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"Attacking that battle station is not my idea of courage. It's more like, suicide"
January 9, 2008 5:53 AM   Subscribe

September 11, 2001. It's 10:15 am and the South Tower just went down. Millions of French people are watching the live coverage of the events on TF1, France's major TV channel, with star anchorman Poivre d'Arvor doing a running commentary. Then, for a split second, a character from a famous movie happily tells us (in French subtitles) that he "did it" (18 s in the video) (Dailymotion video).

This is definitely not a hoax. Some people reported seing something strange (though they weren't sure of what they had seen), but, of course, the incident got lost in the flow and never got mentioned again until recently, when people converted their VHS tapes and uploaded the clips to online services. As far as I know, TF1 never explained what happened. Who hijacked the coverage, how and why it was hijacked remain a mystery.
posted by elgilito (84 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
HAN SHOT FIRST
posted by fandango_matt at 5:58 AM on January 9, 2008 [8 favorites]


The universe is alive and wants to play.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 5:59 AM on January 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


OK, hang on, Harrison Ford played Han Solo, he also played the President of USA, right? So this is obviously a message that the guy who 'got it' was .. named after his dog.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 6:00 AM on January 9, 2008


Flagged as "French."
posted by The Deej at 6:01 AM on January 9, 2008 [6 favorites]


It's gotta be the soundtrack that makes this video so believable.
posted by Plutor at 6:02 AM on January 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Bob:
OH MY GOD!
OH MY GOD!
OH MY GOD!
OH MY GOD!
OH MY GOD!
OH MY GOD!
OH MY GOD!

Charlotte: ... okay.
posted by From Bklyn at 6:02 AM on January 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


When this kind of thing has happened in other times and places (and it has) it's been because guys in the control room were using one of the station players to watch a movie on a monitor there, and someone screwed up when doing a video switch and picked that feed by accident. In most of the cases of this I've heard of, it was porn.

There isn't any kind of sinister plot involved.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 6:03 AM on January 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


"Black Star"?

Was it really called the Black Star in the French versions of the movies?

Because, well, Death Star has such a much nicer Empire ring to it. And it wasn't black. It was kind of grayish.

At least it was mercifully free of crying eagles.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:05 AM on January 9, 2008


Was it really called the Black Star in the French versions of the movies?

Hellz yeah! Didn't you know Darth Vader was a Garveyite?
posted by jonp72 at 6:11 AM on January 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


That would have been better if the feed was a few seconds of Taxi Driver:

- "...several of people have been affected by this event only in New york"
- "It's 10 am...right?"
- "It's 10:15 am in Washington"

-"You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me?"

- "It means that the offices were open very soon & that people was already at work"
- "Yes,because the Americans go to work very early [...]"
posted by fandango_matt at 6:11 AM on January 9, 2008


*tinfoil hat explodes*
posted by zardoz at 6:12 AM on January 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


And wait a minute: in France, going to work before 10 a.m. is "very early"??
posted by zardoz at 6:13 AM on January 9, 2008


"...it's been because guys in the control room were using one of the station players to watch a movie on a monitor there, and someone screwed up when doing a video switch and picked that feed by accident. In most of the cases of this I've heard of, it was porn.

There isn't any kind of sinister plot involved."


Have you ever worked in tv? Ever been in a control room? Do you know how those desks work? Clue: nobody watches movies with feeds going thru the desk. Not unless they're really stupid. It's an accident waiting to happen. When you're in the control room, and you want to watch a tape, you put it on one of the multitude of players that is *not* patched into the fucking desk. There are usually dozens of the things.

Plus, you have just one particular shot from the movie coming up at a point where Han has blown up a ship and is saying "I got it!"

How long is Star Wars, 130, 180 minutes? Something like that. Most of it is scenes of people in deserts, bars, dialogue unrelated to things blowing up. OK I guess there are quite a few scenes of things blowing up in Star Wars, but for this exact shot to come up by accident just at that point, by someone pressing the wrong button or fader is pretty fucking unlikely.

