2013 Tesla Model S
If you watched 60 Minutes on Sunday night--perhaps wondering whether the show would target the Tesla Model S electric car--you may have been relieved.
The segment, "Fast Cars and Rocket Ships," was nothing less than a laudatory paean to the vision and accomplishments of Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk.
But you may also have noticed something odd.
The show used what appeared to be stock footage of the Tesla Model S cruising through scenic byways and along highways, with audio of what sounded suspiciously like engine noises--including one clearly audible downshift.
2012 Tesla Model S beta vehicle, Fremont, CA, October 2011
Many who saw the segment Sunday night commented on it, or Tweeted about it. Jalopnik wrote about it very shortly after it happened.
Now giant network CBS has essentially apologized for what was clearly a production goof.
As Media Bistro's TVnewser blog noted, "As an electric car, the Tesla Model S doesn’t make a typical engine noise, so the editor added some sound for effect."
"Our video editor made an audio editing error in our report about Elon Musk and Tesla," said a CBS statement yesterday. "We regret the error, and it is being corrected online.”
You can view the entire (corrected) 13-minute segment online, along with an article, Tesla and SpaceX: Elon Musk's Industrial Empire.
Meanwhile, it turns out that Sunday's 60 Minutes garnered 14.3 million viewers, which makes it one of the most popular network shows of the week.
But, a little note to TV producers assigned to cover Tesla Motors in the future: Electric cars don't upshift or downshift.
And while some of them may whine, they definitely don't make engine noises.
Just so you know.