To a man, everyone on the liberal blogger side of the aisle was stunned that the McCain campaign would allow the TV shot to go out to the world on his big night to be him in front of a lime green background. Cottage cheese and lime Jello, in the vernacular of the blogosphere. Surely they WATCHED the shot through a monitor and knew that it would make him look sickly.
But that’s not the only head-scratcher with the RNC staging, which the set designers had months to organize. The giant screen was useless outside of the room, always putting the speaker at the podium behind monochrome, or worse, in the East River (in Rudy Giuliani’s speech). Putting the seats for dignitaries along the side of the stage was OK, but the white line across the boxes designating them looked to the TV angle like the seats were empty, in a wide shot. And then there’s this, which is absolutely amazing.
A lot of people were asking tonight: what the hell was that mansion up behind John McCain tonight during the first part of the speech? As I noted below, the TV close-ups only showed McCain’s head against the grass in the picture, which made it look like he was reprising his famed green screen performance. And when they panned out, it looked like McCain was showing off one of his mansions.
Well, several readers have written in to tell me that the building is actually the main building on the campus of the Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood, California. And sure enough, this page on the school’s website makes it pretty clear that they’re correct.
Could this be? Could the producers have wanted a shot of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and they farmed it off to the intern who picked Walter Reed MIDDLE SCHOOL? I mean, is that possible? None of the consultants and muckety-mucks charged with picking the backgrounds know what Walter Reed looks like? As Josh Marshall says, “is this the RNC or a scene out Spinal Tap or Waiting for Guffman?”
You know, it wasn’t so long ago that these guys were the pros at this. Say what you will about Mission Accomplished Day, putting Bush in that flight suit was brilliant theater. Where did those people go?
Dave is a writer, comedian and TV/film editor based in Santa Monica. He is an elected member of the Democratic State Central Committee from the 41st Assembly District. He blogs on state and national politics at http://d-day.blogspot.com/