The annual Independence Day fireworks display at the nation’s capital went off without a hitch yesterday—the cloudy skies and fog did nothing to dampen the citizenry’s excitement for firecrackers. But those who can’t witness the sparks flying firsthand rely on PBS’ live broadcast of the patriotic pyrotechnics, “A Capitol Fourth.” And last night, it seemed that viewers at home were getting a better show than those down at the National Mall—the sky was considerably clearer in the footage being broadcast. But it turns out this wasn’t just a special reward for PBS donors.
These more favorable fireworks conditions led many people to ponder the veracity of the display of patriotism they were witnessing, which they did on Twitter, naturally:
PBS had a perfectly reasonable explanation for the incongruous imagery—the public broadcaster combined footage from previous “A Capitol Fourth” broadcasts with the live shots (possibly even from the Sunday’s dress rehearsal) to put together the sis-boom-bah the nation was counting on.
But because no good deed goes unpunished, PBS endured a barrage of putdowns from viewers like you:
Still, there were some people who recognized PBS’ resourcefulness, and the no-win situation the network was in thanks to the cloudy weather.
UPDATE: PBS has now issued an apology to its viewers for trying to make broadcast lemonade out of the overcast lemons. According to Deadline, the network expressed its regret on Twitter over any confusion as to just which fireworks display people were watching at any given time during the live airing of “A Capitol Fourth.”