Plus, the WTC is being attacked, and a couple of French video technicians are watching Star Wars? Are you fucking kidding me? That's some seriously jaded shit, even for the French.

It's not a plot. It's a joke. Some French knob-twiddler deliberately put that shot in there, because he's a black humored asshole. I can see it happen, and unlike your scenario of accidental cock-up, jokes like that have actually been played by tv techs, when they are stoned and certain enough of not getting canned for it.

That is, if the clip we are seeing here is even genuine at all.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 6:19 AM on January 9, 2008 [12 favorites]


When this kind of thing has happened in other times and places (and it has) it's been because guys in the control room were using one of the station players to watch a movie on a monitor there, and someone screwed up when doing a video switch and picked that feed by accident.

i'm having a hard time believing that people were actually choosing to watch something else when 9/11 was going on, live on tv

maybe it was something like the french hbo that cut in there for a minute - someone pressed the wrong button on the satellite reciever and got that instead

it does seem like just one of those weird things, if it isn't a hoax
posted by pyramid termite at 6:20 AM on January 9, 2008


This is definitely not a hoax. Some people reported seing something strange /.../

I've probably spent too much time on the Internet, but I completely fail to see how "some people reported seeing something" definitely proves that the clip isn't exactly what it looks like: the result of someone, accidentally or not, pressing record on their video recorder when this tape was loaded.

when people converted their VHS tapes and uploaded the clips to online services

Tapes? Services? So there are other, independent, recordings of this available? Where?
posted by effbot at 6:20 AM on January 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Related?
posted by gimonca at 6:21 AM on January 9, 2008


Well, this should be the final nail in the coffin of those credulous sheeple who still believe the "official explanation" the Death Star could be destroyed by a single shot, rather than a series of carefully orchestrated detonations.
posted by flashboy at 6:29 AM on January 9, 2008 [103 favorites]


Thread over. Flashboy wins.
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:32 AM on January 9, 2008


So either Han Solo destroyed the World Trade Center, or Osama bin Laden blew up the Death Star. OMG IT'S A DOUBLE CONSPIRACY!
posted by fandango_matt at 6:33 AM on January 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


Well, apart from flashboy's brilliant insight, which frankly I think we should go with, let's think about the thing a bit more. At what point in the movie does that shot of Han occur? It's about an hour plus, I think, it's after they escape the 'Black Star'. Let's say that the French tv guy is bored that morning and puts in the tape of Star Wars, a little before the first reports of the WTC attack happen. Maybe he leaves the tape in and playing on a separate channel, *if* he's stupid enough to patch it thru the desk (let's say it's a piss poor control room or something with no choice). I find it hard to believe they would start watching Star Wars after the WTC attack begins, because, let's face it, that's not likely. So he forgets about it and has unpatched a satellite feed on that channel to watch his fave movie. A little later after the first tower comes down (is that where this happens in this clip?) the director tells him to patch to the second feed coming in from the satellite, which he unpatched earlier that morning to get some Star Wars action going on. Voila, he gets a Fortean synchronicity of Han declaring victory over the forces of the evil empire just at that point.

I don't have the energy to spend working out the mathematics of this, but that scenario might work, albeit stretching credibility to the ultimate.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 6:34 AM on January 9, 2008


And wait a minute: in France, going to work before 10 a.m. is "very early"??

In france, going to work at all is "very early."
posted by milarepa at 6:38 AM on January 9, 2008 [7 favorites]


Oh man, 3 of my greatest pleasures, Star Wars, France Bashing and crazy conspiracies all in one hit. I would list the others but I fear arrest.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 6:46 AM on January 9, 2008


Effbot: the result of someone, accidentally or not, pressing record on their video recorder when this tape was loaded.
The incident was reported some days later by the editor in chief of a very reputable magazine and other people confirmed seeing it at the time. In any case, HC Mabuse is probably right about the whole thing being a stunt from some bored TV tech but the apparent lack of follow-up makes some good tinfoil fodder.
posted by elgilito at 6:53 AM on January 9, 2008


elgilito: This is definitely not a hoax.

Oh, certainly not.

