American Elephants

Another Screw-Up At the Democratic Convention! by The Elephant's Child

Oh Ha ha ha, hee, hee.

On the last night of the Democratic National Convention, a retired Navy four-star took the stage to pay tribute to veterans. Behind him, on a giant screen, the image of four hulking warships reinforced his patriotic message.

But there was a big mistake in the stirring backdrop: those are Russian warships.

While retired Adm. John Nathman, a former commander of Fleet Forces Command, honored vets as America’s best, the ships from the Russian Federation Navy were arrayed like sentinels on the big screen above.

These were the very Soviet-era combatants that Nathman and Cold Warriors like him had once squared off against.

“The ships are definitely Russian,” said noted naval author Norman Polmar after reviewing hi-resolution photos from the event. “There’s no question of that in my mind.”

Naval experts concluded the background was a photo composite of Russian ships that were overflown by what appear to be U.S. trainer jets. It remains unclear how or why the Democratic Party used what’s believed to be images of the Russian Black Sea Fleet at their convention.

Some poor staffer screwed up. Acknowledgment and apologies will be a long time coming. One of the great terrors of all advertising people is that somehow when you misspell a word, it will be in a headline — on a billboard!

Using Russian warships as a background for a speech by a Navy Admiral, a former commander of Fleet Forces Command, honoring vets as a runup to the president’s speech, kind of falls into that territory. Fortunately for the unfortunate staffer, nobody but sailors would know the difference. But it’s still funny. Schadenfreude.


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