Can you trust what you see on TV?

There was a famous story last year about whether or not what you see on TV is true, and what you expect or whether it is misleading.  It was of course the BBC and in particular a natural history programme, which depicted polar bears.  The images purported to be of a mother polar bear and her new born cubs inside their den in Greenland.  It turned out that they had been filmed in a zoo in Hamburg. So the question is, can you trust what you see on TV?

Of course in that case it was more that it wasn’t explicitly stated where the images of the mother polar bear in her den were shot, but rather that the context implied that.  We had a shot of a snowy mountainside, then the shots inside the den, and then the bears emerging from a hole in the snow on the snowy mountainside. Of course the viewers then naturally put two and two together to get four.

Why am I bringing this up now?  And what has it got to do with Brussels? Well I was watching the BBC breakfast news, and they had a correspondent on ‘live’ from Brussels commenting on the horse meat scandal. It even had the little ‘LIVE’ symbol in the corner so you knew he was really there. Or was he?  The reason for the question being that he appeared to be in front of a window with a view of the Berlaymont building behind him.  People walking to and fro, blue flags fluttering in the breeze. What made me think was that the sky was bright, with a blueish tint and it was dry. I looked out of the window of my little apartment less than five minutes walk from that building to see a damp, dull and grey scene. Clearly the background at least on the TV wasn’t live, even if the correspondent was.

So why have a fake backdrop?  Was it just for ease that they played a recording behind him?  Did they think nobody would know? Careless or sinister? If they can deceive about this where does it stop? What do you think? Can you trust the TV? Even the BBC? Am I overreacting? Can I put any more questions in to the end of this post? :) 

Please comment and let me know what you think :D

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