Editing means that I take the footage on your tapes and cut it together. That's all I can do. I cannot erase the microphone that's in frame in half your shots. I cannot bring out-of-focus shots into focus. I cannot make things shrouded in darkness visible. Yes, there's an artistic aspect to editing, and certain flaws can be hidden, but.... God damn it, I'm not some magical tiki god who can turn Friskies into foie gras. It doesn't work like that.
If you bring me a scratchy low-quality tape of awkward acting, ugly sets, sloppy scripting, amateur camerawork, and horrible lighting, you know what you'll get back? A scratchy low-quality final cut of a crappy show. Because much as I like to pretend otherwise when I'm in the bath, I AM NOT GOD.
I think the worst case I ever had of this was where a client turned in a show in which several of the female actors were... physically ungifted, shall we say. Then complained because I'd "made his actresses look ugly." Um, mister? That's not an editing issue. That's a flippin' genetics issue. Go take it up with their parents.