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Anatomy of a Buzz Report screwup

CNET TV's Buzz Report with Molly Wood makes a technical mistake on Xbox 360 segment: A behind-the-scenes look at how it happened.

So, I came in to work today to this e-mail in the CNET TV Feedback mailbox, about last week's Buzz Report:

"The segment with Molly 'playing' video games was horrible. The 360 was upside down and the game playing was Resistance, which is a PS3 game."

Er. D'oh. Yes. Yes, all that is true.

How to screw up a perfectly good Buzz Report joke.
How to screw up a perfectly good Buzz Report joke. CNET TV

Now, let me explain. I am using my Xbox 360-to-PS3 adapter. See, I love Resistance: Fall of Man, but I have an Xbox 360, and I just really prefer that controller. So, I use my adapter to play cool PS3 games. Oh, no, I didn't buy it anywhere. I made it myself out of parts I got from Radio Shack. So, don't try to find one. It's custom. No, I won't sell it to you on eBay.

OK, OK, let me explain for real. See, I write the Buzz Report script, and I just toss in totally unhelpful edit notes like, "supercool-looking game plays on screen." And right before we shoot, I run around like crazy trying to rustle up some props to go with whatever crazy scheme I've cooked up for that week's show. This time, I was like, "OK, I know we have a PS3 and an Xbox 360 in-house, but the PS3 is in Mark's office, and he's in a meeting, and the 360 is in Tom's office, and he's right there!" So, I get the Xbox, and then I'm like, "Wait! Need a game!" So, I get in touch with the Gamespot guys, and they very kindly loan me Gears of War, and I'm thinking, "Sweet. This is going to rock." But by then it's 1:45, and we shoot at 2, and my producer, Bonnie, says, "It's silly to plug in this whole thing and get the game all set up and running, especially since you don't really know how to play, and it'll look a lot cooler if we just fly in some game footage to the monitor so that it matches what you're saying a little bit better." So, that sounds fine, and we're scrambling around to get everything set up, and Bonnie plops the Xbox in there, and I don't look at it, and we're just worried about how, when we turn it on, there's a blinking red ring around the power button, so we decide to just unplug it, because really, who's going to notice? (Um, all of you, apparently.) So, we do the shoot and just pretend there's some cool video of an awesome game in the monitor, because, dude, games aren't that boring.

So, then, it's the next morning, and we're getting ready to edit the Buzz Report. And my editor, Kelly, comes in and says he needs some game footage to illustrate that bit. Now, at this point, the Xbox is back in Tom's office, the shoot is the farthest thing from my mind, and I'm thinking, "Hm, what's the coolest looking game I've seen lately? Oh, yeah! Resistance: Fall of Man!" So, I go to Gamespot, download the footage, send it off to Kelly, and boom. We look like total idiots.

So, there you have it. But hey, on the plus side, if it hadn't happened, I never would have discovered and downloaded my new favorite thing, FotoTagger! And the rest of the show is awesome this week ...