Friday, February 18, 2011

Re-Writing History - Serene Branson - A Case in Point

I'm extremely sorry that news reporter Serene Branson had the very scary online incident with what the doctors have determined was a migraine aura, in which her speech suddenly became garbled on air while reporting the Grammy's. I'm thankful she did not have a stroke or evidence of a brain tumor.

I can appreciate that she found it embarrassing and stressful to think that this clip had gone viral on YouTube and had been the topic of much conversation and concern for her health.

BUT, our own daughter was out of work for several months after having a similar migraine event at work. Her speech was not garbled, but very halting and slow, as she struggled to get words out to the extent that she sounded like she had had a stroke. We put her in the hospital where they basically doped her up, hoping to break the grip of the migraine. After putting a tremendous amount of pressure on the medical establishment, we succeeded in getting her a fast appointment with the Neurologist who had seen her in the hospital. After some testing, he diagnosed her with having a Complex Migraine with aura.

According to the CBS news article I've linked to, "Now, with a positive diagnosis, Branson said she wants to help others who might have the same condition."

And THAT's my problem.

Yes, what happened to her was personally embarrassing. I know because we watched the emotional distress that our daughter, and we for that matter, felt during her struggle with a similar migraine event.

BUT, CBS has pulled the YouTube video of her online report during which this migraine event happened, citing copyright laws (their legal right). But it happened, and it happened on air! It was not reported on air, it HAPPENED on air. To me, there's a difference.

How is that helping people who need to know that when something like this happens out of nowhere that they might not be having a psychotic break??? Or a brain tumor??? That it could be from a migraine??? Please don't misunderstand me on this, this type of migraine is called a Complex Migraine and is much more severe than regular migraines, but it's still a migraine, not a life ending event.

Once "news" has been made, we shouldn't have the right to "take it back". Obliterating the event by removing the record is a disservice to others who might suffer a similar problem. It's a disservice to our country that news can be sanitized to the point that the meaning is lost.

I've lived long enough to see quite a few "facts" from the past ignored, minimized, and even re-written. This situation is just one example.

That's scary.

6 comments:

Jan said...

I agree.

That same network withheld for five days a story of a brutal attack on one of its reporters in Egypt and only ran the story when it was covered by other source. What was the point of that?

Dirty Butter said...

Thanks for your positive comment, Jan. I struggled with this post, not wanting to sound like a harping kook, but trying to get my point across with some restraint.

Your example of the attack on the female reporter in Egypt and the way it was NOT reported is exactly what I meant.

My view of the news was changed forever as I lived through what was going on in Birmingham and Chicago during the Civil Rights Era and saw the difference in the way the news reported it.

Anji said...

It's important that we should see when things go wrong.

A very brave English reporter spent his last months making an audio diary. He wanted people to understand his illness and help others. As he lost control of speech and movement he shared his feelings.

Reporters aren't immune to life.

Dirty Butter said...

Are you familiar with "Tuesdays with Morrie?, Anji? I think everyone should read this little book, and I think they made it into a Documentary film, too.

Thanks for stopping by!

Want more blog traffic, find lots of interesting blogs and people, like Anji? Try free ExposeYourBlog.

HJ Smith said...

Unfortunately, much of our history is re-written to suit the ideology or world view of the writer. As you point out, it's often not until later in life, after we have actually seen the re-writing first hand, that we realize this fact.

Great use of a personal example to bring this truth out.

Dirty Butter said...

Thank for stopping by, HJ.

It's all the history that I was not around to live through that concerns me as well. Just how much of that is actually true? The only way to get a real glimpse of the past is to read the original letters and documents of the time, the authentic history.

I follow HJ on ExposeYourBlog.