PBS apparently celebrated the nation's independence by rather freely using video from another Fourth of July celebration.

A Monday night production, "A Capitol Fourth" was not live as-advertised, as it was "spliced in with video from previous years' spectacles," as NBC News reported.

It apparently didn't take FBI or Secret Service teams to discern the skullduggery. Many viewers took to the show's Twitter and Facebook pages to complain.

How did they know something was amiss? Well, how could the fireworks display be live, they wondered, if "the images were in clear weather, a stark contrast to the actual heavily overcast and foggy Monday night."

Those same Facebook and Twitter pages later acknowledged that the show was "a combination of the best fireworks from this year and previous years."

"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."

Patriotic? The explanation may augur a new era of rationalizing ethical lapses.