President Obama’s home is in the same Chicago neighborhood as Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. On Saturday night, the overlapping of Obama’s and Farrakhan’s worlds made for a strange, and sometimes testy, encounter between the Secret Service, the press corps covering the president, and the paramilitary security force, the Fruit of Islam, surrounding Farrakhan.
The encounter was written up — for distribution to the press, not necessarily for publication — by the New York Times’ Jackie Calmes. It began a little after 4:00 p.m. when Obama and his family walked to the nearby home of longtime friend Marty Nesbitt for a backyard cookout. It just so happens that Nesbitt lives across the street from Farrakhan.
A few hours after Obama went to Nesbitt’s home, the press pool, including Calmes, was waiting in a bus parked near 49th Street and Woodlawn Avenue, next to Farrakhan’s mansion. The reporters’ Secret Service minder allowed them off the bus to stretch their legs. As they stood on the sidewalk, some of the journalists inadvertently touched the grass next to the sidewalk, and that is when the encounter began. From Calmes’ report:
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Read More: By: BYRON YORK, Washington Examiner