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48° Good Afternoon

Diane Sawyer (almost) upstages President Obama victory

Diane Sawyer takes over as anchor of ABC's

Diane Sawyer takes over as anchor of ABC's "World News" starting on Dec. 21, 2009. She replaces Charles Gibson. Credit: Getty Images

Let's just get this confession out of the way right now: I love Diane Sawyer. Have for years. Think she's great. Terrific journalist. Excellent broadcaster. Good "World News" anchor. A real trooper. I could go on and on. But what the heck was last night all about?

I began tweeting the joys of watching ABC's coverage almost immediately — the party atmosphere, the bibulous tone. It was like New Year's Eve! Only one missing was Ryan Seacrest to announce the dropping of the ball. And then there was Diane, center of the festivities. Her whole demeanor suggested "let's parrrrtteeee!" It was in stark contrast to George Stephanopoulos whose demeanor has never suggested "let's parrrrteeee!" even when he's not on camera.

But suddenly, when I drifted over to other networks, the dam broke. She began trending on Twitter, and soon, a vast sea — doubtless — of viewers drifted over to ABC to see what all the fun was about. Soon, there were suggestions that she was smashed — one of the perils of the freewheeling social media world is that people will say things that they know nothing about.

But still .?.?.

There have been suggestions over the years that Diane's on-air demeanor may have indicated some extracurricular fun. Who knows — I've known her for years, and she's a consummate pro. But check out the clips below. First one is famous — from a satellite cutaway years ago, when she's seen sipping wine. Second one is from last night.

By the way? Did any of this hurt ABC last night? Au contraire, my friend. Thought the network's coverage was quite good indeed — visually arresting, and thought the round table worked well too. Electricity did crash for a little while — when Diane tripped over the power chord. I'm kidding! Really, I'm kidding. And best I could tell, the outage happened at the worst possible moment — just as ABC's rivals were calling the race for the president. But so what! The divine Ms. Sawyer made it all worth while.


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