WBZ Broadcasts Altered View of July 4th Celebrations, Showing Fireworks Over Boston Monuments

By Merrill Knox 

WBZ viewers who tuned in for Monday night’s July 4th celebrations were treated to an exciting showing of fireworks over some of Boston’s most famous monuments, including Fenway Park and Quincy Market.

But as viewers familiar with the area began to point out this week, the city’s fireworks were launched away from the city on a barge off the Charles River– making the footage the CBS affiliate aired a physical impossibility.

Executive producer David Mugar confirmed to The Boston Globe yesterday that the footage of the fireworks was digitally altered and edited together with footage of Boston landmarks shot for the sole purpose of broadcasting it with the fireworks. “We were able to highlight great places in Boston, historical places with direct ties to the Fourth. So we think it was a good thing.”


Not so with some WBZ viewers, who pointed out ethical issues surrounding the incident and questioned the station’s credibility. “The shame is I’ve always thought the fireworks were among the best in the country,” David Perry told The Globe. “So there was no need to add anything. The fireworks by themselves would have been good enough.”

Mugar said the show was entertainment, not news, and said it was no different that “Boston Legal” — an ABC show produced by 20th Century Fox and filmed in Los Angeles — showing footage Boston scenes in every episode.