Winning the News (Re)Cycle

Fireworks Crop
“After being called out for editing its live broadcast of the fireworks in Washington, D.C., to show fireworks bursting in clear air — on a night in which the weather was dominated by fog, low clouds and misting rain — PBS called it ‘the patriotic thing to do….’ The public broadcaster acknowledged intercutting old footage with its live broadcast shortly after the show ended.”
— NPR, July 5, 2016

Viewers, we apologize for last night’s hurricane coverage, which we labeled the Storm of the Century.  We have just been informed that it was not raining last night, and what we aired was a combination of old storm footage, highlights from the 2000 film The Perfect Storm, and a home video of two toddlers playing in a bathtub.

We would also like to acknowledge that we edited Novak Djokovic back into Wimbledon this past week in celebration of St. Vitus’s Day in his native Serbia.  Despite what our coverage may have indicated, it is not the case that Djokovic beat Martina Navratilova in straight sets.

In addition, note that former figure skater Tonya Harding has not been accused of any additional assaults on Nancy Kerrigan this week.  Replaying segments of our 1994 scandal coverage was merely our attempt to increase the ratings for last night’s local news hour.

Obviously, our latest business report, with its detailed discussion of Brexit and the European Union, was much too confusing for American viewers, and irrelevant to our own independence weekend celebrations, which is why we instead aired a re-enactment of what television coverage would have looked like when the U.S. stock market crashed in 1929.  We realize now that it might have been poor judgment for us to report on our Twitter account that the Dow Jones Industrial Average had fallen to a low of 238.

You may have figured out by now that Copernicus did not die of natural causes yesterday evening. We made an inadvertent error last night, intercutting a breaking news report about his death into a rerun of Modern Family. We apologize for any confusion.

There was not an earthquake this morning during the local weather report.  We just shook the camera a bunch.

Finally, we admit that our upcoming coverage of the next Presidential Inauguration will actually be reconstructed footage from the inauguration of President James K. Polk, which took place in 1845.  It is, we have to say, the patriotic thing to do.

Jeremy Blachman is the author of Anonymous Lawyer and co-author (with Cameron Stracher) of the recently-released satirical novel The Curve.

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