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Diane Sawyer 'drunk' rumors persist after odd election night performance (VIDEO)

Anchor Diane Sawyer laughs off criticism that she was drunk and slurred her words during ABC's election night coverage.

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Moderators George Stephanopoulos and Diane Sawyer during the ABC News GOP Presidnetial debate on the campus of Drake University on December 10, 2011. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Anchor Diane Sawyer is laughing off criticism that she was drunk and slurred her words during ABC's election night coverage, according to the UK's Daily Mail.

Many viewers took to Twitter to complain the veteran television anchor may have had something to drink. Speaking slowly, she seemed to prop herself on outstretched arms on the anchor desk with co-host George Stephanopoulos.

"OK, 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," stuttered the veteran journalist as she stumbled over the president's name.

Critics took to Twitter almost immediately calling Sawyer "tipsy," ''hammered," "on pain killers" and "a bit wacky," prompting a mock Twitter account @DrnkDianeSawyer: "nothig to c here guys im ok d'ont worry abot me."

Sawyer later responded with her own tweet:

An ABC source told the Daily Mail that Sawyer was suffering from "exhaustion"... adding "Diane's been up for days and she's had many sleepless nights. She was covering the hurricane and then preparing for the election broadcast. If you knew Diane you’d realize 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."

Perhaps, as the Associated Press noted, the tweet that best summed up the night was "Bad night for Romney... Worse night for Diane Sawyer?" What do you think?

Meanwhile, this vintage video of a young Sawyer allegedly drinking a glass of wine before a PrimeTime Live newscast is making the rounds on YouTube, BuzzFeed and the internet sites:

 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/121108/diane-sawyer-drunk-rumors-persist-after-poor-ele