Frankly, I can understand why people would like to argue about whether (a) some butterfingers in a French TV studio was watching Star Wars while the World Trade Center was being knocked over or (b) someone stupid enough to think this was witty but smart enough to waste a long time cueing up and then playing briefly a specific moment in Star Wars that seems to have some fleeting relation to the event itself while ostensibly doing his/her duties in a French TV studio. But neither one is plausible, and given the French capacity for handwringing, it's almost entirely absurd that this wouldn't have received a good chunk of attention before today.

A note to future hoaxers: stick to places that most people (thankfully) haven't been to, like Wyoming, instead of places where people get very excited over public scandals and enjoy being indignant, like France.
posted by koeselitz at 7:01 AM on January 9, 2008


"Like splicing a frame of pornography
into family films.

So when the snooty cat and the courageous
dog with the celebrity voices first meet,

that's when you'll catch a flash
of Tyler's contribution to the film.

Nobody knows that they saw it but they did.

Nice, big cock.

Even a hummingbird
couldn't catch Tyler at work."

posted by cjorgensen at 7:02 AM on January 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ok. here's what i think happened-
The TV station was scrambling to cover the breaking news. They obviously didn't have time to send a camera crew to NYC, so they recorded some footage from another tv station. They didn't have time to find a fresh tape, so they just grabbed a tape from the "to be erased" pile, popped it in, "sacre bleu! who didn't rewind???"
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 7:02 AM on January 9, 2008


elgilito: The incident was reported some days later by the editor in chief of a very reputable magazine and other people confirmed seeing it at the time.

Who? References?
posted by koeselitz at 7:04 AM on January 9, 2008


Clue: nobody watches movies with feeds going thru the desk.

The video rolls when it cuts to and from the clip, and the video source clearly isn't synced. That makes me think is either not being done at the desk, or at least not through a route normally used for on-air playback.

The blue and pink at the bottom is SECAM noise, which suggests the hijack is happening in analog composite video, but the banner remains on top, so it's happening within the control room. That makes no sense.
posted by cillit bang at 7:11 AM on January 9, 2008 [1 favorite]



i'm having a hard time believing that people were actually choosing to watch something else when 9/11 was going on, live on tv


Well, I was in Spain on the beach when it was going on. In the city of Gandia. I can assure you that the whole town was watching a soccer match that evening.
posted by pwedza at 7:14 AM on January 9, 2008


"Oh my god, it's the end of a decade of peace and prosperity and the beginning of a terrible new era! I can't watch, change the channel!"

"Oh my god, it's the end of a decade of American independent auter cinema and the beginning of a terrible new era! Change it back!"
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:22 AM on January 9, 2008 [5 favorites]


The incident was reported some days later by the editor in chief of a very reputable magazine and other people confirmed seeing it at the time.

a magazine that's so reputable that it doesn't have a name, nor does it have issues with dates on them, confirmed by that most authoritative of all sources, "other people"

you have to do a LOT better than this
posted by pyramid termite at 7:23 AM on January 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


That clip's from blowing up a TIE fighter, not from blowing up the Death Star.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:24 AM on January 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


It looks to me like someone (somewhere in the lengthy chain between New York and Paris) suddenly switched satellite channels, prompting the director to hastily switch to the studio.

And just because Mabuse thinks there is zero possibility someone was watching a movie in the control room, there have been documented cases of SCDB's scenario. In Canada porn once popped up during "Sesame Street" on the CBC.

the apparent lack of follow-up makes some good tinfoil fodder.

