoulGlo on February 19, 2011 at 3:28 AM

Where did all the video go?

percysunshine on February 19, 2011 at 9:21 AM