“60 Minutes” admits it manipulated the sound in its Tesla segment

The program dubbed traditional engine sounds over footage of the electric car VIDEO

Topics: Video, 60 Minutes, Tesla, Electric Cars, ,

CBS News admitted Tuesday that an editor made an “audio error” in Sunday night’s “60 Minutes” segment on Tesla Motors, dubbing the sound of a revving engine over what the Associated Press poetically describes as the “much quieter windlike noise of a Tesla.”

Anchor Scott Pelley, who reported the story, wasn’t aware of the added audio ahead of time, a spokesman said. Jalopnik, which first noticed the mismatch, described it as sounding “like they recorded a motorcycle engine and used it to spice up the car footage.” The sound has since been removed from the online version of the story.

The whole incident — the latest in a string of major and minor scandals for the program —  is just kind of strange. One of the major sells of an electric car, after all, is that it doesn’t sound like a traditional car, because it’s missing that big, gas-guzzling engine. “60 Minutes” appeared to be unclear on that point. The segment nonetheless cast Tesla in an extremely positive light — enough so that it converted Bill O’Reilly.

Watch it, sans the added sound, here:



Lindsay Abrams

Lindsay Abrams is a staff writer at Salon, reporting on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email labrams@salon.com.

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