And not a good post. Flagged.
posted by evilcolonel at 7:26 AM on January 9, 2008


...places where people get very excited over public scandals and enjoy being indignant, like France Metafilter.
posted by edgeways at 7:28 AM on January 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


koeselitz: Who? References?
Alain Rémond, from Télérama. His original column (in French) is reprinted here, but rereading it 6 years later it's not clear if he watched a tape provided by a reader (in this case it could have been a hoax) or if he got a tape from another source (being a TV professional). There's a also an (anonymous) comment that corroborates the story, says that TF1 claimed that was just an interference with Canal+, another TV channel (but then the anonymous commenter adds that there were people dancing in the street in Paris so that's not a very credible comment...).
posted by elgilito at 7:30 AM on January 9, 2008


His original column (in French) is reprinted here, but rereading it 6 years later it's not clear if he watched a tape provided by a reader (in this case it could have been a hoax) or if he got a tape from another source (being a TV professional)

or just made it up as some kind of postmodern point to reinforce the theme of his article, which is "how do we know what we see on tv news is really real?"

i note that his only article for september 01 is the old "students born in year x never experienced this, that or the other thing" that makes the rounds every year

and the only comment on the 9/11 post was made nearly 5 years later

and the ONLY place i've seen this video is where you linked to it

remember millions of people supposedly saw this

i call hoax
posted by pyramid termite at 7:44 AM on January 9, 2008


If it was an error, the most likely explanation is that the movie was playing on one of the satellite downlinks (there are probably several in the station, all routed through the desk for satellite-direct-to-air switching), and the technical director accidentally switched to the wrong dish, meaning to show a live news feed.
If it was done on purpose, it was a stupid move by someone not terribly attached to their job.
posted by rocket88 at 7:44 AM on January 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


And wait a minute: in France, going to work before 10 a.m. is "very early"??

nsfw audio, unless you're french
posted by fullerine at 7:49 AM on January 9, 2008


pyramid termite writes "i'm having a hard time believing that people were actually choosing to watch something else when 9/11 was going on, live on tv"

Really? I turned the TV on, and saw that all the channels were showing that a plane had hit the WTC. (Sometime after the first plane, before the second plane). I was like "whoa". I watched for about 10 minutes, but the news was doing what the news does: "A plane has hit the world trade center. The WTC is on fire. I can see smoke. We don't know what plane it was. I can see fire, yes, there is definitely fire. We don't know how many casualties there have been. We are here live on the scene. I can clearly see that there is smoke and fire. We will give you updates as soon as they come in. What you are seeing is the World Trade Center, which has been hit by a plane. We still have no details regarding the plane. This is live footage. What you see behind me is the World Trade Center".

My parents can sit in front of the TV for hours and hear reporters repeat "we have no further details", but I can't. I decided to tune in the next morning (I'm in Japan, so it happened at night for me) to see if there had been any developments.

I'd imagine that most Americans were glued to their TVs, but overseas I'd be surprised if that were the case. Sure, most people would tune in and watch a bit of the news, but I can't imagine everyone the world over glued to their TVs for hours awaiting casualty numbers and causes that would certainly take days if not weeks to come out. It's not like anyone knew that they should keep the TV on because there was going to be a really photogenic second plane crash or building collapse.
posted by Bugbread at 8:02 AM on January 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, Oz ground to a standstill the next day cos everyone had been up all night watching the footage.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 8:10 AM on January 9, 2008


Yeah, it smells like a hoax.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 8:11 AM on January 9, 2008


Ah, good ol' TV pranking.

You whippersnappers have no idea how good you have it. In my day, if we wanted to make a tasteless joke at the expense of thousands of deaths, we didn't have your fancy schmancy photo-shop computer programs or your YTMND and 4channel sites.

We had to highjack the local TV feed! It was expensive, took way too much time and equipment, and we invariably got caught and thrown in the clink if we couldn't pay off the media bosses! And dadgummit we LIKED it!

Captain Midnight, Max Headroom guy, and this French gentleman with his Star Wars videotape. Now THERE were some bold souls.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 8:12 AM on January 9, 2008


"when people converted their VHS tapes"

Even way back in 2001, I didn't know anyone that was still recording anything with VHS.
posted by drstein at 8:14 AM on January 9, 2008


Saying 'this is not a hoax' is like those chain letters that start with 'this is not a chain letter'.
posted by slimepuppy at 8:19 AM on January 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


It was *Luke*, for crying out loud. Luke's the one that yells, "I got it!", not Han. Han replies, "That's great, kid. Don't get cocky." Dumbasses.
posted by steef at 8:19 AM on January 9, 2008 [9 favorites]


I'd imagine that most Americans were glued to their TVs, but overseas I'd be surprised if that were the case. Sure, most people would tune in and watch a bit of the news, but I can't imagine everyone the world over glued to their TVs for hours awaiting casualty numbers and causes that would certainly take days if not weeks to come out. It's not like anyone knew that they should keep the TV on because there was going to be a really photogenic second plane crash or building collapse.
posted by bugbread at 11:02 AM on January 9


You'd imagine wrong. As we evacuated our building four blocks from the White House that morning, one of my colleagues headed straight for the golf course.

