Viewers upset after PBS' 'live' July 4th fireworks show wasn't live

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PBS' Live July 4th Fireworks Show Was Actually Kind of a Rip-Off

It looks like PBS' "live" feed of fireworks from Washington, D.C., on Monday wasn't completely live.

The network's "A Capitol Fourth" Independence Day show was supposed to be a star-studded event capped off with a fantastic display of fireworks.

The problem? The weather in D.C. didn't want to cooperate.

Most of D.C. was overcast and foggy, and the marvelous display of fireworks was partially swallowed up by the cloudy night sky.

That's when PBS execs decided to take action and splice in some footage of last year's fireworks — and viewers noticed.

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After getting called out on social media about it, the outlet posted: "With the weather being overcast we showed a combination of the best fireworks from this year and previous years. It was the patriotic thing to do."

But PBS' "patriotic" decision got some mixed reviews.

RELATED: Viewer responses to PBS

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Responses to PBS' 'Live' fireworks
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Responses to PBS' 'Live' fireworks
We showed a combination of the best fireworks from this year and previous years. It was the patriotic thing to do. #July4thPBS
@July4thPBS Only in DC could a PBS show become a scandal #July4thPBS #capitolfourth
@July4thPBS the Milli Vanilli of fireworks #shame
@July4thPBS How is using stock video patriotic? If I wanted that, I'd watch YouTube. #fake #July4thPBS
#Blessed to see the fireworks from my apt window & watch #July4thPBS. Tho, the fireworks out my window don't look like @pbs. #fake? 🤔🇺🇸
Not cool @pbs.... Fake footage of fireworks on the Fourth???? It's cloudy and rainy in DC. Those shots are clearly not from tonight.
@July4thPBS For your video library: footage of George Washington consulting adviser before crossing the Hudson. https://t.co/mO3UXZx8DZ
@July4thPBS All good. But here, let's start preparing next year's footage! #4thJulyPBS #CapitolFourthConspiracy https://t.co/YiXgBcU4JC
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Some viewers said they were fine with it, writing that the live fireworks would have been hard to see with all the clouds in the sky.

Others felt a bit cheated. One Twitter user said: "@July4thPBS How is using stock video patriotic? If I wanted that, I'd watch YouTube. #fake #July4thPBS"

After the show, PBS issued a longer statement saying, in part, "We apologize for any confusion this may have caused."

Washington, D.C., is consistently ranked as one of the top cities to celebrate the nation's independence. For PBS' sake, hopefully the weather will decide to cooperate a little bit better next year.

This video includes images from Getty Images.

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