11/08/2008 06:43 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

McCain Upstaged By Green Screen, Pink Protestor

John McCain is delivering his acceptance speech for the Republican nomination — and though it seems to be ending on a nice, uplifting, inspiring note, it was a little bumpy getting here. Instead of being defined by the colors red, white and blue, McCain's speech was dominated by two unexpected colors: Green and Pink.

The green was for the baffling green background that appeared behind the nominee for waaaaay too long as his speech began, transitioning from a rippling American flag in the background to what looked like a greenscreen, as though some techie had fallen asleep at the switch.

The pink was for Code Pink — the protester who disrupted the speech and actually caused McCain to stop and implore the crowd to refocus their attention back on him, even as the woman was propelled, arms raised in victory, toward the exit. There was also what looked like a veteran, whose anti-McCain signage got some prominent play; the sign read "McCain votes against vets."

In the post-speech discussion on NBC and MSNBC, the green has gotten frequent mention (as well as the rainfall of balloons from the ceiling, which submerged poor plucky Andrea Mitchell). The New Republic's Michael Crowley described it thusly, about 2/3rds in:

It's not over yet but this is a very underwhelming speech. Familiar points explained in pedestrian terms. No overarching themes--right now it's sounding like a State of the Union laundry list. Even the crowd in the hall isn't jazzed. This is the sort of reception Tom Ridge got.

On MSNBC, commentators noted that the biggest cheers of the night were reserved for Sarah Palin (and the fact that the post-speech song was "Barracuda" by Heart did not escape notice).

Here's a list of Tweets mentioning the greenscreen from rabid watchers — Twitter was afire with green-screen references while the unfortunate backdrop was still in play. Note the frequent references to Stephen Colbert's John McCain Greenscreen Challenge; expect to see this get some love on Comedy Central very soon.

Update: Here are some of those tweets! You know you want it.

marcambinder Green background is back. ? ! ?

anamariecox So much for that rumor! McCain speaking now. Been practicing for 6 weeks. Whyvis he on green screen? When will they learn!?!!?

rachelsklar What's with the green background??? Did they not learn? Did the greenscreen screw up?

todayshow Thinking the green background on tight shot of McCain isn't very flattering.

lindsayism Are we supposed to have fun with the green screen? The John McCain green screen challenge?

brianstelter This is the collective sound on Twitter right now: green?? really? for McCain's backdrop?


FishbowlNY What's with the green backdrop. Did they forget to rehearse this?

anamariecox Green screen is actually the "lawn" part of some random house on the big screen. House #8? Now screen has changed and is STILL green.

Lock Psychedelic greenscreen! Putting on Phish.

kev097 I can't wait for the next Steven Colbert Make McCain Exciting Green/Blue Screen Challenge.

marcambinder Republicans are emailing me in horror about green screen.

rachelsklar Someone is getting SO FIRED over the greenscreen. Palin will tear their head off.

dceiver RNC is reading Twitter. Green Screen changing to mottled, greener screen.

vermontgmg I'm laughing out loud at the terrible photo backdrop selection for McCain #rnc08. All green, then blurred corn, then all blue? Huh?

anamariecox TV baxkground now blue. In hall, we see the larger picture is of a flag waving in the breeze. There is a reverse metaphor there somewhere.

TheyGaveUsARep Train wreck. Absolute train wreck. Whoever put McCain in front of that green screen is the most incompetent stumblebum who ever lived...

CurtJester McCain in front of a green then blue screen. Looks like he is trying out for a Weezer cover.

RonMwangaguhung McCain would look best framed in puce.

mathewi maybe they chose a blue screen so that they could use CGI and paste in some adoring fans

jdickerson McCain proving that good speechwriters and LOTS of practice doesn't mean it's gonna come off like a dream.

brianstelter This is the collective sound on Twitter now: whew, the green screen was only temporary.

Lock Sorry to dwell, but they really can't throw the waving flag up there instead of this blue? Approaching seizure.