‘Fake Footage!’: PBS Gets Blasted For Airing Old Fireworks Broadcast Due to Inclement Weather


Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 8.24.50 AMLive TV is hard. There are so many factors that go into a live broadcast that can create a nightmare scenario for even the most experienced television producers and staff. And when you’re trying to broadcast a live fireworks show in the middle of bad weather — like PBS set out to do Monday night — sometimes you need to make compromises.

Unfortunately, people took notice.

The weather was poor in our nation’s capital last night — Mediaite’s Washington Bureau editor extraordinaire Alex Griswold described it as, “foggy and rainy,” — but the show for PBS’ “A Capitol Fourth” had to go on. So during the broadcast, the television net slipped in some footage from the 2015 event, which viewers noticed immediately given the stark contrast in weather.

People on social media were quick to respond:

Eventually the organizers of the broadcast were forced to admit that they did in fact combine different years worth of footage because it was, “the patriotic thing to do”:

The patriotic thing to do? O! say can you deceive?

The Washington Post had previously reported that Tom Bergeron, the host for PBS’ “A Capitol Fourth” was not worried about the forecasts for the event. “The first rule of improv, as I was taught it, is you say yes to everything. You don’t tense up… I’m open for anything. That doesn’t bother me,” he said yesterday.

[image via PBS]

Have a tip we should know? tips@mediaite.com

Filed Under: