Was it live, or was it Photoshopped? (opinion below)

The other night while I was reading my RSS feeds and keeping an eye on the Twitter feed as well, I saw a Tweet from Lisa Lillien (aka “Hungry Girl,” of cookbook and website fame). Her comment was “OMG!” (There may have been a little more, but the gist of it was still “OMG!”) Now, of course, the only place I can find the image is . . .


It could be Photoshopped. Clearly it’s an image on someone’s flatscreen tv. However, when I saw the Tweet from Lisa, the photo was without an identifier other than the station’s ID in the lower right corner, and appeared to be from either her own cell phone (if she was traveling, it’s entirely possible–she’s LA-based, but this particular station is in the South Bend/Mishawaka IN area, aka “Michiana”) or someone else’s. Now, naturally, it’s found a home at the I Can Has Cheeseburger site, and looks just like it did when I first saw it a couple of nights ago. That still doesn’t answer definitively the question of Photoshop involvement.

However: I also submit this as further support for the strong possibility that the error was actually broadcast, and was not created for amusement. Yes, it’s plain that the meaning is “air-conditioning.” But, come on, people. Would it have been that difficult to use the accepted shorthand “a/c” (or “A/C”) to be absolutely sure no one (like me) could point out the sloppy usage? No air for a week sounds far more serious to me than living without air-conditioning. Because, y’know, with no air, living is pretty difficult.

Yes, I’m picky. I don’t cut the folks who type the chromakey information any slack, nor do I grant any to the web content writers and editors (if indeed there are editors). It’s a high-pressure job, no doubt–but all the more reason for them to be far more careful that what they’ve entered is correct and clear before it goes live. Or public. Or whatever term is correct for the particular venue. (Remember a year or two ago, when a national news network misspelled “Niger” and suffered the wrath of viewers around the world? Yeah. That’s why the folks who enter the information need to proofread.)

It also doesn’t help (or hurt, depending on whose side you’re taking) that I have a passing familiarity with this particular station, and I’ve seen stupid errors like this one on the air before. This marks the first time one’s made it to the national awareness, as far as I know. I’m not sure that’s entirely a good thing.


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