If you were to click on the “Ashleigh Banfield” tag here on Mediaite, you’d be directed to a page full of stories about the CNN anchor. Each of those has an image attached and the vast majority of those images include shots of Banfield at work. You would notice right away that the veteran reporter has always worn glasses. In fact, it’s been a cool part of her signature look for over a decade.
Today, though, the Mediaite team noticed something different. Banfield appeared on CNN as usual… but the glasses did not! So inquiring minds had to know, where are they?
We did a little digging and found that the last time she appeared on air with the glasses was August 9. On August 8, she was still being subbed in for while she was on vacation. By the 10th, the glasses were gone. She opened that show with a segment about the crazy race for President, joking that while the end was still far away, we could still “see it from here.” See it? Was the newly un-spectacled Banfield sending us coded messages? We had to find out! We reached out to Banfield and she explained that while she was away on vacation, she had Refractive Lense Exchange surgery.
“It’s a pretty aggressive procedure in which one’s lenses are cut into pieces and arthroscopically ‘vacuumed’ out,” she said. “Then, brand new refractive lenses are surgically inserted into the eyeball.”
Her near vision is almost perfect, she assured us, but said it will take a few more months until her far vision is great, too. For now, everyone standing 15 feet from her looks the same and she even claimed not to recognize one of the network’s executives down the hall the other day. (So maybe she can’t “see [the end of the election] from here,” after all!)
Luckily, the adjustment period will be worth it.
“It’s pretty liberating not having to wear glasses for he first time in 20 years!” she said.
[image via screengrab]
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