Is it live or is it Memorex?
So it's a not all that jarring to hear Esplanade concert promoter David Mugar defend his annual event as entertainment and not news as a justification for using altered images of the city during the fireworks.
Silly me thought live means just that, real time viewing of events taking place. I thought the shot of the fireworks over the Statehouse was interesting, though racking my brain to think whether it was possible.
But when they cameras showed bursts above the Fenway Park pressbox, I knew we were looking at an alternate reality. The display would actually have been visible over the Green Monster -- at the other end of the park.
I've already bemoaned the liberties taken since the festivities were auctioned off to CBS. But creating false backgrounds to show off a city during a live event that already does a pretty good job of showcasing itself leaves me pondering the ethics of this particular television production. And I am apparently not alone:
Eric Deggans, a Florida-based media critic and regular panelist on CNN’s media critique show “Reliable Sources,’’ said the altered video presents a potential credibility problem for CBS.
“It is an ethical issue, and to say it’s not because the show was aired through CBS Entertainment is to imply that the entertainment side of CBS has no ethics,’’ Deggans said. “I think - especially in today’s media environment - the most important commandment for media is to not mislead the viewer. . . . If you’re a viewer who doesn’t know Boston, you’re getting a picture of the layout of the city that doesn’t exist.’’