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PBS' 'Live' Fireworks Aren't, and the Network Hears It From Viewers

PBS acknowledged splicing in video of previous years' fireworks Monday night because the weather in Washington was so cloudy.
IMAGE: 'A Capitol Fourth' screen shot
An image from PBS' 'A Capitol Fourth' Independence Day show Monday night.
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PBS was pummeled on social media after it acknowledged having spliced in video of previous years' Washington, D.C., fireworks in its live "A Capitol Fourth" broadcast Monday night.

Hundreds of viewers complained on the annual show's Twitter and Facebook pages that the fireworks display couldn't be live because the images were in clear weather:

An image from PBS' 'A Capitol Fourth' Independence Day show Monday night.

Washington, however, was heavily overcast and foggy Monday night — which was readily apparent as the pyrotechnics faded into dense clouds:

Fireworks explode Monday night over the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.AP

About 10 p.m. ET, the show's Facebook and Twitter pages acknowledged that the supposedly "live" show was, in fact, " a combination of the best fireworks from this year and previous years."

Reaction online was swift and savage:

PBS representatives didn't immediately return NBC News' calls for comment Monday night.