It is at that moment I resolved never to be that dead inside.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:23 AM on January 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Right on, steef. I noticed that too. If yer gonna bust out the tinfoil, fer the luvva god, get yer pedantics on straight first.

INTERIOR: MILLENNIUM FALCON -- GUNPORTS.

Another TIE fighter moves in on the pirateship and Luke,
smiling, fires the laser cannon at it, scoring a spectacular
direct hit.

LUKE: Got him! I got him!

Han turns and gives Luke a victory wave which Luke
gleefully returns.

HAN: Great kid! Don't get cocky.

Han turns back to his laser cannon.

posted by mwhybark at 8:23 AM on January 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Was the Death Star Attack an Inside Job?
posted by mwhybark at 8:28 AM on January 9, 2008


And here I though French 9/11 conspiracy theories couldn't get any stupider.
posted by nanojath at 8:30 AM on January 9, 2008


I thought Han shoots one first and says yay I got one, then Luke gets one too and Han gets all pissy. Oh well.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 8:34 AM on January 9, 2008


Exactly, Henry. Han always shoots first. That's the important thing.

The more appropriate clip/line to use, if someone was doing this deliberately (which I doubt) would've been "Sorry about the mess."
posted by never used baby shoes at 8:37 AM on January 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


He does, Henry. This is just before the excerpt I posted above.

INTERIOR: MILLENNIUM FALCON -- GUNPORTS.

Luke fires at a TIE fighter. At his port, Han follows a
fighter in his sights, releasing a blast of laserfire. He
connects, and the fighter explodes into fiery dust. Han laughs
victoriously.

EXTERIOR: SPACE.

Two TIE fighters move toward and over the Millennium Falcon,
unleashing a barrage of laserbolts at the ship.

INTERIOR: MILLENNIUM FALCON -- GUNPORTS.

posted by mwhybark at 8:44 AM on January 9, 2008


Even way back in 2001, I didn't know anyone that was still recording anything with VHS.

Really... what were people recording TV on in 2001? Beta?
posted by clevershark at 9:00 AM on January 9, 2008


The Chanel Lipstick ad link to the right was more interesting.
posted by wfc123 at 9:02 AM on January 9, 2008


gimonca -- you do understand that real people are dying in that footage, right?
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:06 AM on January 9, 2008


Lame.
posted by tkchrist at 9:12 AM on January 9, 2008


The corpse in the library writes "gimonca -- you do understand that real people are dying in that footage, right?"

Of course. That's the whole point. It's a juxtaposition of two polar opposites: a big and real tragedy and happy spunky music. If that were a planned demolition of a vacant building, there would be no point in giving it the yackety sax treatment.
posted by Bugbread at 9:13 AM on January 9, 2008


So what is the point? Is it supposed to be funny?
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:21 AM on January 9, 2008


To find the answers to your questions, The corpse in the library, you should read the YouTube comments.
. . .

On second thought, you probably shouldn't do that.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:37 AM on January 9, 2008


Yes, corpse, it's supposed to be funny. And if it had been done right, it could possibly have been, even for me [insert all the reasons it's not funny for me--i was there, i watched it happen, i ran from the scene when the first tower collapsed but still got caught in the debris cloud, i was evacuated from my home, i still have nightmares, etc.] if it had been done right, but it wasn't so it wasn't. The obvious thing to do is to have the tower collapse and then run it backwards and forwards and backwards and forwards in rapid succession in fast motion while playing Yackety Sax. Anything else is heavy handed and stupid.
posted by The Bellman at 9:38 AM on January 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Even way back in 2001, I didn't know anyone that was still recording anything with VHS.

