Every year on the Fourth of July, PBS airs a live celebration of the fireworks and concert performances that occur each year in Washington D.C. It's a nice TV presentation for anyone who doesn't live near a big fireworks display or who don't want to brave the crowds to catch some live fireworks. However, this year, PBS' A Capitol Fourth came under a little criticism for choosing not to air the live fireworks during the broadcast, showing old fireworks footage, instead.
During the live airing, people who were in homes near the event called out PBS for the fireworks on their TV's not matching the fireworks they could barely see thanks to the fog outside their windows. After enough people complained about the fake fireworks, PBS finally came forward, noting that the A Capitol Fourth chose to splice up footage from previous events with footage from this year's event so that the viewers at home would get a more spectacular fireworks demonstration. An early tweet cheekily stated it "was the patriotic thing to do." A later tweet from A Capitol Fourth elaborated further.
We are very proud of the 2016 A Capitol Fourth celebration. 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. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.
It honestly looks as if the network tried using the planned live fireworks footage, first, but it just wasn't popping onscreen. In fact, due to the inclement weather, the fireworks were positively not delightful.
I'm not sure which actually would have been worse: airing more of this dismal fireworks display or lying to all of the people watching from home? Regardless, PBS opted to go with this fakery, which was built out of lies and TV magic. Plus, if you are a habitual A Capitol Fourth watcher, you've literally seen these fireworks before.
This in turn, led to viewers continuing to barrage the show on social media and many of them had pretty hilarious takes on what was going on with the series.
You can watch the full stream, below, although most of it is musical performances. The fireworks don't start until near the end.
At least the concert portion seemed to turn out pretty well. You can catch A Capitol Fourth on PBS each year on the Fourth of July holiday. In addition, here's what the networks have coming up.