What It Feels Like to Freeze on National Television

Thank You Benjamin for an important insight to an event that I saw live and worried for you about!


I am reflecting here on the worst public embarrassment of my career. Two days ago I appeared live on television on ABC News Breakfast to provide comment on North Korea’s recent rocket launch, a topic on which I have written and spoken about extensively. The interview was a disaster from the get-go as I melted down under the weight of anxiety. The experience was mortifying, the feeling afterward devastating and the humiliation very very public.

Reliving the interview in my mind continues to be excruciating. However, I am writing about it now in an effort to “own” the experience, to thank the people who offered me support in the hours following the interview, and to make a broader point about anxiety and mental health.

The ABC News Breakfast presenters (L-R): Paul Kennedy, Vanessa O’Hanlon, Virginia Trioli and Michael Rowland.

Experiencing “the freeze”

I’m not the first person to freeze up

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