“Put down the camera and help somebody!”

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The Daily Show has become a go-to for exposing misleading video in the TV news biz.  When Fox News transposed rally footage in Washington, showing a larger crowd than actually attended, the Daily Show nailed them.

Yet the Daily Show does its own sleight-of-hand in editing a comedy bit featuring footage shot by a Weather Channel photog depicting the Atlanta showflake-and-ice event earlier this month.

Jon Stewart shows video recorded in Midtown at the intersection of Monroe and Virginia, and questions why the photog didn’t “throw down some rock salt” instead of doing his job.

Note how Stewart’s video editors deftly relocated the “look out!” warning so that it’s audible just a few milliseconds before the crash.  Compare it to the actual Weather Channel video here, where the photog’s utterance is heard a full second earlier.

Stewart calls the warning “lame and quite late.”  But the editing makes it seem later than it really is.  Not by much.  But, still.  It’s doctored.

The comedy is solid.  I’m still giggling like a schoolgirl at “the blimp’s on fire.”

But the conclusion is flawed.  The photog had a natural reaction to what he was seeing, and did a far greater service to the community by documenting the icy roads than he would have done by throwing down rock salt, which I’m pretty sure wasn’t in his grab-bag of photog equipment.

As for the sketchy edit:

Nailed ya, Daily Show! Oh, snap! It’s peanut butter jelly time!

(Uh, hello?  Sorry, LAF. Comedy Central is an entertainment channel.  The Daily Show  isn’t a news organization.  They doctor stuff all the time.  Like the graphic you’ve put in the top of the post.)

Oh.  Right.  Never mind.

(I realize I’m a little late to the party with this.  The Daily Show played this clip weeks ago.   The LAF household seems to always have a two-week backlog of Daily Show episodes on the DVR…)

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About live apt fire

Doug Richards is a reporter at WXIA-TV. This is his personal blog. WXIA-TV has nothing whatsoever to do with this blog, under any circumstances, in any form. For anything written herein, Doug accepts sole credit and full blame. Follow him on Twitter: @richardsdoug. All rights reserved. Thanks for visiting.

6 thoughts on ““Put down the camera and help somebody!”

  1. Sammy

    Mr LAF,

    Thank you for your comprehensive forensic analysis of the Daily Show footage.

    No doubt a future with CSI is on the horizon.

  2. Mary Huff

    LAF, that was funny. But don’t you think that having a camera crew at an icy location actually increases accidents? I’ve seen it before. Sorta like those flashing blue lights attract drivers like moths to a flame. “I’m mesmerized…aaaakkk! Crash!”

  3. arky

    I’d be a lot more willing to accept the ol’ “Don’t be uptight… it’s just a comedy show” response if Stewart weren’t so damn self-righteous about his media criticism.

  4. Tvshooter

    Having a camera crew made no difference…people still drove thru the ice, talking on their phones, putting on makeup, and eating breakfast. The few that actually saw me, slowed down. Well except the only 3 cars to crash.
    Many cars made thru just fine without crashing. Guess I should have thrown some rock salt down. I’ll make sure I add it to my grip case, right next to the popcorn popper and water hose.


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