Blogs > 37th Frame

Photography, notes, commentary and much more from former Reporter Online Editor Chris Stanley.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fake, fake, fake

Looks like a major television network just got caught with it's After Effects hanging out:

CBS Caught Faking Fourth of July Fireworks Footage in Boston

The executive producer of the show, David Mugar (a Boston philanthropist who has his name on a few buildings up there) defended the fakery, saying the broadcast was 'entertainment' and compared it to shooting scenes for 'Boston Legal' in Hollywood.

Uh, sorry Mr. Mugar. Boston Legal is a filmed and edited fictional drama. The fireworks are real and live. This is a pretty simple distinction, and very, very important.

'Reality TV' has twisted the line between real and fake beyond recognition, but at least by now most viewers (I hope) know that most of these shows are heavily scripted.

But for a 'live' show, I expect better from a major TV network with a pedigree that includes Edward R. Murrow and Uncle Walt. I switched between the New York, Philadelphia and Boston fireworks that night, and enjoyed feeling like I was hovering over each city watching some of the best pyrotechnics in the country (NYC won hands down, sorry Boston and Philly).

Now I feel cheated. Once again the media has broken trust with their viewers. They may not think it is news, but it was presented as a truthful rendition of what was actually happening in Boston. Why should we trust anything else broadcast on that network, news, entertainment or sports?

Maybe we shouldn't.


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