Did Obama Hire Nation of Islam Staffers?

Posted: Jun 04, 2008 10:05 PM
On this, the day Barack addressed AIPAC, The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto references this WorldNet Daily story reporting that Barack Obama's senior staff includes members of the Nation of Islam, the group led by well-known anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan.

Is it true? Given Jeremiah Wright's close connections to Farrakhan and Farrakhan's fulsome praise for Obama, it' s a fair question. 

Here is Obama's statement about Farrahkan during the Cleveland debate:

You know, I have been very clear in my denunciation of Minister Farrakhan's anti-Semitic comments. I think that they are unacceptable and reprehensible. I did not solicit this support. He expressed pride in an African-American who seems to be bringing the country together. I obviously can't censor him, but it is not support that I sought. And we're not doing anything, I assure you, formally or informally with Minister Farrakhan. 

Does that last sentence mean that there aren't (or haven't been) Nation of Islam members on his staff -- or is it an example of Clintonian parsing (i.e. we are not currently "doing anything" with Farrakhan? 

Note, also, the use of the honorific "Minister."  Although most of us could never emulate the airy insouciance of Rush Limbaugh's nickname for Farrakhan -- "Calypso Louie" -- we probably wouldn't go out of our way to honor this kind of crackpot with his preferred title. 

Finally, although Barack does go on to say that he has "I have been very clear in my denunciations of [Farrakhan] and his past statements," the criticism seemed carefully targeted predominantly at Farrakhan's words alone. 

Again, all of this makes the issue of whether Barack hired Nation of Islam staffers impossible to reject out of hand.  If the reports are untrue, they ought to be rejected and dispelled quickly.  But if they are accurate, this is information that the voting public deserves to know.

How 'bout the MSM doing its job, and asking?