A few years ago The Masters golf tournament made the news because of birds. The event was being carried live by one of the major television networks. During the telecast the serene setting of Augusta, Georgia was communicated visually and audibly.
However, the live event was not really what appeared to the home viewer. An astute observer contacted the network to complain that the bird sounds being broadcast were actually the sounds of birds which are not located in Georgia.
The network confessed to piping in bird sounds to add to the ambiance of the lush golf course.
I’m not sure what to say about a guy who watches golf and is so well-versed on bird sounds. He deserves much credit. I might have recognized the sound if it had been a duck honking, but to know it was a sound out of place is amazing.
The network attempted to create a false reality yet convince the audience that it was real. Imagine that years later, scientists might suggest that these birds were native to Georgia based on “historical” video footage.
Only a couple of weeks ago, the Fox network was found to be doing something similar. In the introduction to a reality show featuring Gordon Ramsey, the announcer boasted about the large number of people who had turned out for the event. A matching picture of the mass of people was broadcast giving credibility to the announcer’s claim.
But a discerning viewer captured a still shot of the crowd (see photo above). Using a marker to draw circles, the viewer showed the same cluster of people repeated over and again to give the illusion of a larger crowd.
Last week as the city of Boston celebrated our nation’s birthday, the TV cameras captured the fireworks erupting in historic Boston. Several Bostonians complained that the starting location and the trajectory of the fireworks made it impossible for the TV shots to be real. TV producers then acknowledged that city landmarks such as Fenway Stadium had been previously taped and then the recordings imposed with firework shots.
The Boston flubbers/fibbers defended their actions as similar to a Hollywood television show. Since the show, Boston Legal, showed Boston landmarks while actually being filmed in California, it was a common practice.
However, I am not familiar with many people who think that Denny Crane was anything other than a fictional character. We expect fiction to be…well, fiction. We do not expect for live events to be fictional. Especially when the events might be historical.
As a Christian I am wondering how often our non-fictional lives are really history mixed with fiction. Do we present an image that is vastly different from the person we really are? This is called hypocrisy. Too often in my life, what I projected to those viewing my life was no less than a photo-shopped, pre-recorded superimposed fraud of a Christ follower. What does Jesus think of this?
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
(Matthew 23:27-28 ESV)
What’s playing live on the channel of your life? Don’t try to fake the image. Instead strive for a pure heart. Then it will produce a clear image of Christ in you.