Huh? As opposed to what? Tivo barely existed then and had no market penetration to speak of. Something like 99.999% of everyone recording anything off the television would still have been using VHS.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:42 AM on January 9, 2008


It's a hoax, we have to assume the following:
- In September 2001 someone makes a bogus tape with his/her VCR and sends it to Telerama's editor in chief, Alain Remond. The choice of Telerama is weird, since it's a quite respected magazine with strong ethics and a small, media-savvy readership. A sensationalist, high-circulation magazine like Paris-Match, or the internet would have been more appropriate echo chambers.
- Remond has a lapse of professionalism, fails to double-check the tape with the TV channel or a third party and writes his witty column. Note that there's no follow-up at all. That was indeed suprising at the time, but then Telerama has not a big circulation and some TV glitch wasn't exactly newsworthy after 9-11. IIRC a reader sent a letter saying that s/he had seen the glitch too, thanking Remond for his paper and that was all. As a hoax, it fell completely flat.
- In 2005 the digitized tape, or a tape made to look exactly like what Remond describes,
surfaces in certain forums where people now claim to have seen the glitch in real time, something impossible to prove of course.
- In 2007 the hoaxer finally puts the clip on Youtube and Dailymotion
Well, that's possible, but I find that an insider's sick joke is still probable. I'll ask the question to hoaxbusting sites to see what they think.
posted by elgilito at 9:50 AM on January 9, 2008


OK, I just don't get the humor. On one hand, it's footage of people dying. On the other hand -- even if I imagine it being used for death-related footage that I don't have any personal associations with, such as the Hindenburg crashing -- "Yackety Sax" is overused. But maybe I just have my own unresolved blah blah blah.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:56 AM on January 9, 2008


Amidst the rubble, volunteers found plates of beans mysteriously undisturbed. Honest.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:13 AM on January 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


i'm having a hard time believing that people were actually choosing to watch something else when 9/11 was going on, live on tv

Why? Distance makes tragedy abstract. Hell, living on the West Coast in the US, I actually had someone (a douche, admittedly, but still) say to me about 9/11 less than a week after it happened "eh, it was in New York, so I haven't really been following it." With sincerity, flippantly, before changing the subject.
posted by davejay at 10:14 AM on January 9, 2008


Meh. It's either a hoax or a glitch or any one of the hundred other random, non-malicious events that could have caused this.

Now, if the video had shown Bin Laden flying out of the sun, shooting down a missile on an intercept course with one of the hijacked airliners, and screaming "Yea haw, you're all clear kid, now let's blow this thing and go home"...

Well, then you'd have something conspiracy worthy.
posted by quin at 10:19 AM on January 9, 2008


It's a hoax, we have to assume the following:

no - the burden of proof is on you to prove it isn't a hoax - you need to find lots of contemporary references to this as it was seen by several million people, wasn't it?

sure is strange how only one guy noticed it

I'll ask the question to hoaxbusting sites to see what they think.

this IS a hoaxbusting site
posted by pyramid termite at 10:20 AM on January 9, 2008


Actually, studios still use VHS and Beta.
posted by nevercalm at 10:37 AM on January 9, 2008


Also: "And wait a minute: in France, going to work before 10 a.m. is "very early"??"
posted by blue_beetle at 10:38 AM on January 9, 2008


elgilito, you really could have done a better job with this. French Blogger post notwithstanding, I still think that the most plausible answer is that someone created this as a joke in 2007.

You even went so far as to pad your post with all of this "Some people reported seing something strange" business so, you know, give us ten examples of said discussions. Give us other tapes of it without the awesome soundtrack. Give us a Snopes link. Something.

Assuming it's all real, I vote for some kind of coincidence. We can arm-wave about what an unlikely coincidence it would be, but honestly it seems like a pretty normal coincidence to me. If I were trying to prank the TV station, I can think of 100 clips I would use that would be much funnier and more pointed than this one.
posted by roll truck roll at 10:41 AM on January 9, 2008


Did you know that if you turn off the audio, the Directors Cut of Star Wars is in perfect sync with Houses of the Holy (if it's played backward)?
posted by lodurr at 10:57 AM on January 9, 2008


Have you ever worked in tv? Ever been in a control room?

