A white lie can sometimes go awry — especially when it’s red, white and blue.
PBS came under scrutiny after airing previously recorded material during its “A Capitol Fourth” broadcast on Monday. The annual program promised live footage of the fireworks celebration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Viewers in the D.C. area, however, were quick to realize something wasn’t quite right, as the weather was unusually overcast for a July evening, but parts of the broadcast showed no signs of cloudy skies. After viewers pointed it out, PBS released a statement apologizing for the blunder.
“Because this year’s fireworks were difficult to see due to the weather, we made the decision to intercut fireworks footage from previous ‘A Capitol Fourth’ concerts for the best possible television viewing experience,” reads the statement. “We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.”
PBS was also quick to defend its decision via Twitter, writing that “It was the patriotic thing to do.” Still, some viewers felt deceived. One person tweeted “Happy #fake4th courtesy of @PBS” while another wrote “I guess we can’t let the citizens know it’s cloudy in the capitol of good ol’ USA. #July4thPBS”
We showed a combination of the best fireworks from this year and previous years. It was the patriotic thing to do. #July4thPBS
— A Capitol Fourth (@July4thPBS) July 5, 2016
— Michael Jaffe (@mjaffeterp) July 5, 2016
I guess we can't let the citizens know it's cloudy in the capitol of good ol' USA. #July4thPBS
— Joseph Gruber (@JosephGruber) July 5, 2016
The televised event was hosted by Tom Bergeron and featured performances by Smokey Robinson, Sutton Foster, Kenny Loggins and more.