Of course, faking live broadcasts is an age-old ruse in the infotainment business that commercial radio and television calls 'news'. The classic was Media Watch's 1996 expose of Today Tonight hack Dave 'Sluggo' Richardson, who, in the hunt for fugitive businessman Christopher Skase, used Barcelona as the set for an imagined showdown with police in Skase's Majorca hideaway.
Less blatantly, but no less dishonestly, Australian networks continue the tradition today by having reporters sitting cosily in a studio in London, New York or Los Angeles and reporting on events hundreds or thousands of kilometres away. The important point isn't the story. The point is that the network has someone "on the spot", even if that means turning around agency pictures and re-voicing wire copy, while spending half a year's budget on a fly-in-fly-out pieces to camera.
And newspapers do it too - ritually copying and pasting from Reuters or AP and sticking their own 'correspondent's' name on the top of the story when the only effort that individual typically makes is throwing a line or two of local context.
Over at the Limited News Deathstar, the trick is to force foreign affairs coverage through their Never Ending Culture Wars blender - which is why Greg Sheridan (the man who spotted Iraq's WMDs from the American club in Macquarie Street) can describe Tony Abbott as having "the right stuff to master the world" because he sucked up to some Israeli diplomats at a Sydney luncheon.
And, remember, these are the "professional" journalists - the ones who patronise respected names in social media as "unedited bloggers", and claim they themselves are the only ones with the skills and discretion to know news when they see it and provide useful and insightful analysis around it.
I prefer Jeff Jarvis' take on what journalism is in a social media age. It is no longer defined by who does it - he says - but what they do and how they do it. The community - through Twitter or other agencies - can share information among themselves, which means journalists are going to have to find new ways of adding value.
Sorry guys, but sitting in a stationary chopper and yelling over the rotor blades isn't going to cut it.