Yes, I have.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 11:05 AM on January 9, 2008


Corpse: It's not that you don't get it, it's just that it's not funny. My point was that I think it could have been, but it's not.
posted by The Bellman at 11:06 AM on January 9, 2008


Writing as somebody who's accidentally cut up the (very) wrong source on live TV, I can assure people that this sort of thing does happen. (And I wasn't even in a manic live news gallery) And the DVD player we used during the night shifts had to be on the same matrix as the programme sources, otherwise we couldn't watch it on the monitor stack, could we?

(For example, anyone watching the start of "The One show" on BBC1 in the UK at 1930 today would have seen the programme open with a nice shot of a carpet and the bottom of an office chair, as some genius put the wrong thing to air. In case anyone doubts me, I have it on good authority that a major magazine editor saw this.)
posted by Luddite at 12:13 PM on January 9, 2008


I'm Irling R. Levine, NBC News, New York.
posted by maxwelton at 12:37 PM on January 9, 2008


roll truck roll: I read about the video in October 2001, on actual paper, (the article I linked above), from a source that I consider credible, being a long time reader of the magazine. Since then, I have done a web search from time to time without turning up anything useful, and only recently did the video surface (see YouTube, for the original version without the music but also without translation) that matches exactly the description of the 2001 article. Now I agree that the lack of corroborating sources is problematic - all there are are comments from people on French internet forums claiming that they saw it back then - but this is part of the strangeness of the affair.
posted by elgilito at 1:01 PM on January 9, 2008


The person who posted the video is an interesting character. His username, Uruk, is the original name of Iraq. His profile says he lives in Dijon, France, but his blog (WARNING! Audio feed with no apparent shutoff) takes a keen interest in the details of American politics, right down to yesterday's caucus, and his entries read like they were written by an American English speaker.
posted by desjardins at 2:09 PM on January 9, 2008


“or just made it up as some kind of postmodern point to reinforce the theme of his article, which is "how do we know what we see on tv news is really real?"”

Well, we saw them finding the WMDs in Iraq, so it’s got to be real.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:54 PM on January 9, 2008


Baaah sheep! Baaaah! Who in the WORLD thinks a Class A Rated building couldn't withstand the force of a couple Baradium missles?!?!?!? Besides, everybody knows FEMA did it!
posted by lattiboy at 3:54 PM on January 9, 2008


That's why I hate theology, they turn something simple to something difficult, it's just a stupid glitch, kinda that can happen in messing up with satellite feeds.

This said, TF1 is the worse stupid channel ever. Once it's CEO said "we sell prepared minds to Coca-Cola"
posted by zouhair at 7:45 PM on January 9, 2008


is there any good television in France at all?
posted by desjardins at 9:13 PM on January 9, 2008


Even way back in 2001, I didn't know anyone that was still recording anything with VHS.

I taped something onto VHS yesterday. It's still standard here, and was definitely the only thing around back in 2001. A quick google shows France uses VHS as well. What else did you expect them to be using?
posted by shelleycat at 10:25 PM on January 9, 2008


The first ever home DVD recorder went on sale in September 2000 for $3,999, so it's definitely not that. Possibly all drstein's friends had TiVos (debuted 1999) or AV PCs, but they certainly weren't a ubiquitous technology. I call bullshit. If anything 2001 was when VHS reached its peak.
posted by cillit bang at 7:02 AM on January 10, 2008


I'm not sure, but I think that drstein's implication was that in 2001, there were enough TV shows on DVD and enough TV shows on the internet that people didn't have much reason to plug in their old VCRs to tape something. Which would actually have been true for me, but probably not for most people.

Also, elgilito, sorry about my earlier comment. I've now run that blog article through babelfish and am reasonably sure it's saying what you say it's saying.
posted by roll truck roll at 7:36 AM on January 10, 2008


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