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15 minutes of fame

December 9, 2011 - Jennifer Brookens
Whether KEYC weekend anchor Annie Stensrud was intoxicated or ill during her now infamous Sunday newscast, I have to admit I’ve started feeling bad for her.

I saw the original newscast: at first I had logical thoughts (“Is the teleprompter broken?” “Did she forget her contact lenses?” “Bad cold?”) But putting them all together, I started thinking, “Wow! She’s drunk as a skunk!”

I admit I was amused at first — we hear about these things, but usually don’t witness them firsthand. Then the conscience kicked in: “That woman’s career just went up in flames on live TV and you’re snickering about it?!”

And the questions circled more and more as the incident gained attention: Was she sick or having a stroke? Didn’t anyone see her like this before they went live? Questions we the public will probably never get answered, since KEYC has made it clear that they are handling it as an internal matter.

Now her three minutes of infamy is posted on YouTube (nearing half a million views as of Friday morning) and has been featured on numerous Web sites including Sports Illustrated and the Huffington Post. The impaired newscast was also the subject of David Letterman’s Top 10 last night (12-8) “Top 10 ways to tell if your local news team is drunk.”

Probably not the way Annie wanted to have her 15 minutes of fame. In a recent statement, she claims she has been sick for some time and taking medication. (Though some would also say alcoholism is a sickness, thus everyone's BIG question is still left unanswered). As of this time we still don’t know if it was intoxication or illness (or both) or if Annie is still a member of the KEYC news team. With all the publicity she’s given the station, perhaps KEYC will keep her. (After all, some agencies feel any publicity is good publicity!) But Annie’s got a long, hard road ahead of her now, no matter which path her career may take. Hopefully she will find the strength - physically, mentally and emotionally - to tackle the challenges ahead for her.


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