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McCain and that North Hollywood middle school**

September 5, 2008 |  7:55 am

Which_walter_reed_2 Forget the speech. Folks are wondering about the picture on the huge screen behind John McCain Thursday night at the GOP convention. Bloggers have  been doing some detective work. And that brought them to ... North Hollywood. This from Talking Points Memo:

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.

ABC News wonders if our local middle school was chosen by mistake:

A little Googling reveals that the photo appears to be the exterior of Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood, California. Was this a school McCain attended or is otherwise significant to the campaign? Symbolic of his message, perhaps? The campaign isn't saying. But there is speculation on the Web, asking, could it simply have been an error and Walter Reed Medical Center was the intended image?

*Update: Reed principal Donna Tobin released this statement: "It has been brought to the school’s attention that a picture of the front of our school, Walter Reed Middle School, was used as a backdrop at the Republican National Convention.  Permission to use the front of our school for the Republican National Convention was not given by our school nor is the use of our school’s picture an endorsement of any political party or view.”

**Update 2: The Times' Brady MacDonald points out that Talking Points Memo found out that Walter Reed Middle School was also the backdrop to the fiction presidential bid announcement by "Matt Santos" on "The West Wing." TPM has video too.

-- Shelby Grad