‘Live’ footage of crying German fan was pre-recorded – and it’s not right
When Janet Jackson exposed her right nipple during the infamous ‘wardrobe malfunction’ of the 2004 Super Bowl, who thought it didn’t improve the half-time show? And when someone at ITV pulled out the wrong plug just as Everton were scoring a last minute winner in the 2007 FA Cup – who didn’t enjoy talking about it the following day at work?
Admit it – we love it when things go wrong.
But how do we feel when we, the audience, have been cheated on purpose?
It has emerged that during Germany’s semi-final defeat to Italy at Euro 2012, the television directors at Uefa tricked us. With the favourites trailing by Mario Balotelli’s two goals, the camera panned to a tearful German lady. Oh, the emotion. While we in England had shed our tears in the previous round, now it was the Germany’s turn – and it was hard not to feel some sympathy. But it has since transpired that the lady in question was not shedding tears of sadness, but tears of patriotism. She had been filmed during the playing of the German national anthem, and then the clip was inserted 37 minutes into the match.
Uefa have admitted the manipulation, saying they were trying to show “the human story of the game”.
A sorry excuse indeed. This was Germany who were 2-0 down, a team known for their resilience and ability to come back against the odds. A German fan roaring their team on, refusing to believe they were done for – this would have been the “human story” – if only because it was real.
The incident is reminiscent of the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. During the spectacular event, which saw more fireworks than even Balotelli’s bathroom, perhaps the most defining moment was the simplicity of a little girl singing Ode to the Motherland. Yet it later turned out she was miming, as the girl whose voice was heard by an estimated audience of as many as a billion people, was considered too ugly. Therefore they drafted in a cuter, more aesthetically pleasing nine-year-old to appear in front of the cameras and mouth the words. We were misled, and we didn’t like it.
We were misled at another Olympics opening ceremony, when in Barcelona it appeared as if the Olympic Cauldron was lit using a bow and arrow fired from a vast distance. It was later revealed that archer Antonio Rebollo intentionally fired way over the cauldron and the flame was lit remotely. There may have been some very worthy health and safety reasons, but again, we didn’t like it.
So with London set to host the sporting event of the summer, BBC be warned. With every single event being shown live and an opening ceremony that sounds as outlandish as it does ridiculous, there’s a lot of scope for some memorable TV mishaps. We’ll welcome the mistakes, but please, no misleading.
Follow Simon Rice on Twitter @simonriceTagged in: bbc, euro 2012, itv, London 2012, olympics, Uefa
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