My comments last week about Stephen Colbert’s announcer saying that his show is “live on tape” — a practical impossibility — started a conversation on Facebook. Here are a few of those comments.

William Difani wrote:

Could the intention be to tell the [digital] audience that the show was filmed in a single take before a live audience? So the audience is aware there wasn’t excessive editing or retakes to get perfect bits? Not sarcastic, legit question. I have zero insider information on the production practices of late night.

Larry Larson concurs:

I suspect they just mean to convey that it is unedited.

I replied:

If only that were true. These shows are rehearsed and edited on a regular basis, particularly when an interview goes too long and has to be trimmed before airing to fit the time slot. They also use a lot of content they’ve recorded beforehand, which is then inserted into the recording the rest of the show.

Then John Bayer commented:

Paul, you must understand in this New Era of “Alternative Truth” where lying to the public is accepted as being “truthful.” Just look at your show, there is a time delay when speaking to guests who call in. Question, is it Live or is it on Tape since the station records your shows? So, even you can say that when you are on the air you are either Live or Taped!

To which I responded:

First of all, if you listen to the live stream on the KTRS app or website, you hear exactly what is happening in the studio with no delay (that’s why there’s a pause of several seconds at the end of some segments before we go to Tim’s traffic reports — if we didn’t, he’d hear himself on delay in the plane and it wouldn’t work). Second, at no time do you hear me say we are doing the show live — there’s no reason to. Third, a few seconds of delay is not the same as the several hours between the taping of Colbert’s show and when it airs. They edit the heck out of that thing in the intervening time, while we do not. It would be like you listening to one of my podcasts and having me tell you that it was live.

 Tomorrow: a couple of my broadcasting-on-delay experiences.